Saturday, April 14, 2007

Bobby Lutz addresses 49ers fans, critics

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!

Bobby Lutz


Anonymous said...

about damntime Bobby, I cant believe you put us through this.

Anonymous said...

WOWWWWWWWWW! Is the only thing I can say!!! That is incredible!!!!!!!! I know it is a lot of promises BUT I've never heard that from a coach.


Anonymous said...



Anonymous said...


Good job to the Administration on calling his bluff this time.

Are the fans going to believe him when he says hes all in?

Jon said...

I believe him, he has been here 9 years. I wish the Charlotte city/community and alumni were all in too! Buy some tickets people!

Anonymous said...

Wow. I thought his passion was gone the last couple of years, but it sounds like it has returned. I guess he has something to prove now. Can't wait to see the team he puts on the court this fall. I hope he can back up the talk.

Anonymous said...

Bobby, seriously now, this is one of your most loyal fans speaking.

I loved you man. Then you broke my heart, by A) looking at another school, B) considering them by taking an interview, and by C) not rejecting the job right away.

This was a slap in the face for all fans and most of all, the University of Charlotte.

Just like a girlfriend who flirst with another guy, I should dump your ass, but as I am the forgiving type, I will forgive. Do not expect me to trust you right away, and do expect the student section to participate in any "bobby" chants....

You broke my heart man...

Anonymous said...

Lets get a few more outstanding recruits and make this your best year ever at Charlotte.

Anonymous said...

Glad its over. Losing Lutz would have been a major loss for the program. Let's forget it and move on. When we are in the tournament next all the fair weather supporters who don't even go to games will be doing the "Bobby" chant anyway.

Anonymous said...

as a 5 year season ticket holder, I hope to see some worthwhile consequences come of this.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Bobby! I believe that his intensoins are there. It's not the fans, but the players that need to believe in him though.


Anonymous said...

He doesn't want to go anywhere. He never did. When he flirted with Tennessee, he was afraid that the A-10 was going to be what it is -- moribund. He now has been told, in essence, "go look for another job", since it's public that his contract will not be extended. So, he had no choice but to explore. Some of you will damn him. I will support him.

I don't like A-10 basketball at all, but I like being a 49er. We have been marginal at best the past 2 years. Let's see what happens now.

When we start 1-2, 2-1, 2-2, 3-2 or whatever, will you be there? I will.

Anonymous said...

Many of you need to understand, it is not Coach that wants to leave, the administration is not doing there part. He loves charlotte; as a city, a university and a basketball program.

Anonymous said...

Shame on all of you that criticize Lutz for looking at another school. Charlotte hasn't exactly been in his corner lately. It's also a shame that he felt obligated to write the things we should've already known. There's never been any doubt that Lutz loves Charlotte and will take it to the next level...again. How many of the 300+ NCAA Division 1 coaches go to the NCAA tournament 5 out of the last 10 years? Fair weather fans...go home!


Anonymous said...

I can't believe that some of you people (hiding behind the anonymous tag of course) want to criticize Bobby on this letter.

I have to admit that I was deeply dissappointed and pissed about Bobby possibly going to USA, but we fans don't know everything that goes on behind closed doors. We don't know what was said in those extension talks.

I applaud you Bobby for giving us this letter to reaffirm your dedication and coaching passion to the program. I'm looking forward to the new faces around here and the number of four year guys you are getting.

I can't wait to see Big Phil, Dewhurst, and Gerrity in action this year on top of Lee doing his thing.

Props to you Bobby, thanks for the letter, and you have my support!


Anonymous said...

I'm glad you stayed Bobby!! True Niner fans know how much you've done for this program, and we're looking forward to more in the future! GO NINERS!!

Anonymous said...

U my boy Bobby.... ALL IN 07-08!!!

Anonymous said...

From reading this letter, I think Bobby Lutz will be the next AD at Charlotte when his contract is up.

Anonymous said...

You can start by having them practice some free throws and perimeter defense.

Anonymous said...

Way to go Bobby!!
Give it all you got next year!
Win it all in 07-08!!!

Then maybe next spring you will finally get a better offer and be out the door.

Best of Luck!

Anonymous said...

Judy Rose hasn't exactly made it easy to succeed. The A-10 gambit assumed that the conference getting 3 or 4 teams in the NCAAs each year would make up for a diminished fan base due the loss of natural rivals. (This assumes Judy thought about playing St. Bonnie in February AT ALL.)

Bobby has made mistakes, but if Judy thinks she can do much better in the coaching ranks, she is making a huge mistake.

It is a classic Catch-22 -- until UNCC wins in the A-10, making a coaching change will not help it win in the A-10.

Anonymous said...

You ROCK Bobby!