Danny Manning named Assistant Basketball Coach at Colorado

Former collegiate National Player of the Year, NCAA champion, NBA All-Star and long-time basketball coach Danny Manning has been named an assistant men’s basketball coach at the University of Colorado, head coach Tad Boyle announced on Tuesday.

Manning, who replaces Rick Ray on Boyle’s staff, joins the Buffaloes with 18 years of collegiate coaching experience on top of being one of the elite basketball players in the world for the last two decades of the 20th century. He will officially begin his duties on June 1.

“I’m very excited to join coach Boyle’s staff,” Manning said. “This staff has been together for quite some time and has had quite a bit of success, so I want to come in and be a sponge; learn from them, the things they’ve been doing to be successful and just try and add little nuggets that I can along the way in terms of my experience as a player and a coach.

“I’d like to thank (athletic director) Rick George and the administration for giving me this opportunity. I’m looking forward to being part of the Buffalo culture and can’t wait to get to Boulder.”

Most recently, Manning spent two seasons as the associate head coach at Louisville (2022-24). He has nine years of experience as a head coach at the NCAA Division I level with two seasons at Tulsa (2012-14), six at Wake Forest (2014-20) and a portion of the 2021-22 campaign as the interim head coach at Maryland, where he was initially an assistant before taking over for Mark Turgeon who stepped down mid-season.

His six-year run at Wake Forest was highlighted by an NCAA First Four appearance during his third season in 2016-17 as the Demon Deacons finished with a 19-14 record advancing to postseason play for the first time in seven seasons. Manning was the recipient of the 2017 Skip Prosser Man of the Year Award, presented to the nation’s top coach who had success on the court and showed moral integrity off of it.

He mentored 14 future professional basketball players at Wake Forest including All-American John Collins, selected by the Atlanta Hawks with the 19th pick of the 2017 NBA Draft.  Manning saw 29 players accumulate 3.0 GPAs at Wake Forest with 16 making the Dean’s List.

“He’s going to help us on a lot of different levels,” Boyle said. “Danny brings the ability to connect with young people, being able to mentor them and let them know what they heed to do to get better but also what they need to do to achieve their ultimate goal, which is to be a professional basketball player, which a lot of our players aspire to be. His ability to recruit and connect with families is there as well.”

 At Tulsa, Manning had a two-year record of 38-29, winning Conference USA Coach of the Year honors in 2013-14, as he guided the Golden Hurricane to a league championship and the program’s first NCAA Tournament appearance in 11 years. He was the finalist for the Jim Phelan Award, given to the nation’s top coach, and the Ben Jobe Award, for the nation’s top minority coach.

Manning began his coaching career at his alma mater, Kansas. He was part of Bill Self’s original staff in 2003 as the director of student-athlete development/team manager. He was elevated to an assistant coach in 2007, helping the Jayhawks to the 2008 NCAA championship. Manning remained in Lawrence through the 2011-12 season, helping Kansas to a spot in the 2012 Final Four and advancing to the championship game.

The first pick of the 1988 NBA Draft by the Los Angeles Clippers, Manning had a 15-year NBA career, playing for seven different teams. He was a two-time NBA All-Star and won the league’s Sixth Man of the Year Award with the Phoenix Suns in 1998. He averaged 14.0 points, 5.2 rebounds and 2.3 assists while shooting 51.1 percent from the field over 883 career games.

A native of Hattiesburg, Miss., Manning had a storied playing career at Kansas from 1984-88. He led the Jayhawks – known as “Danny and the Miracles” – to the 1988 NCAA championship and was the 1988 NCAA Final Four Most Outstanding Player. He was the consensus National Player of the Year in 1988, a two-time All-American (1987, ’88) and three-time Big Eight Conference Player of the Year (1986-88).

Manning, whose No. 25 jersey at Kansas is retired, is the program’s all-time leader in points (2,951) and rebounds (1,187). He was inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame in 2008

Manning and Boyle were teammates at Kansas in 1984-85 when Boyle was a senior and Manning a freshman. The former teammates have shared the bench once before, as assistant coaches for USA Basketball’s 2017 U19 World Cup team.

“Coach Manning and I go back a long way in terms of our relationship as players back in 1985 when we were teammates at Kansas,” Boyle said. “Obviously we know each other from those days, but having a guy like Danny on staff with his accomplishments as a player – 15 years in the NBA, the No. 1 draft pick in 1988 – as well as his numerous coaching stops at the Division I level where he’s been extremely successful. I’m excited to add him to the staff. He’s not only a great coach, but he’s a great human being and he’s going to do nothing but help Colorado basketball.”


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