Wake Forest retaining Manning as head coach

Amid rumors of a potential parting of ways, Wake Forest announced that head coach Danny Manning will return to the Demon Deacons next season.

Manning has a guaranteed contract through 2025, sources told ESPN, with a significant buyout.

"Following the season, Danny and I had an extensive series of meetings to discuss the future of the program," athletic director Ron Wellman said in a news release. "We were in agreement that this past season did not approach the expectations either of us has for Wake Forest basketball. Our discussion focused on the steps that are needed to ensure that our team is highly competitive on the court next season. I expect that Danny will take the steps needed to show improvement on the court next season while continuing to lead our student-athletes to represent Wake Forest positively in the classroom and in the community."

Wellman, who is retiring May 1 and being replaced by John Currie, signed Manning to a long-term contract near the start of the 2017-18 season. The Demon Deacons went to the NCAA tournament the season prior. Manning and Wake Forest have struggled since the tourney trip in 2017, finishing 11-20 in each of the past two seasons, going 4-14 in the ACC in both 2018 and 2019.

Overall, Manning is 65-93 in five seasons at the school.

"I am excited about the future of our program," Manning said in the news release. "Even though it took longer than we wanted, I believe we have the foundation for future success. We didn't have the record we wanted last season, but our team showed its potential, especially toward the end of the season. This group of players kept fighting and improved throughout the year. With our returning players, our transfers who will become eligible next season and our incoming recruiting class, I believe that this team will have the ability, desire and chemistry to take a step forward next season."

Manning, a former star at Kansas in the late 1980s, was hired by Wake Forest after two seasons as the head coach at Tulsa. Manning took the Golden Hurricane to the NCAA tournament in 2014, and was then hired to replace Jeff Bzdelik at Wake Forest.

Manning is best-known for leading Kansas to the NCAA championship in 1988. He was the No. 1 overall pick in the 1988 NBA draft and played 15 seasons in the NBA, but dealt with numerous knee injuries. Manning returned to Kansas as director of student-athlete development in 2003 before being promoted to assistant coach in 2007.