The timing couldn't have been worse. On Nov. 25, 2017, Wake Forest was 2-4 three weeks into the 2017-18 season with losses to Georgia Southern, Liberty, and Drake. On that day, then-athletics director Ron Wellman announced a contract extension for fourth-year head coach Danny Manning.
"Danny is attracting highly-rated and quality young men to our program and he has proven his ability to develop that talent," Wellman said in a statement. "Our program will continue to improve and we will realize the lofty goals that we have for the program."
While Manning did lead Wake Forest to the First Four eight months earlier and their first 19-win season in seven years, he was now just 45-57 as head coach, though that didn't prevent Wellman from gifting a fully guaranteed deal that reportedly ran through the 2025 season.
This week on the High Motor podcast, Conor O'Neill of the Winston-Salem Journal discussed Manning's reported contract, including a gigantic buyout figure, and potential replacements if current athletics director John Currie were to fire Manning.