After two down seasons, Gottfried looking forward to new season

Published 8:23 pm Monday, June 16, 2008

By By Adam Robinson – sports editor
The next couple of days will play a huge part in what the 2008-2009 University of Alabama Crimson Tide's basketball roster will look like.
Gottfried said his personal opinion is for those players to come back and improve their draft status and likely be selected at a higher position after another year in college.
Gottfried, who has just completed his 10th year at the University of Alabama, has compiled an 198-123 record at the school and a 266-147 overall record that includes three years at Murray State as head coach from 1995-1998.
Gottfried, who graduated from UMS-Wright in Mobile in 1982, played three seasons of basketball at Alabama under former head basketball coach Wimp Sanderson. While at Alabama, Gottfried and the Crimson Tide advanced to the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA tournament in each of those three seasons. Gottfried still holds the Alabama school record for single game 3-point shots with eight against Vanderbilt in 1987.
After graduating from Alabama, Gottfried was drafted by the Detroit Pistons in the NBA and later served as an assistant coach for eight seasons at UCLA under Jim Harrick.
Gottfried was an assistant coach on the 1995 NCAA championship team. After leaving UCLA, Gottfried was head coach at Murray State from 1995-1997.
In March 1998, Gottfried was hired at his alma mater of Alabama.
After having his finest years of his tenure during the 2001-2002 season that saw the Crimson Tide win the SEC regular season championship and in the 2003-2004 season when the team advanced to the Elite Eight. Those years include five consecutive NCAA tournament appearances from 2002-2006 and the first-ever No. 1 national ranking during the 2002-2003 season.
After that, Alabama basketball has posted back-to-back losing seasons in the SEC in 2006-2007 and 2007-2008.
The 2007-2008 season marked the first time in nine years and only the second time under Gottfried that Alabama did not reach either the NIT or the NCAA post-season tournaments.
The schedule for the team this year looks to be a difficult one with Texas A&M coming to Alabama and a trip to Clemson. The team will open in Maui, and the field looks like one of the best, Gottfried said.
North Carolina, Texas, Indiana, Notre Dame, Oregon and St. Joe's will be in the Maui tournament against the Crimson Tide in November.
Although the name of the game is basketball for Gottfried and the Crimson Tide in Tuscaloosa, it is also about graduating the players that come and play for Alabama.
Davidson would have graduated in the fall of his senior year, but his brother was shot and stabbed in Atlanta and while he was there he and his girlfriend were in a car accident. She died the next morning, and his brother died later.
Part of the great thing of being a coach is recruiting a player and watching them develop and leave your program with success, especially in academics, Gottfried said.
Gottfried is married to the former Elizabeth Kozel and has five children, Brandon who is 16, Mary Layson who is 15, Cameron who is 13, Aaron who is 12 and Dillon who is 11.
In addition to hearing Gottfried, the local alumni group also awarded two $1.800 Walter Lewis scholarship to T.R. Miller High School students Rachel Fraser and Michal Hubbard.
The scholarships are named after Brewton native Walter Lewis who was a former quarterback with the University of Alabama.

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