Report: Steve Forbes Expected to Be Wake Forest HC, Will Replace Danny Manning

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistApril 30, 2020

CHAMPAIGN, ILLINOIS - DECEMBER 15: Head coach Steve Forbes of the East Tennessee State Buccaneers watches his team in the game against the Illinois Fighting Illini at State Farm Center on December 15, 2018 in Champaign, Illinois. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)
Justin Casterline/Getty Images

East Tennessee State head basketball coach Steve Forbes is reportedly leaving the school to accept the same position at Wake Forest.

Jeff Goodman of Stadium reported Thursday that Forbes will be the Demon Deacons' choice to replace Danny Manning, who was fired Saturday after six seasons, "barring a collapse in negotiations."

"After a comprehensive review of the men's basketball program, and with the support of president [Nathan] Hatch and university leadership, I have determined that it is time for a change in our head coaching position," athletic director John Currie said in a statement Saturday.

Currie previously crossed paths with Forbes when he was the executive associate athletic director at Tennessee and Forbes was an assistant on the Volunteers' coaching staff.

The 55-year-old Iowa native led East Tennessee State to a 30-4 record in 2019-20 with regular-season and postseason championships in the Southern Conference. The Buccaneers would have represented the SoCon in the 2020 NCAA tournament, but it was canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Forbes received the 2020 Hugh Durham Award as the top mid-major coach in the country.

"My mom asked me who voted on it, and I said one person," Forbes jokingly told Joe Avento of the Johnson City Press. "Seriously, any time you get those kind of awards, it's a reflection of your players and staff. I'm very honored to receive something like that, as honored as I am to coach these players and work with the guys I work with. Everybody shares in that."

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The Southern Arkansas University product served as head coach at Southwestern Community College in Iowa, Barton County Community College in Kansas and Northwest Florida State College during a coaching career that started in 1989 and has included numerous stops as an assistant.

He's led the East Tennessee State program since March 2015.

Forbes guided the Bucs to a 130-43 record (.751 winning percentage) with two NCAA tournament berths across five years. They lost to Florida as a No. 13 seed in the first round of the 2017 Big Dance.

He'll take over from Manning, who only generated one winning season in six years at Wake and finished his tenure with a 78-111 mark.