Report: Mark Fox may be targeted for opening at N.C. State (UPDATED)

Mark Fox is already a coach in demand after two years. (AP photo)

Mark Fox is already a coach in demand after two years.

(UPDATED below on Tuesday, 6:50 p.m., with Mark Fox’s response to report)

Georgia is about to find out what it means to have a coveted basketball coach: Mark Fox is in the rumor mill.

The sports website SportsByBrooks is quoting sources saying Fox will be one of four top candidates targeted by North Carolina State for its impending coach vacancy. Wolfpack coach Sidney Lowe is meeting with athletic director Debbie Yow on Tuesday and many are speculating that he is going to be fired.

The four candidates listed by the website are Fox, Rick Barnes (Texas), Sean Miller (Arizona) and Tubby Smith (Minnesota).

UPDATE:

Fox just released this statement through Georgia sports information director Claude Felton: “I’m not a candidate for any job. All of my focus is on the Georgia team.”

It’s not an emphatic, “I absolutely guarantee I will be at Georgia next season,” but it’s about what you would expect in these circumstances, especially if he wants to use another offer as leverage for a better contract.

Here’s my thought on the rumor: No way.

Fox, who in only his second year has coached the Bulldogs into the NCAA tournament, may not necessarily be a lifer at Georgia. But if he leaves, it would take a better job than North Carolina State. While the Wolfpack reportedly are willing to pay up to $3 million annually — far exceeding Fox’s current $1.3 million salary at Georgia — it’s not a program with any more potential than the one in Athens. The facilities enhancements at Georgia has elevated the stature of the basketball program, as has the SEC’s overall improved strength.

Fox’s contract also stipulates that he must pay the UGA Athletics Association a $2 million buyout if he resigns before 2015, when the contract runs through. More than likely, if an offer does come Fox’s way, he can leverage it for a raise.

Here’s an excerpt from the SportsByBrooks story:

An ACC head basketball coach told me today that Yow has been asking around for months about who she should hire as Lowe’s replacement.

From talking to several sources the past week, including one inside the N.C. State athletic department, I can confirm that – at least at the moment – Yow’s top choices for the job are Rick Barnes, Sean Miller, Tubby Smith and Mark Fox.

Yow has no shot at Barnes, and Smith is likely pining for a contract extension at Minnesota. (As he does with perpetual outside job interest every offseason.)

Though even at $3 million per, candidates like Miller and Fox are no lock for Raleigh when you saddle an uphill job with the weight of Yow’s notorious managerial reputation.

Fox may have to deal with a few more of these stories.

By Jeff Schultz

Earlier

Jeff Capel fired — should he be a candidate at Georgia Tech?

NCAA tournament: SEC (Georgia) has passed ACC (Tech)

Paul Hewitt was undone at Georgia Tech by more than just losing

Follow me on Twitter @JeffSchultzAJC; friend me at Facebook.com/JeffSchultzAJC

297 comments Add your comment

D-Day

March 14th, 2011
10:21 pm

Solid coaches always attract attention. Well done Mr. Fox, but hope you stick around.

Caleb's Sports Corner

March 14th, 2011
10:23 pm

Yay first!! And if the bulldogs go deep in the tourney I don’t think Mark Fox will leave, then again he still probably won’t even if they get knocked out in the first round

Sonny Clusters

March 14th, 2011
10:26 pm

Don’t let the fox guard the hen house. Is that the right way to say it? Can a fox coach a wolf? Will a wolf respect a fox? Many questions.

SonOfBoh

March 14th, 2011
10:27 pm

NCState for UGA? No thank you.

sports

March 14th, 2011
10:28 pm

sorry jeffery, Fox isn’t going anywhere…he’s just getting started!!!!!

Say what?

March 14th, 2011
10:28 pm

SportsbyBrooks?
Is that the website of the proverbial 12 year old in the basement?

DoolyDawg

March 14th, 2011
10:29 pm

NC State better lower their sites. No Way Barnes or Miller would leave prime jobs for NC State.

Jeff Schultz

March 14th, 2011
10:29 pm

Sports — “Sorry Jeffrey”? Hey, I want him to stay. No sorry necessary.

Jeff Schultz

March 14th, 2011
10:31 pm

Say What? — Actually, SportsByBrooks is a pretty good site. It’s on my daily read list. They do get some stories. Also, I believe “Brooks” went to Georgia (even though he’s based in California now).

Ron Jirsa

March 14th, 2011
10:32 pm

GO Mr Fox, I deserve to get my job back!

Michael

March 14th, 2011
10:33 pm

I can’t see him leaving UGA for NCSU. That’s not a “Tubby Smith going home to basketball powerhouse UK” type situation, and we can match any offer NCSU throws at him if money is the issue. I would be more concerned if some western/midwestern powerhouse program came to him and offered him an opportunity to go back home (or closer to it).

