Wake Forest has fired Danny Manning after six seasons as head coach in Winston Salem.
Manning had just one winning season during his tenure with the Demon Deacons. He did not finish above .500 in league play in any of his six seasons. Overall, the former Kansas star went 78-111 with just a 30-80 mark in ACC play.
He is owed roughly $15 million for a buyout based on a contract extension that he signed in 2017.
UNCG head coach Wes Miller is likely to be one of the names tied to this opening. He’s a North Carolina native that played for the Tar Heels and has spent his entire coaching career in the state. His father, Ken Miller, is a donor and trustee at the University who has his name on a 50,000 square foot fitness center. He’s widely regarded as one of the best coaches at the mid-major level.
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He’s also not the only mid-major coach that will likely be involved. East Tennessee State’s Steve Forbes, UMBC’s Ryan Odom, Winthrop’s Pat Kelsey and Charleston’s Earl Grant have all already been linked to the job. Another interesting name that is currently unemployed is John Beilein, but he is an expensive option and Wake Forest will already be stretched financially with the buyout they owe to Manning.
The timing of this decision is interesting, as it is literally happening in the middle of a pandemic that has shut down America and closed schools across the country with no end date in sight. Whoever is hired won’t have a chance to actually meet his new team face-to-face for at least a month, if not longer.
But on the flip side, Wake Forest is the only high-major job that has opened this spring. They will not have to compete with anyone for the best mid-major coaches on the market.