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Andy Lyons/iStock/Thinkstock(RALEIGH, N.C.) – North Carolina State head men’s basketball coach Mark Gottfried has been fired but will finish the season, athletic director Debbie Yow announced Thursday.

The Wolfpack has just three ACC victories this season and has lost three straight games by more than 20 points.

"Mark and I met today to discuss the future direction of our program," Yow said in a statement. "While it has long been my practice to evaluate the body of work at season's end, in reviewing the overall direction of our program, we believe a change in leadership is necessary moving forward. Our focus now remains on supporting our student-athletes and staff over the final weeks of our
season."

Gottfried was hired in 2011 and took NC State to four straight NCAA Tournament appearances.

"It has been a privilege to serve as head coach of NC State, and I'm proud of what we have accomplished during my time here," Gottfried said in a release. "NC State is a special place and I appreciate the opportunity to finish the remainder of the season."

The school says it will begin a search for Gottfried’s replacement immediately.

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