Sendek leaving NC State to coach Arizona State

PHOENIX -- North Carolina State basketball coach Herb Sendek
has accepted an offer to become the coach at Arizona State, an
official with knowledge of the deal confirmed Saturday night.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because there has
been no formal announcement.

Arizona State athletic director Lisa Love, who attended the Sun
Devils' spring football scrimmage Saturday in Tempe, was
unavailable for comment.

Sendek is 258-158 in 13 seasons as a head coach, the last 10
with North Carolina State, where he is 191-132. He spent his first
three seasons with Miami of Ohio.

Sendek led the Wolfpack to five straight NCAA Tournament
appearances -- tying a school record set by the late Jim Valvano --
and reached the regional semifinals in last season.

He has been named coach of the year in two conferences -- the
Atlantic Coast Conference two years ago and the Mid-American
Conference in 1995, when he coached at Miami of Ohio.

The Sun Devils have been looking for a coach since March 10,
when Love announced that Rob Evans would not return next season.

Her first target reportedly was Pittsburgh's Jamie Dixon, who
spoke with Sun Devils officials before accepting a contract
extension from Pitt through 2012-13, at a significant pay raise.

A few days later, Love's search took her to Milwaukee, where she
met with former Utah coach Rick Majerus. She did not make him an

As she launched the search, Love said she was looking for
candidates with college head coaching experience, NCAA Tournament
success and familiarity with the West Coast.

The 43-year-old Sendek was born in Pittsburgh and has not worked
west of Lexington, Ky., where he served on Rick Pitino's staff at
the University of Kentucky from 1989-93. Sendek also had been on
Pitino's staff at Providence.

But Sendek's résumé is filled with NCAA tourney experience,
including an upset victory over Arizona in 1995 while at Miami of
Ohio. In his second year as a head coach, Sendek led a No. 12 seed
to a first-round victory over the fifth-seeded Wildcats, the
school's first NCAA Tournament win since 1978.

Arizona State has beaten Arizona, its archrival, once since

After the 1996 season, Sendek left Miami for N.C. State. The
Wolfpack failed to make the NCAA Tournament in Sendek's first five
years but have made it each of the last five.

This season, the Wolfpack drew a 10th seed, defeating
seventh-seeded California in the first round before losing to
second-seeded Texas.

Despite the string of NCAA appearances, Sendek had come under
criticism from Wolfpack fans, many of them angry at his 17-54
record against Duke, North Carolina and Wake Forest, the Wolfpack's
three in-state ACC rivals.

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski understands better than most. He went
38-47 in his first three seasons with the Blue Devils and heard
plenty of grumbling from fans, alumni and boosters, known as the
Iron Dukes.

"There are still some people I would never talk to from that,"
Coach K said nearly two weeks ago, when asked about Sendek's
situation. "But I'll always talk to my president and my
administration -- they didn't flinch. He's really one of the
terrific coaches in our country. He's a proven winner.

"Hopefully their people won't flinch, either."

In the end, however, Sendek decided to leave on his own.

"I can't say that I'm totally surprised, but I'm
disappointed," said Mac Campbell Jr., president of the Wolfpack
Club, the fundraising arm of the N.C. State athletic department.
"I think it will be a good move for him. Herb is just a class