APRIL 27: Wake Forest is moving forward with its head coaching search and has identified at least five potential candidates, according to Evan Daniels of 247Sports.com, who hears from multiple sources that Beilein is not a candidate (Twitter links).
APRIL 25: Wake Forest announced the dismissal of head coach Danny Manning earlier today, and former Cavaliers coach John Beilein has emerged on the rumor mill as a popular candidate to take over the program.
Beilein’s transition to the NBA didn’t go as planned after decades of success at the college level, particularly at Michigan, where he turned the Wolverines into one of the best programs in the nation. Beilein compiled a 14-40 record in Cleveland and experienced frequent problems relating to players before resigning in February.
He was reassigned to another job with the organization and still has a five-year contract with the team, but the Cavs are considered very likely to let him go if he gets another NCAA opportunity.
The Demon Deacons need a quick turnaround, writes Jeff Borzello of ESPN. Wake Forest never able to post a .500 record in the ACC under Manning and finished 12th or worse in the conference in five of his six seasons. He leaves the school with an overall record of 78-111.
The need for a big-name replacement makes Beilein the best available candidate, according to Mike DeCourcy of The Sporting News. Beilein would bring instant respect to the program, DeCourcy contends, and he could once again team up with his son, Patrick, who was hired at Niagara last year but resigned before the season began.
However, in his ratings of the top candidates, Borzello doesn’t see Wake Forest as the best situation for Beilein. He notes that Beilein may not want to step into a rebuilding situation at age 67, and the university may not be able to meet his salary demands after reaching a buyout agreement with Manning. Beilein made $4MM with the Cavaliers this season and $2.5MM during his final year at Michigan.