Danny Manning named Wake Forest coach, ending rumors connecting Xavier's Chris Mack to job

Fans of the Xavier University men's basketball teams are saying thank you to Danny Manning.

It was announced Friday morning that the former Kansas Jayhawk and NBA star is taking the head coaching job at Wake Forest, ending speculation that Xavier coach Chris Mack was a favorite for the job.

In the two weeks since former Demon Deacons coach Jeff Bzdelik resigned, rumors surfaced that Mack was considered a leading candidate for the ACC gig.

Gary Parrish with CBSSports.com wrote March 24 that the 44-year-old Xavier grad had "emerged as a legitimate candidate to replace Jeff Bzdelik at Wake Forest, multiple sources told CBSSports.com on Monday."

Mack, who has made four NCAA Tournaments (two Sweet 16s) in five seasons leading the Muskies, was an assistant at Wake Forest from 2001 to 2004 under Skip Prosser. Prosser first hired Mack to serve on his staff in 1999 while he was still the coach at Xavier.

Parrish wrote that the relationships Mack made while in Winston-Salem, N.C., left a lasting impression on those associated with the Demon Deacon basketball program. 

Sources told CBSSports.com that "some of those boosters are now endorsing the candidacy of Mack, who is widely viewed as one of the top young coaches in college basketball."

"He is being targeted for sure," one source told CBSSports.com.

Neither Mack nor Wake Forest athletic director Ron Wellman publicly commented on the matter.

Manning attended high school in nearby Greensboro before becoming an All-American at Kansas, leading the Jayhawks to the 1988 national championship and playing 15 years in the NBA.

He was 38-29 with two postseason berths in two seasons at Tulsa.

Wake Forest said it will hold a news conference next week on its campus.

Both Wellman — who also chairs the NCAA tournament selection committee — and Manning are in North Texas for the Final Four.

This report contains information from the Associated Press.

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