Additions and Subtractions

Three reasons Archie Milller should pass on NC State

Well, it’s that time of year again…

The NC State Wolfpack announced the termination of head coach Mark Gottfried this Thursday, which probably has many of you confused because you’re pretty sure you saw him coaching in a Saturday loss against Notre Dame. The sixth-year head coach was let go with four games and a conference tournament left on the schedule, so will finish the season as a noble lame duck head coach we’ll all be rooting for to create pure chaos with an ACC tournament championship win.

With that news has come a coaching search that will start, but not likely end with Dayton head coach Archie Miller. Here’s why Archie and perhaps even more A-10 coaches should take a hard pass on that trap:


“You want to be at a place that has resources that are near or at the top of their league, where you’re at the top of the food chain.” – VCU Head Coach Will Wade

Wade said that after signing a contract extension at VCU last season (with interest coming from his hometown team, Vanderbilt) and it applies to Miller and this NC State stuff as well. For starters, like Wade, Miller is at the top of the A-10 food chain. Being at the top of that food chain is also different than perhaps doing the same at an American East or Big South school. The Flyers put 13k fans in the seats consistently and almost all of their games are nationally televised. This isn’t dominating a conference that gets no attention, this is a league that consistently receives multiple bids to the NCAA tournament (even in a down year) and in Miller’s case, is a program that has danced as far as the Elite 8 under his guidance. Not only is NC State not at the top of the food chain in the ACC, but they’re nowhere close to being at the top of the food chain within 45 minutes of their own campus, checking in at a distant third behind Duke and North Carolina in the Raleigh/Durham area of North Carolina. They are the bastard son of Tobacco Road.

With the ACC recently adding the likes of Syracuse, Louisville and Notre Dame to the conference, getting anywhere close to the top of that food chain (and even harder, staying there) becomes an extreme uphill battle.


Let’s do a quick review of NC State’s last three head coaches.

Could Archie Miller be headed to NC State to coach his alma mater?

MARK GOTTFRIED – After five seasons with no NCAA tournament appearances, Mark Gottfried brought the Pack back to the dance, turning NC State into a Sweet 16 team in his first season just a year — which ended in a 3-point loss to eventual national runner-up, Kansas — after the Wolfpack finished 10th in the ACC with a 15-16 overall record. He’d follow that with two early exit NCAA tournament appearances (one in a 3-point second round loss to Saint Louis) and another Sweet 16 run in 2015 before hitting his first rough patch this past season. Think about that. After four NCAA tournaments and two Sweet 16s, Gottfried had apparently not earned a full two forgivable seasons before being fired. FUCK THAT!

Fun facts:
-Gottfried was fired this year with the 33rd least experienced team in the country.
-NC State went a combined 21-5 in non-conference play these past two seasons and had zero sub-100 losses, meaning in essence, he was fired for not finishing in the top half of a brutal new ACC conference.

SIDNEY LOWE – Like Miller, Lowe was a former NC State guard. Unlike Miller, Lowe won a national championship in that role and became a long-time NBA player. That was apparently enough to earn him a little extra runway, coaching five NCAA tournament-less seasons at NC State before being shown the door.

HERB SENDEK – Miller’s coach during his playing years at State, Sendek rebuilt the program after the disappointing Les Robinson years. Under his guidance NC State went to four NIT tournaments, followed that up with a rough 2000-2001 season that saw no postseason action, then finished with five consecutive NCAA tournament appearances including a Sweet 16 season his second to last year at State. Apparently that little taste of success wasn’t enough for State fans and boosters, putting enough pressure on Sendek, enough heat under his seat, to see the coach jump for an available opportunity at Arizona State once he got it.

The two examples of Sendek and Gottfried in particular should offer a cautionary tale to any potential new head coach of the Wolfpack: You have to match Duke and Carolina’s success (or come damn close) or you are out.


Related to reason No.1, Archie has a very comfortable job at Dayton and if he wants to leave, can afford to wait for the can’t-say-no-to-this opportunity, like perhaps the one Shaka Smart left for in Texas (the richest athletic department in the country with their own ESPN channel). And Ohio State or even Indiana offer could be just around the corner and could ultimately prove to be the jobs that pulls Miller away from Dayton.

Archie is at the top of the hot coaches food chain and can continue to build on that at Dayton with an always improving Q-rating. He can use this coaching change publicity to further the rep of Dayton basketball as well.

Sure, maybe he gets bored before that and opts for a change of scenery — he’s been at Dayton six seasons, the same amount of time Smart spent at VCU before jumping. That, or maybe he’s just always dreamt of coaching his alma mater and ultimately decides to leave. But can you imagine the fun Sidney Lowe had when the program he helped lead to a national title as a player wanted to run him out of town as a coach (here’s a thread on wanting him gone following his second season as head coach of his alma mater)? That doesn’t mean that will be the case with Miller, but what a nightmare that would be.






  • J
  • February 20, 2017
If Archie goes to the ACC it will be to Pitt not NCST. Pitt is prepared to back up the Brinks truck just he might have to wait until after next season so they can buy out Stallings who the alumni hate. Personally I think he stays at Dayton until something happens to Crean in Indiana or Izzo or Matta retire.
  • R
  • February 20, 2017
When these schools let coaches go before their contract is up the schools should be heavily penalized (one year salary) along with the remaining amount that the college owes the coach. Then colleges will stop looking at dollar bills as leaves on the lawn.
  • J
    John Wayne
  • February 20, 2017
Lets get something straight, college basketball is a fast paced multimillion dollar business for most all division 1 schools . When you have an employee which coaches are and they aren't getting the job done then they need to be replaced . NC State has a long and storied basketball history with as good of facilities as anyone in the country . Gottfried did some good things but mostly with the coach Lowes' players not his own . Gottfried has had a high transfer rate and a total turnover of assistant coaches during his tenure . Whether you or the national media want to agree it was time for a change . At least if Miller went to NC State he'd have a chance to show his real coaching ability in the best conference in the country instead of a second tier conference like the A10.
  • Y
    Your mother
  • February 21, 2017
You are a complete idiot. You have no idea what you're talking about and you're just parroting the idiocy of the national media. If you even did a minimal amount of research, you would learn just how out of touch you are.
  • G
  • February 21, 2017
You're an idiot. State is the founder of tobacco road. Forcing UNC and Duke to upgrade in order to compete.
  • J
  • February 22, 2017
Hey Mat ill shelfish, like mentioned above you are obviously just following suit, which is why you will always be the red headed step child of journalists. Do some research next time you write an article BOZO five headed red headed IDIOT!!!
  • T
    Tom Ferrell
  • February 22, 2017
The author has no clue of what he writes. Please do a little homework before you call a school a bastard son.

As a former NC State star once said: "If you are scared, get a dog." Maybe if a coach is scared he can hide in a conference like the A10 where you don't play the best of the best.
I was going to rip you a new one, but then I saw that the others handled it. You're probably just trolling, because I don't see how anyone could take this article seriously. You've handpicked two worthless stats to make your point, which is laughably bad. You also choose to use curse words and personal attacks to convey the rest of it, which by the way has zero substance. Get a clue.