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Report: Wake Forest to hire Steve Forbes as new men’s basketball coach

The much-traveled and two-time SoCon champion coach gets his shot in the ACC.

Steve Forbes, head coach East Tennessee State University (ETSU) Buccaneers as the points roll up in the 72-58 win over the Wofford College Terriers in the Southern Conference (SoCon) Championship, Monday, March 9, 2020, at Harrah’s Cherokee Center in Asheville, North Carolina. Photo by David Allio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Wake Forest University is set to hire East Tennessee State coach Steve Forbes as head coach of the Demon Deacons men’s basketball team this afternoon, according to a report from Demon Deacon Digest at 247Sports

Forbes compiled a 130-43 record in five seasons in Johnson City, winning the Southern Conference regular season twice, and the conference tournament twice. The Buccaneers were 30-4 this season, won both conference championships, and were set to play in the NCAA Tournament before it was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Forbes replaces Danny Manning, who was let go after six seasons with a record of 78-111. Wake Forest athletic director John Currie and Forbes both worked together at Tennessee when Forbes was an assistant to Bruce Pearl in Knoxville.

For one of the most well-liked and respected coaches in college basketball, it’s a tremendous job opportunity. He’ll return some veterans including Olivier Sarr (13.7 points, 9.0 rebounds per game), and could potentially lure back Chaundee Brown (12.1 points, 6.5 rebounds) back for his senior year. Brown currently has his name in the transfer portal.

This will be a very well-received hire in Winston-Salem, and should inject some life into a program that needs a shot in the arm. And for a coach that began his career at Southwestern Community College in Iowa in 1989, it’s a deserved chance to reach the pinnacle of college basketball.