Danny Manning grew up watching Wake Forest play games at the Greensboro Coliseum, memories that linger in his mind all these years later.
He never thought one day he would coach the Demon Deacons.
Manning, the former Kansas standout who spent the past two seasons coaching Tulsa, was hired Friday as the Wake Forest men’s coach. He will be introduced at a news conference next week on campus in Winston-Salem, N.C., a short drive from where Manning grew up.
“I spent a lot of my formative childhood years in North Carolina,” Manning told The Associated Press on Friday at AT&T Stadium.
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“I spent the majority of my life in Kansas,” the 47-year-old Manning said, “but this was a chance to be a part of a university that I share the same values and history with.”
His hiring ends Wake Forest’s two-week search for a replacement for Jeff Bzdelik, who resigned under intense public pressure after four mostly unremarkable seasons.
Manning, who was 38-29 at Tulsa, interviewed this week and toured the campus in Winston-Salem on Wednesday before taking the job two days later.
“There have been very few players who have had as much success on the court as Danny,” Wake Forest athletic director Ron Wellman said in a statement.
“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.”
After his “Danny and the Miracles” Kansas team won the NCAA title, Manning was drafted first overall by the Los Angeles Clippers in 1988. He made two NBA All-Star teams during a career hindered by injuries before joining coach Bill Self’s staff at Kansas in 2003. Responsible primarily for working with post players, Manning was promoted to assistant coach in 2006.
Self called Manning “one of the most accomplished, humble people you’ll ever meet.”
Bzdelik went 51-76, with a 17-51 record in Atlantic Coast Conference play. Eight players transferred out during his tenure.
• Creighton senior forward Doug McDermott keeps picking up awards.
On Friday, McDermott won the Wooden Award, given to the nation’s top player as selected by the Los Angeles Athletic Club.
Earlier in the day, McDermott was named player of the year by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association. The 6-foot-8 McDermott was selected The Associated Press player of the year on Thursday.
• Tyler Lewis, a North Carolina State sophomore point guard, said he is transferring to Butler. Lewis said he also considered the possibility of transferring to one of five other schools, including Gonzaga.
• Jerrelle Benimon of Towson and Dwayne Evans of Saint Louis scored 15 points apiece to lead the East team over the West 87-75 in the annual All-Star game presented by the National Association of Basketball Coaches.
The game was played at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, site of the Final Four.
Mark Turgeon of Maryland coached the East team and Johnny Dawkins of Stanford guided the West.
Davion Berry of Weber State had 15 points to lead the West. Gonzaga’s Sam Dower Jr. added six points and eight rebounds in 24 minutes.