Mark Gottfried knew he wasn’t in Alabama anymore when he went to Amedeo’s Italian Restaurant on Western Boulevard in Raleigh for dinner one night this week.
“No knock on Alabama. I loved Alabama,” Gottfried said. “But you couldn’t find a restaurant within a hundred miles of that campus that had ten basketball pictures on the wall. Everything was football.
“I walked in (to Amedeo’s) and I’m in heaven, with all the tradition and history and banners and players and pictures. I’m excited about being a part of that, for me, as a basketball guy.”
We talked with Gottfried this week for an article for the summer issue of NC State magazine. But we wanted to share the story of Gottfried’s visit to Amedeo’s, which came up during a conversation about the history and traditions of Wolfpack basketball.
“I’m taking a crash course, trying to learn as much as I can,” Gottfried said. “I have a pretty good understanding, but I want to learn more. It’s a tradition-rich basketball school.”
One tradition that Gottfried is undecided about is the red sport coat that Sidney Lowe and other NC State coaches have worn for big games.
“I’ve been asked that question,” Gottfried said. “I don’t know about that just yet. I’m going to hold out on that answer.”
Other than discovering a new favorite Italian restaurant, Gottfried said his most pleasant surprise so far has been the warm welcome he has received from Wolfpack fans.
“I wasn’t the guy this year that was on the tip of everybody’s tongue as far as, you know, he’s going to be the coach,” Gottfried said.
“But I have been surprised by the response. I’m appreciative, tremendously appreciative, of the positive letters, comments … in regard to us being here. And I don’t undervalue that. I get it. I understand it. So that’s been a great thing.”