DoolyDawg

March 14th, 2011
10:33 pm

I love the job that Coach Fox has done. I just hate that everytime a coach’s name is mentioned by another school they end up with a hefty raise.

DoolyDawg

March 14th, 2011
10:35 pm

Jeff you are right….Brooks is a former Dawg and he has broken some pretty big stories recently.

DoolyDawg

March 14th, 2011
10:36 pm

Jeff…How high would UGA go for a basketball coach?

Dawgs??

March 14th, 2011
10:39 pm

You guys are crazy. NC State is a way better job than UGA. UGA is a second rate basketball program that will never compete for championships. It’s night and day between those two schools in basketball. Keep drinking the koolaid….lol…UGA good at basketball.

SoCal Dawg

March 14th, 2011
10:40 pm

Fox may leave some day but not for NC ST.

3DawgKnight

March 14th, 2011
10:41 pm

From all that I read and hear.
Coach Fox’s [son] is all Dawg.
That would have some bearing…
I hope.

Brian F.

March 14th, 2011
10:41 pm

It would be horrible to have to start over. I don’t believe he will leave for that job though !!

Hm

March 14th, 2011
10:42 pm

I forgot that Georgia had that far reaching basketball tradition. Oh, that’s right, they did go to the Final Four once. In 1983. They lost in the semis, I seem to recall…oh yeah! That was to NC State.

Typical article that ignores historical context and the status of life on Tobacco Road. Lots more could be said, but why waste the time?

DoolyDawg

March 14th, 2011
10:42 pm

NC State is the only the 4th best job in their state!

VA DAWG

March 14th, 2011
10:44 pm

As much as I love what Fox has done the last two years, I believe its a little early for a raise. He’s already getting a bonus for making it to the tourney. I say wait till next year and if he can get us to the tourney without TJ or TT or both, then i would argue that he should get a hefty raise (500k+ a year). As we’ve seen what happened on the avenue, we shouldn’t bite too early b/c we may pay dearly down the road (although I believe CMF is a much better X’s and O’s coach than PH). GO DAWGS, BEAT the HUSKIES!

SoCal Dawg

March 14th, 2011
10:45 pm

What has NC ST done since 83?

DoolyDawg

March 14th, 2011
10:46 pm

Hm..been a long time since the glory days of Jimmy V.

J Dog

March 14th, 2011
10:49 pm

One thing for sure, McGarity won’t sign anybody to a long term contract.

Didn’t do it with Richt after Richt won 90 games in 9 seasons.

mike

March 14th, 2011
10:49 pm

Kentucky and Florida right now are the only two consistent SEC basketball powerhouses. The buy out may keep him at Georgia but anything is possible. NC State basketball tradition cannot be ignored. They are much more passionate about their basketball than Georgia. In the long run it would be an upgrade.

south

March 14th, 2011
10:51 pm

VA DAWG – who is TJ??

Boise Dawg

March 14th, 2011
10:53 pm

Don’t get me wrong, I like Fox and hope we can retain him. I also hope this is just the beginning of a long run of success in Athens… that being said no need to get crazy and offer him $3 million a year quite yet.

Also, I am all for aiming high… but NC State is nuts if they think they are going to lure any successful coach from another major D1 program. There are only a handful of programs that can do that…. North Carolina, Duke, Kentucky, UCLA, Kansas come to mind… not NC State.

J Dog

March 14th, 2011
10:54 pm

mike = south = DoolyDawg

same blogger, writing to himself.

Bored or what?

DoolyDawg

March 14th, 2011
10:57 pm

J Dog …got bored with your sister.

3DawgKnight

March 14th, 2011
10:58 pm

Dawgs??

UGA : Atl = One of, if not the best geocentrically
located universities in the country relative to
“basketball recruiting”.
*[flagship university within 50 (or so) miles from Atl]

Jumpin' Jack Jesse

March 14th, 2011
10:59 pm

Sports by Brooks is on my daily read list, also and he “poo-poos” the idea by describing how difficult Yow is to work with at NC St. Coach Fox stays in Athens this year. But, this won’t be the last time we hear coaching vacancies that have Fox’s name attached to them. And, that is a compliment to UGA (and even to the one who hired him…what was his name?!).

Dr Richard Handler

March 14th, 2011
10:59 pm

He’s goin to Arizona State to join the scum Devils. When the old NC State guy gets whacked!

DonnanDawg

March 14th, 2011
11:00 pm

J Dog-

You so smart man. I agree. McGarity comes across as guy who can’t decide, a guy who can’t vision, a man who cannot lead. McGarity wants recruits committing to Georgia, but McGarity will nto commit to his head coaches, has the SHORTEST contracts in the SEC. Not just head coaches, assistant coaches too.

McGarity is KILLING Georgia!!!

BobDawg

March 14th, 2011
11:00 pm

… Time for McGarity to do his job as Foley has done at Fla and keep our coaches intact… Mr Fox is about to get a nice pay raise….

