clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

REPORT: N.C. State hires UNC Wilmington’s Kevin Keatts after Friday interview

UNC Wilmington’s season ended on Thursday with a narrow first round loss to Virginia.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-First Round-Virginia vs North Carolina-Wilmington Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

UPDATE (4:25pm CT): According to multiple reports, N.C. State has hired Kevin Keatts.

UNC Wilmington’s Kevin Keatts is considered by many to be an attractive fallback coaching option for Illinois basketball, but the program’s continued pursuit of better candidates may prevent any preliminary negotiations from taking place.

According to CBS Sports’ Jon Rothstein, Keatts has emerged as a top candidate for the N.C. State job, and he’ll be in Raleigh on Friday for an interview.

Keatts, a former Louisville assistant, has just completed his third season as a collegiate head coach. He’s amassed a 72-28 overall record, three CAA Conference championships, and two NCAA Tournament appearances in that short time frame.

UNC Wilmington’s impressive 2016-17 season ended with a narrow 76-71 first round loss to No. 5 seed Virginia in the NCAA Tournament.

It’s clear that Illinois athletic director Josh Whitman has been aiming higher throughout this job search, however it’s a bit worrying that some of the notable ‘Tier B’ options are beginning to disappear. Of course, this becomes a moot point if the Fighting Illini are indeed able to land a name like Tony Bennett or Gregg Marshall.

For more on Keatts’ situation, make sure to check out SB Nation’s N.C. State sister site. You can also check out a more in-depth profile of the UNC Wilmington coach right here.