East Tennessee State coach Steve Forbes reached an agreement in principle to become Wake Forest’s next basketball coach, a source told CBS Sports on Thursday morning. A few hours later, the school announced Forbes, 50, would replace former Demon Deacons coach Danny Manning, who was fired last week after six seasons.
Forbes spent the past five seasons at ETSU where he compiled a record of 130-43, won two Southern Conference titles, never finished worse than third in his league, and secured automatic bids to the NCAA Tournament twice. His relationship with Wake Forest Athletic Director John Currie was beneficial in the process, a source told CBS Sports. Currie was an administrator at Tennessee in the 2000s while Forbes was an assistant for the Vols on Bruce Pearl’s staff.
Forbes previously served as an assistant coach at Louisiana Tech, Illinois State, Texas A&M, Tennessee and Wichita State. His other head coaching experience outside ETSU came at the junior college level, where most recently he led Northwest Florida State to a 62-6 record from 2011-2013. After that stint, he joined Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall’s staff on a team that went 35-1 and clinched a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament in the 2013-14 season.
Wake Forest has a proud basketball history that has withered in recent years, with just eight NCAA Tournament appearances since 2000 and only two the last decade. Its last winning season came in 2016-17 — Manning’s third season. It was the only season in which the Demon Deacons finished above .500 under his watch.
CBS Sports writer Kyle Boone contributed to this report