JSS

March 14th, 2011
11:00 pm

This is why I stay away from placing my heart in institutions involved in the 18-22 year old stalking wars…

So we’ll see now if McGarrity defers from Dooley when the Wolves are literally at the door!

J Dog

March 14th, 2011
11:03 pm

DonnanDawg-

Who is QF6?

BobDawg

March 14th, 2011
11:03 pm

J Dawg, McGarity just got on the job this past summer…. We can’t judge him in 6 months time…. He just navigated the Football stink and we are looking upward with recruiting and now BBall having a successful season…

Jeff Schultz

March 14th, 2011
11:05 pm

DoolyDawg — I think UGA/McGarity would go as high as they believe market should be, whatever that is. Even with $2 million buyout, losing Fox would be a setback they don’t want.

CrazyFox

March 14th, 2011
11:06 pm

Man, I love Mark Fox. This guy can coach at UGA for the rest of his career if he wants to. The fans love him, the Athletic department loves him, his players love him. Mark Fox is riding high right now. I mean, nobody even pointed the finger at him when he called that Timeout against Alabama, and he would have gotten nothing but praises for this season if the Dawgs didn’t make the Tourney after that. If he uses this rumor as leverage for a raise, give it to him. He deserves it. If he truly brings UGA to prominence, and we pay the man well, would he want to leave this newly prestigious program that he built from the ground up? I don’t think so. Then again, Calipari left Memphis, so you never know

Jeff Schultz

March 14th, 2011
11:10 pm

Jumpin’ Jack Jesse — I think that’s dead on: This won’t be first time Fox’s name pops up in rumors.

J Dog

March 14th, 2011
11:12 pm

Hope basketball don’t start leaving like football coaches Searels & Belin did because McGarity underpaid them.

GIVE ME A BREAK

March 14th, 2011
11:12 pm

Someone needs to explain the value of time-outs to Fox. If used properly.

Dumb Dawgs

March 14th, 2011
11:13 pm

Time to do what we always do and overreact and hand out unwarranted pay raises. Fox did a very mediocre job this year with the talent he had. We routinely lost the close games and don’t go blaming the refs Dawg fans. But we should be used to rewarding mediocrity. Remember all those pay raises we handed out to Willie before we finally kicked him to the curb? Fox did a nice job after the mess of the previous administrations but I think he has a low glass ceiling. Let him go and make more money while we get a coach that’s not dumb enough to call a timeout with 0:00.8 seconds left as we hit a game winning shot. Just one of many inept coaching decisions. And what are we going to look like next year when our Power Forward who thinks he’s a guard goes to the NBA? Thompkins should ask Chris Webber about the perils of a big man bringing the ball up. Get in the paint you big sissy!

J Dog

March 14th, 2011
11:13 pm

I’ll say this, McGarity is the least supportive AD I’ve seen as far as pay & contracts go in the SEC, surprised Richt or Fox win any games without any leadership or commitment from leaders.

McGarity flunked Leadership.

JSS

March 14th, 2011
11:14 pm

“differs”

The Ghost of Wally Butts

March 14th, 2011
11:16 pm

Let’s just say this is….Tubby 2.0

The moment the “Tub” was successful in Athens, the Holy Land came calling…and off he went…

Perhaps one day…Athens will be the Holy Land of Basketball…but I am not holding my breath.

God Knows, we are doing all we can to keep a decent football coach these days!

Art Vandelay

March 14th, 2011
11:16 pm

It’s time for McGarity to prove that basketball really is a priority at UGA. Full disclosure: I’m a Gator, but I would absolutely hate to see Fox leave UGA just as they’re reaching respectability. There’s no reason UGA should be a stepping stone job anymore, considering the improved facilities, the excellent talent in the state and the fact that Tech has been rudderless for years and shows no real signs of returning to glory anytime soon. McGarity should make it clear that he’ll beat any offer Fox gets, both in terms of contract length and salary — make him Georgia’s Billy Donovan. Keep Fox around and UGA will be a perennial contender in the SEC — trust me, Dawg fans, it’s fun to be a basketball school!

J Dog

March 14th, 2011
11:16 pm

McGarity’s from 1950’s style leadership you know, crack the whip, hold people accountable, short term contracts, paid people as little as possible.

J Dog

March 14th, 2011
11:17 pm

Does NC State have their players workiung out, in trailers, LIKE mCgARITY DID LAST SEASON?

NOW ONDER THE FOOTBALL & BASKETBALL TEAMS TIRE OUT IN THE END OF THE GAME????

brian

March 14th, 2011
11:19 pm

fox has a pretty solid class coming in. NO WAY he gets the same at friggen nc state give me a break. all we need now is the pf from tech to decommit cause we will need another when thompkins leaves. i think leslie will stay. this yr did not help his stock very much if at all