TUSCALOOSA, AL (WSFA) - The University of Alabama says head basketball coach Mark Gottfried has "resigned". Coach Gottfried was scheduled to meet with Alabama athletics director Mal Moore this afternoon about his job.
In a statement issued by the Alabama Athletic Media Relations department Gottfried said, "My number one priority is to do what is best for the University of Alabama, this basketball program, and these young men. Mal [Moore] and I sat down today and we talked. At that point, I notified him of my intention to resign as head coach of the men's basketball program. I am extremely grateful to have had the opportunity and the privilege to lead our men's basketball program at Alabama for the past 10 and a half seasons. It has been a wonderful decade for me and my family, and I love the University of Alabama, but I feel that it is in the best interests of everyone involved. I want to thank our players, their families, our coaching staff and their families, and our great fans for all of their support over these last 11 seasons."
Athletics director Mal Moore made the following statement:
"I accepted Coach Gottfried's resignation. I respect Mark's decision and will begin immediately working on a permanent replacement. I agreed with him that it is in the best interests of the men's basketball program for us to move in a different direction. I want to extend my sincerest best wishes to Mark and his family, along with my personal thanks to Mark for his many years of dedicated service to our men's basketball program.
"Out of respect for our players, I will make no further comment on Coach Gottfried's decision. I want to extend my complete support to our players and our coaching staff, which will be headed by interim head coach Philip Pearson. We fully expect them to compete hard the rest of this season and I ask our loyal fans to rally in support of these coaches and players over the coming weeks of SEC play.
"Our process towards finding a new head coach will begin immediately. Out of respect for our players and coaches, I will not comment on the progress of our search until it has concluded."
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Gottfried was named head coach at Alabama on March 25, 1998, and compiled a record of 210-131 (.616 winning percentage) with the Crimson Tide, including a mark of 83-82 in Southeastern Conference (SEC) games, winning one SEC regular season championship and leading the team to five NCAA Tournament appearances. He joined the Crimson Tide after three seasons as head coach at Murray State (Ky.) where he compiled a record of 68-24 while leading the Racers to three Ohio Valley Conference championships (1995, 1996, and 1997) and three NCAA Tournament appearances. Gottfried's career record stands at 278-155 for a winning percentage of .642 in 14 seasons as a college head coach.