After successfully turning around the University of Tulsa's men's basketball team, it looks as though Danny Manning will attempt to do the same at Wake Forest.
According to ESPN's Jeff Goodman, sources are reporting that Manning has agreed to become the Demon Deacons' next head coach:
Wake Forest has hired Tulsa coach Danny Manning, sources told ESPN. Story coming.— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) April 4, 2014
The school confirmed the hire later on Friday, per Wake's official website:
Danny Manning, one of the most accomplished college basketball players in the history of the sport, has been named the head coach at Wake Forest University. Athletics Director Ron Wellman made the announcement today.
"We are very pleased to welcome Danny Manning to Wake Forest," said Wellman. "There have been very few players who have had as much success on the court as Danny. He has played for and worked under a number of legendary coaches and he has been successful in his coaching career. We fully expect that Danny's coaching career will reflect the excellence of his playing career."
"A legendary player, Danny Manning has always been a great student of the game of basketball," said Wake Forest University President Dr. Nathan Hatch. "Today, he is a great teacher of the game. I look forward to watching him mentor our players and build a championship basketball program at Wake Forest."
"I am excited about the opportunity to be a part of the history and tradition of Wake Forest," said Manning. "I am extremely humbled by this honor and look forward to being the head coach and competing for championships both on and off the court."
Manning served as an assistant coach at the University of Kansas from 2006 through 2012 before being hired by Tulsa prior to the 2012-13 campaign.
The Golden Hurricane hadn't reached the NCAA tournament in a decade when Manning took the reins, but he immediately sent them in the right direction. Tulsa went 17-16 in 2012-13 and managed to reach the CBI. The true leap forward came this season, however.
Manning led Tulsa to a 21-13 overall record including a 13-3 mark in Conference USA. In winning the conference tournament, Tulsa's NCAA tournament drought finally came to an end.
Tulsa fell to UCLA in the round of 64 as a No. 13 seed, but there was plenty of excitement surrounding the future of the program after such a strong effort.
According to Bill Haisten of the Tulsa World, Manning seemed to share those sentiments at the conclusion of the season.
"I enjoy being the head coach at the University of Tulsa. Yes, I'm happy," Manning said. "I'm in a situation where we've been here for two years. We're building and things are moving in the right direction."
Despite that, the allure of an ACC head coaching job proved to be too much for Manning to ignore. Wake Forest hasn't made the NCAA tournament field since the 2009-10 season, but it is a storied program that has produced NBA stars such as Chris Paul and Tim Duncan.
Is Danny Manning a good hire for Wake Forest?
Manning proved capable of changing the identity of a program in short order at Tulsa, so there is little doubt that he is a perfect fit for the Demon Deacons.
Not only has Manning already gotten the job done as a collegiate head coach, but he was also a legendary college player at Kansas as well as a two-time NBA All-Star. That is the type of resume that his players can't help but respect.
Bringing Wake Forest back to prominence won't be easy, especially since the ACC is deeper than ever with the inclusion of Syracuse and Pittsburgh.
Manning needs to be given some time to install his system and bring in his own players, however, the 47-year-old coach has all the tools necessary to be successful.
This is obviously a major blow for Tulsa, but this is an opportunity that Manning had to take advantage of. He left Tulsa better off than it was before he came in, and that is ultimately the hallmark of a great coach.
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