By Jesse Wood
March 27, 2014. Bobby Lutz, an associate head coach at N.C. State, is the leading candidate for the head coach position of Appalachian State, which opened up when Jason Capel’s four-year contract wasn’t renewed earlier this month, according to sources speaking to the Charlotte Observer.
The sources said that Lutz has “been in discussions with Appalachian State about its vacancy the past several days” and that the school had prior interest in Mike Rhoades, a former assistant at Virginia Commonwealth who was recently named as the head coach at Rice University.
Lutz is 55 and is in his second year as associate head coach, third season on Mark Gottfried’s staff at N.C. State. He was the former coach of the Charlotte 49ers. Check out his N.C. State bio below.
Read the Charlotte Observer report here, which includes a statement from an App State spokesman and lists other candidates.
Lutz’ bio from N.C. State Athletics:
“Considered one of the top basketball minds in the nation, Bobby Lutz enters his third season on head coach Mark Gottfried’s staff at NC State and his second year as associate head coach. Lutz was elevated to his current position on April 20, 2012.
Lutz came to NC State after a season on the staff at Iowa State, where he helped the Cyclones earn their highest win total since 2005-06. Prior to his stint in Ames, Lutz served as the head coach at Charlotte from 1999-2010, where he led his alma mater to eight postseason appearances (five NCAA, three NIT) in his 12 years at the helm. He is the winningest coach in 49er history, posting a record of 218-158 and is the only coach in school history to make back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances twice in his career.
A native of Catawba, N.C., Lutz led Charlotte to a school-record five 20-win seasons, averaged more than 18 wins a year and won three Conference USA titles (1999, 2001, 2004) in his tenure with the 49ers. He had four top 20 national recruiting classes and tutored 10 players who earned first-team all-conference honors. Five times in his career a Lutz-coached 49er squad knocked off a top-10 opponent, including a win over No. 3 Cincinnati in 1999. Five of the eight wins over top-10-ranked opponents in Charlotte’s history came under Lutz’s watch.
In 2005, Lutz was a finalist for the Jim Phelan National Coach of the Year Award.
Prior to being named head coach, Lutz was an assistant coach at Charlotte for three seasons (1996-98) assisting Jeff Mullins for one and working Mullins’ successor, Melvin Watkins, for two year. The 49ers compiled a record of 56-35 and went to back-to-back NCAA Tournaments when Lutz was an assistant for Watkins.
Prior to his stint at Charlotte, Lutz molded Pfeiffer, an NAIA school in Misenheimer, N.C., into a national power as head coach from 1986-95. He posted a 181-91 record and qualified for six-straight NAIA Tournament berths, including three Final Four appearances. His teams had a .785 winning percentage (153-42) from 1990-95 and he developed 10 NAIA All-Americans.
During his 49ers tenure, he also was tabbed as the 2005 C-USA Coach of the Year by ESPN.com and CollegeInsider.com, and was named 1999 Conference USA Coach of the Year by the Birmingham News.
Lutz graduated with High Honors from UNC Charlotte in 1980 with a degree in economics and psychology and a 3.82 GPA. He earned three other degrees: Lenoir-Rhyne, 1981 (A.B. Secondary Education); Winthrop, 1985 (M.A.T. Secondary Social Studies); Clemson, 1986 (M.A. Education – Administration & Supervision).
Lutz has been extremely active in off-the-court endeavors and goodwill campaigns in his successful career. He has served as the honorary chair of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Light up the Night Campaign as well as the Coaches’ Curing Kids’ Cancer organization. In 2002, he was named the Carolinas’ Father of the Year by the National Father’s Day Council.
He is a member of Pfeiffer’s Athletics Hall of Fame.
Lutz and his wife, Janet, have two daughters: Natalie and Christine.”