Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Danny Manning to remain at Wake Forest for season No. 6

FILE — Wake Forest head coach Danny Manning, second from left, talks to his team during the first half of an NCAA college basketball against Tennessee in Winston-Salem, N.C., Saturday, Dec. 23, 2017. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

FILE — Wake Forest head coach Danny Manning, second from left, talks to his team during the first half of an NCAA college basketball against Tennessee in Winston-Salem, N.C., Saturday, Dec. 23, 2017. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)


Despite the program finishing 13th in the ACC with an 11-20 overall record during the 2018-19 season, Wake Forest recently announced that basketball coach Danny Manning would return for a sixth season.

Manning, the KU legend and former Bill Self assistant who is the program’s all-time leader in points and rebounds, took over at Wake Forest before the start of the 2014-15 season after a successful 2-year stint at Tulsa than ended with him guiding the TU program back to the NCAA Tournament in 2014.

In his five years with Wake Forest, Manning has led the Demon Deacons to one NCAA Tournament berth and finished below .500 during the other four seasons.

Despite those results, outgoing athletic director Ron Wellman recently supported Manning as the right man to lead the program, both because of his ability as a coach and because of the continuity Wellman believes is key in building a program.

“We have been 11-20 each of the last two years and those are not the results we expect,” Wellman said during a recent news conference. “It has taken longer than we wanted, but we feel a good foundation has been set. Next year will be a turnaround year for us and I felt Danny was the best person to achieve that immediate improvement.”

In 2017, Wellman signed Manning to a 6-year extension which is slated to keep him under contract at Wake Forest through the 2024-25 season.

Former Kansas State athletic director John Currie has been hired to replace Wellman and Manning said recently that he had talked with Currie a couple of times already about the future of the Wake Forest program.

“Any time there’s new leadership, you need to prove you’re worthy of doing the job,” Manning said at the news conference. “That is the case in college athletics, but also in any job. We are both passionate about Wake Forest Basketball and want to see the program enjoy success. Our interests are aligned.”

As for what he expects from his sixth season at Wake and beyond, Manning said he believed the past failures would be a big part of guiding the program to better days.

“I know sometimes people dismiss my calmness as a lack of passion or lack of interest in making changes,” he began. “I have been around the game of basketball since childhood and I do not think lashing out emotionally solves many problems. An important part of being a leader is having the trust of your team. I tend to go overboard on keeping things internal rather than sharing things publicly, but there is no question that we need to improve. I think that will fuel our offseason. Sometimes having a chip on your shoulder and the hunger to get better can accelerate change. And we all have that passion burning in us after last season.”

Wake Forest is expected to return its top seven scorers from last season — and nine of the top 10 — and also will get back 91 percent of its rebounding and 92 percent of the minutes played.

“We like our incoming class and our transfers who are becoming eligible,” Manning said. “I think the potential for this group is high and I can’t wait to get to work with them.”

Manning enters the 2019-20 season with an overall record of 103-122 in seven seasons as a Division I head coach.


Phil Leister 2 years, 10 months ago

At one point, I would have welcomed Danny as Bill's successor whenever that time comes. But his track record as a head coach has been extremely lackluster. Now, maybe recruiting to Wake Forest has challenges, but still. Underwhelming.

Which is a total 180 from how he was as an assistant at KU. He was stellar developing the bigs.

Dale Rogers 2 years, 10 months ago

My opinion of Manning as a HC is still out but we have to remember he's dealing with a situation similar to KU football.... trying to build a winning team out of a loser while contending in a very tough conference. It would be far easier to rack up bigger numbers in a cupcake conference. Still, there needs to be improvement in the numbers. With what he has coming back, this next season likely will be the improve significantly or be gone season for Manning.

Armen Kurdian 2 years, 10 months ago

I really, really want him to be successful. Lots of KU coaches out there, Jerod Haase, Mark Turgeon, Tyler working in the NBA, I know there's others.

