NCAA BK

NC State hires Keatts away from UNC Wilmington as new coach

UNCW head coach Kevin Keatts cuts down the net after defeating College of Charleston 78-69 in an NCAA college basketball game in Charleston, S.C., Monday, March 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Mike Spencer)

UNCW head coach Kevin Keatts cuts down the net after defeating College of Charleston 78-69 in an NCAA college basketball game in Charleston, S.C., Monday, March 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Mike Spencer)

GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP) North Carolina State has hired UNC Wilmington's Kevin Keatts to take over as head basketball coach.

The school announced Keatts' hiring in a news release Friday night, one day after his Seahawks lost to Virginia in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

Keatts is a former assistant to Rick Pitino at Louisville and two-time Colonial Athletic Association coach of the year who led UNC Wilmington to a 72-28 record and two NCAA Tournaments in three seasons there.

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The 44-year-old Keatts replaces Mark Gottfried, who was fired after the Wolfpack's season.

In a statement, Keatts said he has ''incredible respect'' for the program's tradition and said there's an ''unbelievable commitment to basketball in Raleigh.''

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AP Sports Writer Joedy McCreary in Raleigh, North Carolina, contributed to this report.

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