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Possible Assistant Coach Replacements

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There are many different paths Coach Manning could take.

NCAA Basketball: Washington at UCLA Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

With the news today that former assistant Brett Ballard has accepted the head coaching job at Washburn University there is an open spot on the Wake Forest coaching staff.

There are a few different directions a head coach can go when an assistant coach leaves:

  1. Promote the Director of Basketball Operations, or somebody else currently on the staff.
  2. If the head coach has a large coaching tree then hire from within that tree. If not, find other assistants that he has worked with when he was an assistant.
  3. Find an experienced head coach in-between jobs to be the “associate” head coach.
  4. Hire a high school coach or parent of a 5 star player.

Here are my really early guesses as to who Wake Forest could/should target to fill the final spot based on the above criteria.

Justin Bauman

As mentioned above, Bauman is currently the Director of Basketball Operations for Wake Forest. He is familiar with how Manning likes to run things, and also has a Kansas background. This would be the obvious hire if Manning doesn’t want to drastically shake things up.

Keith Gatlin

This might be my personal favorite. Gatlin is currently the head coach at Wesleyan Christian Academy, probably best known for the school that produced current Wake player Brandon Childress, as well as a guy who flamed out in college. Wake is currently recruiting Jaylen Hoard and Aaron Wiggins out of WCA, and this would likely give the Deacs the inside track to two really good 2018 players.

Craig Dawson

The former Wake Forest sharpshooter is currently the head coach at Woodberry Forest. He is also the Assistant Director of Admissions there as well. This would make sense because he is familiar with the history of Wake Forest and would be a good face to recruit to the campus.

Bobby Lutz

This was originally going to be a joke, but the former Charlotte head coach, and assistant for N.C. State would be a great fit as far as experience goes. He could help manage the in-game situations and provide guidance for Danny Manning as he continues to develop in coaching.

Joe Dooley

Dooley may actually be hired as the head coach of New Mexico to replace Craig Neal pretty soon, but if not I wouldn’t mind seeing him spend a year at Wake Forest. Dooley is currently the head coach at Florida Gulf Coast University, but was in reports last year to become a lead assistant to Mark Gottfried at N.C. State. He has a lot of the pros that Lutz has.

A.W. Hamilton

Hamilton is currently the head coach at Hargrave Military Academy (Codi Miller-McIntyre, Andre Washington). He played for Wake Forest in the early 2000’s, and has been an active and vocal supporter on Twitter of the program. Would be a good start for him in the collegiate assistant coaching game if he wants to make that change.

Lorenzo Romar

Romar was recently fired as the head coach of Washington, but not before a lot of success out there. He recruited Markelle Fultz there last year, and had Michael Porter, Jr. coming in this season. If he was hired then he would provide experience on the staff, an inside track to some of the guys that were recruited to Washington already, and a known commodity in the recruiting world.

Lavar Ball

Now this would be a great hire. He has two sons who will enter college soon coming from the pipeline at Chino Hills and he could finally be the coach that he has wanted to be for several years. I think his outspoken tone and brash nature would mesh well with our boisterous and aggressive fanbase.