Robert Brock 2 years, 10 months ago

The Deacons went 4-14 in conference the last two seasons. Manning would definitely be fired if it were not for his large buyout. He has made a lot of money that he can prudently invest; that is good because it is possible that his coaching days will end after next season.

Phil Leister 2 years, 10 months ago

You make it sound as if he won't be able to make money coaching after next season. He can make many hundreds of thousands of dollars as an assistant.

Marius Rowlanski 2 years, 10 months ago

He can still make money but not in a Power 5 Conference.

Adam Bengtson 2 years, 10 months ago

I will never want a former player being the Head Coach at Kansas. Program isn’t made for that.

Brian Wilson 2 years, 10 months ago


Phog Allen played for Naismith!
Dick Harp played for Phog Allen

Then it goes to second generation: Ralph Miller, Dean Smith, and Adolph Rupp all played for Phog Allen and then from Dean Smith KU got Larry Brown and Roy Williams.

I think Bill Self is the only coach we've ever had that does not have lineage from his playing days. However, he was an assistant at KU under Larry Brown.

So IMO, it's good to stay close to home.

Dane Pratt 2 years, 10 months ago

I expected him to get fired but glad he didn't. It was probably his buyout that saved him from the unemployment line. His seat will be even warmer next season which was already pretty hot.

Brett McCabe 2 years, 10 months ago

What would have this year's KU team finished in the ACC? .500? Maybe?

That league is brutal but Danny will figure it out. They'll finish above .500 in the conference, land a 5 or 6 in the tournament, win the first-round game and have a shot at the second weekend. Then John Currie will know what it's like to be in the same room as greatness.

Danny has always managed himself with such class and grace. If the timing were better, and his record was stronger, he'd absolutely be the guy I'd like to have come in and clean up the cesspool now known as KU basketball.

Dane Pratt 2 years, 10 months ago

.500, are you serious? Even in a year where everything that could have gone wrong did I'm pretty sure we could do better than .500.

Marius Rowlanski 2 years, 10 months ago

Danny has indeed manage himself with class and grace but those qualities will not make a great coach.

Brett McCabe 2 years, 10 months ago

I guess it's how you define great coach. If you define it by parading a bunch of single-semester failures in front of sold-out crowds so that you can consistently lose in the tournament, or get curb-stomped two years in a row, then you've got your guy. I don't consider that great coaching. I consider it an abomination. Tomato/Tomahto I suppose.

Jay Scott 2 years, 10 months ago

BM... You hate everything anyway. Your life must be a huge failure to make you that bitter.

Marius Rowlanski 2 years, 10 months ago

Funny but I've never heard that definition for a great coach. If that's you, go for it. Tomato Soup?

I'll stick w/the simple. Wins, titles, min distractions.

Marius Rowlanski 2 years, 10 months ago

TOMATO is spelled the same despite pronunciation.

Bret Eckert 2 years, 10 months ago

McCabe. You need to take a break from Posting. Your trash talking has dipped to a new and terrible low. Your posts are tired and usually without merit. Take a break please.

Mallory Briggans 2 years, 10 months ago

Now that the Jayhawks are out of the tournament my interest fades .I will only watch a game if Duke or Kentucky are losing or about to lose . If Duke and Kentucky are gone Im more than happy ........more than happy ..

Dirk Medema 2 years, 9 months ago

The E8 played out almost perfectly. Only blem was Purdue losing, but Duke and UK losing more than makes up for it.

For all the "Best recruiting class" storyline drool-fest over and over year after year, they each only have 1 NC in this current 1-n-done super-class recruiting paradigm IIRC. I heard 1 reporter say that the longer Zion was in the Madness, the better it was for the NCAA and NBA. I say nonsense, and them missing the FF again is the best thing that could have happened to CBB.

Dirk Medema 2 years, 9 months ago

The huge possible positive in Danny's favor for next year is that he's still in the running for Cole Anthony. Best PG in the class could instantly turn their record around, and it only takes a class/season to change the perception for future recruits.

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