NC State to add two years to Kevin Keatts’ contract

Updated: Friday, 10:45 a.m. with the NCSU board of trustees vote.

N.C. State and basketball coach Kevin Keatts have agreed to a two-year contract extension.

The deal, which will have the same financial terms as the contract reworked in 2018, was approved by the school’s board of trustees on Friday and it extends Keatts’ contract through the 2025-26 season.

Keatts, 47, has won 45 games in two seasons and led the Wolfpack to the NCAA tournament in his first season in 2018. He inherited a program from former coach Mark Gottfried in 2017 which had back-to-back losing seasons and eventually ended up in an NCAA probe for the recruitment of former star Dennis Smith Jr.

Keatts’ deal was reworked, with a raise to $2.7 million annually, last December as a reward for his successful first season and also as security through the NCAA issues, since neither he nor his staff were involved in any of the previous problems.

N.C. State went 21-12 in Keatts’ first season and knocked off three top-10 teams (Duke, UNC and Arizona) en route to the NCAA tournament.

The Wolfpack went 24-12 last season but was left off the NCAA tournament bubble and played in the NIT. In two years, Keatts has a 20-16 ACC record.

N.C. State received a Notice of Allegations from the NCAA in July, for four violations related to Smith’s recruitment and tenure, and has until Oct. 7 to respond. A meeting with the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions will be scheduled, likely within the next three months, after N.C. State’s submits its response.

Gottfried and former assistant coach Orlando Early are the targets of the most severe NCAA violations outlined in the NOA. The school has been connected to two minor violations related to the distribution of complimentary tickets.

N.C. State opens Keatts’ third season on Nov. 5 against Georgia Tech. Keatts has six of his top seven scorers back from last season and is expected to get back to the NCAA tournament.

Joe Giglio has worked at The N&O since 1995 and has regularly reported on the ACC since 2005. He grew up in Ringwood, N.J. and graduated from N.C. State.
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