Lone Tree native Steve Forbes was named the head men’s basketball coach at Wake Forest on April 30.
Wake Forest Director of Athletics John Currie made the announcement making Forbes the 23rd head men’s basketball coach in Demon Deacon history.
A 30-year coaching veteran, Forbes has a reputation for building championship cultures with a 260-77 (.722) overall record in his five years as the head coach at East Tennessee State and at three previous community college head coaching stints.
East Tennessee won 130 games and two Southern Conference championships during his tenure, while all 22 of his seniors earned their college degrees. Forbes joined elite company in 2018-19, becoming one of just 10 active Division I head coaches who have reached the 100-win mark in their first four seasons.
“I’m extremely excited for the opportunity to be the head men’s basketball coach at Wake Forest University,” Forbes said. “I’m very appreciative of President Nathan Hatch and Director of Athletics John Currie for giving me the opportunity to work with a terrific group of young men.”
Forbes said Wake Forest presents an opportunity to be a part of “a special brand” while competing for championships.
“My highest priority is spending time and developing relationships with our current student-athletes, alumni and the young men who will make up the future of Demon Deacon basketball,” Forbes said.
“Coach Forbes has an incredible track record of success, matched only by his reputation for building strong and lasting relationships,” Currie said. “He operates with a high level of intensity and is not only an effective coach on the floor, but a great recruiter as well.”
Currie’s search began April 25.
Forbes won at least 24 games in each of his five seasons as the head coach for the Buccaneers while finishing third or better in the Southern Conference every year.
During the 2019-20 season, Eastern Tennessee was having its best season in program history before the cancellation of the NCAA Tournament. The Bucs finished with a 30-4 record and Southern Conference regular season and tournament titles.
Forbes earned conference coach of the year along with the Hugh Durham Award, given to the most outstanding mid-major coach in the country.
A native of Lone Tree, Forbes graduated from Southern Arkansas University with a degree in secondary education in 1988. A former baseball student-athlete for the Muleriders, Forbes spent one year at his alma mater as the sports information director before embarking on a coaching career.
Forbes and his wife, Johnetta, have three children, Elizabeth, Christopher and Johnathon.