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Levi Watkins joins Kevin Keatts’ staff

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Sporting News NCAA Basketball Tourney Collection Photo by John Dunn/Sporting News via Getty Images via Getty Images

Looks like I went and picked the wrong Friday for a road trip. Among other things yesterday, NC State announced the addition of Levi Watkins to Kevin Keatts’ coaching staff. That leaves Keatts with one more vacancy left to fill on his staff.

Watkins has developed a good reputation as a coach since his time playing at State—and his time at State coincided with mine, which makes me feel that much older.

Watkins went straight into coaching after his college career, beginning with an opportunity at NC State, before later working at Buffalo, Arizona State, and Ole Miss. Here’s his statement from the release yesterday:

“I want to thank Coach Keatts for the opportunity to return back to my alma mater,” Watkins said. “My family and I are thrilled and I can’t wait to be back on the sidelines for the Wolfpack. Over the last 20 years, I have been extremely fortunate to play, recruit, and coach in and against many of the premier basketball teams, leagues and regions all across this country. I am looking forward to playing a critical role in contributing to the success and next level of men’s basketball here at NC State. As a former NC State student athlete, I know what it means to wear the Wolfpack uniform, the tradition that is engrained into the very fabric of who we are, and the culture and passion that permeates throughout all of Wolfpack Nation!”

Now I really want to see Keatts turn it around. This seems like a strong hire from a recruiting standpoint, and Levi is gonna have to hit the ground running. He’s taking a risk with this gig but also won’t have a problem landing on his feet if Keatts is fired next spring. (I’m sure he’s figured the same.)

Welcome home, Levi!