Danny Manning has been fired as Wake Forest head coach, AD John Currie announced on Saturday morning. Manning was 78-111 during his tenure, finishing above .500 only once: 2016-17 when the Demon Deacons were 19-14 (9-9) and were among the last four into the NCAA Tournament.
“After a comprehensive review of the men’s basketball program, and with the support of President Hatch and university leadership, I have determined that it is time for a change in our head coaching position,” Curries said in a release. “We thank Coach Manning, Julie and Evan for their service to Wake Forest and for their commitment to our student-athletes and the Winston-Salem community over the past six years.”
For many in the basketball world, this was a move that was expected and warranted. But with the current COVID-19 pandemic cancelling all sports and rapidly slowing down the coaching carousel, it seemed Manning was going to get another year sheerly due to the difficulty of finding a new head coach right now. This is now the first major-conference coaching change of the offseason.
“I am very thankful for having had the opportunity to lead the Wake Forest men’s basketball program,” Manning said in the release. “I am very proud of the numerous student-athletes I had the pleasure of coaching, especially the student-athletes who earned their degrees. I am particularly thankful for all of the hard work my staff has put in through the years. I am so grateful to the Wake Forest community, who have made Winston-Salem a special home for my family and I from the second we stepped on campus in 2014. I wish the program nothing but success going forward.”
We wrote about the potential candidates for Wake Forest towards the end of this past season (which you can read in full here), but the list is as follows:
- Wes Miller (UNC Greensboro head coach)
- Ryan Odom (UMBC head coach)
- Steve Forbes (East Tennessee State head coach)
- Pat Kelsey (Winthrop head coach)
- Bob Richey (Furman head coach)
- Russell Turner (UC Irvine head coach)
- Thad Matta (former Ohio State head coach)
credit to Jeremy Brevard/USA TODAY Sports for the image