As Kansas prepares to play Ohio State on Saturday for a spot in the national championship game against either Louisville or Kentucky, one of Bill Self’s top assistants has landed a new gig. Danny Manning has agreed to become Tulsa’s head coach but he will remain on Kansas’ staff until the conclusion of the Final Four this weekend.
The move will be a tough one for Manning only because he’s so well connected to Kansas. Manning is the program’s all-time leading scorer and rebounder, he remains ninth on the NCAA’s career scoring list with 2,951 points. Manning was a consensus All-American in 1987 and ’88, and led the Jayhawks — the team coined “Danny and the Miracles” — to the 1988 NCAA championship, according to College Basketball Reference.
Manning is known media shy, has earned a reputation as a solid recruiter and one of the elite coaches of big men. Under his tutelage, Thomas Robinson went from backup forward to a first-team All-American, and Jeff Withey from the bench to one of the Big 12′s top defenders.
Manning has also worked with future NBA players Wayne Simien, Julian Wright, Darrell Arthur, Darnell Jackson, Cole Aldrich, Marcus Morris and Markieff Morris.
“I’m excited and looking forward to being the head basketball coach at The University of Tulsa,” Manning said. “I’d also like to thank coach Self for giving me the chance to be a part of his staff for the past nine years. I have learned a tremendous amount about the game and the profession from him and all of the members of his staff.” – Danny Manning
Danny Manning wasn’t the only one to land a new coaching gig. Ohio University’s John Groce has left the school to become the head coach of the University of Illinois. Groce takes over for Bruce Weber who was fired prior to the start of the tournament. Groce is fresh off of taking the Ohio Bobcats to the Sweet 16 and nearly defeating the North Carolina Tar Heels only to lose in overtime.
Groce arrived at Ohio after being an Ohio State assistant coach from 2004-2008. With the Buckeyes, he developed a reputation as an elite recruiter as he helped sway Greg Oden and Mike Conley Jr. to Ohio State.
Groce was also previously an assistant at Xavier from 2001-2004, at Butler from 2000-2001, North Carolina State from 1996-2000 and Taylor (Ind.) University from 1993-1996. Groce has recruited the state of Illinois before. At Ohio, he signed Bobcats current starting point guard D.J. Cooper from Seton Academy in South Holland, a Chicago suburb, and former Ohio player James Kinney from Champaign Centennial.
Groce or Illinois will have to pay Ohio $200,000 for terminating his contract early. He signed a contract extension in April of 2010 that took him through the 2014-2015 season.