An open letter from Bobby Lutz to the Charlotte 49ers family:
As many of you know, my name has surfaced in connections with the opening for head men's basketball coach at South Alabama. I am grateful for the confidence they had in my coaching abilities to consider me for such a good position. Based on my current contract situation at Charlotte, I owed it to myself, my family and my assistant coaches to listen to that opportunity.
Despite the contract situation, Charlotte is where I want to be and we have two years to get back to winning at the level we are accustomed to. When I was announced as head coach nine years ago, I said it was my dream job. It still is. I am proud to be the head basketball coach at Charlotte. This is where my heart is and always will be. This is home. And most importantly, this is where I want to leave my mark. When I finish my coaching career my goal is to remain at UNC Charlotte in some capacity.
I am accustomed to success, and make no mistake, we will be successful on and off the court. Our history here at the school speaks for itself. We have been to post-season play in the NCAA on numerous occasions and won conference championships and those days are coming again. My commitment level to those goals is stronger than ever.
Last year was not acceptable and no one was more disappointed in our record and performance than me. I take full responsibility for it. There are a number of factors that led to having a sub-par season, but each of them end with me. I was not happy, our players were not happy and I know our fans were not happy with our results. I also know that last year's performance was an exception to the normal success we have experienced during our time here.
I am excited and energized about our future because of what we have in place. We will turn it around quickly and I can't wait for the first practice, first scrimmage and first game next season. I have a group of players currently working incredibly hard during this off-season. They are committed to getting back to our winning ways while continuing to excel in class and in the community.
We have a great senior leader in Lee Goldwire who will lead us in every way. It is comforting to have such a natural worker and leader like Lee. Ian Andersen is working hard to expand his game and become a more complete player. Mike Gerrity will provide a quickness and toughness that is so needed. Jerrell Lewis has improved his consistency and practices with excellent effort. Sean Phaler continues to improve his defensive effort and can obviously shoot the basketball. Charles Dewhurst has totally recovered from his injury and provides a combination of athleticism, ability, and skill. Kyle Church is the perfect walk-on who competes every single day to make everyone else better. Phil Jones is concentrating on academics and strength and conditioning and can't wait to join the team.
When you add our signed recruits (we can only talk about those who have signed by NCAA rules) I can't help but get excited. Gaby Ngoundjo is a quick athletic post player who can run the floor and block shots. Anjuan Wilderness is a proven winner and extremely versatile player with a great basketball IQ. Javarris Barnett is a big wing shooter with great upside and he is from Charlotte. Our staff has us in excellent position to complete this recruiting class in the next couple weeks. They are working tirelessly and I appreciate their dedication to getting us back to winning. We are all on the same page.
There is a lot to be optimistic about in regards to UNC Charlotte and our athletic program. Our academic stature rises by the day. Our beautiful campus grows seemingly on a daily basis as new buildings are everywhere. We are exploring football. Women's soccer won the league title. Women's basketball went to another WNIT. The baseball and golf teams are nationally ranked and the men's tennis team is heading to the NCAA tournament for the first time. Men's basketball is going to be back on that list of things that our fans are proud of and pound their chests about. I promise you that.
There are a number of adjustments we are making and I will share a number of those things with you the fans over the coming weeks and months. Expect to see a lot of me throughout the campus and the community.
Speaking of our fans, I need you; our team needs you. Thank all of you, especially our season ticket holders and members of NINER NATION, for your past support. We have a great schedule this upcoming season which will be released later. At this point, we are hosting sweet sixteen Southern Illinois, Maryland, Wake Forest, Davidson and Appalachian State in addition to High Point and Gardner-Webb. We are playing in a terrific early season tournament and will have a number of great league games to look forward to. When Halton Arena is loud and filled, we are a tough team to beat as evidenced by our 10 home wins last season.
I am not a gambler by nature, but the bottom line is this. . . I AM ALL IN! PERIOD! I am not leaving any chips on the table. I am proud to be the basketball coach at Charlotte and I am all in. My family is all in. Our staff is all in. Our players are all in. And I am confident that our fans are going to join us and be all in as well.
For us, next season has already begun and we are ALL IN!