New North Carolina head coach Hubert Davis announced his staff, including assistant coaches.
Holdovers from Roy Williams’ final staff include Brad Frederick, will return for his ninth year on the basketball staff and fifth as assistant coach.
“I am absolutely thrilled to continue coaching at Carolina and have the opportunity to work for Coach Davis,” said Frederick. “I have had the pleasure of working beside him the last eight years and know he is going to do an amazing job leading this program. His passion for the University, this basketball program, and these players shines through every day. Being in a recruit’s home with Hubert and hearing him talk about how special Carolina is truly inspiring.”
Eric Hoots, assistant to the athletic director for men’s basketball and now director of basketball operations, Jonas Sahratian, director of strength and conditioning, and Doug Halverson, head athletic trainer, will also remain on staff.
Davis did not retain Steve Robinson as assistant coach. Filling that role and the one formerly filled by Davis will be former Tar Heel players Sean May and Jeff Lebo.
This will mark the first time the UNC men’s basketball head coach and all three primary assistant coaches are former Tar Heel players (it’s the second time the three assistant coaches were former UNC players with Phil Ford, Dave Hanners and Pat Sullivan serving under head coach Bill Guthridge from 1997-2000).
Jackie Manuel was also hired as director of player and team development, the role vacated by May.
“I wanted a staff that went to North Carolina and played at North Carolina,” says Davis. “I think you have a great opportunity to do this job well if you’ve experienced it as a player. It’s not the only way, of course, but given there are so many former players who are coaching, it’s a great way to build my first staff as the head coach. It was important for each of the assistants to have a connection with Coach Smith, Coach Guthridge, Coach Doherty and Coach Williams. It connects each of the former head coaches’ personalities to our current team, which was a huge incentive for me in constructing this staff. Carolina Basketball is all of them and I wanted a staff that had that diversity of experiences to give the most to our players.
“Jeff, Sean, Brad and Jackie all played for one or more of them and Hoots has been on the UNC staff for 20 years. Each of the coaches and Jackie have played, coached or worked in college basketball for a long time, but they connect with today’s generation of players, as well. And that’s critically important, too,” he said. “They’ve been part of national championships, ACC championships and the greatest rivalries in college basketball and are well positioned to recruit the type players who will thrive academically and athletically at Carolina, help us win at the highest level and hopefully go on to great things in basketball and life.
“I also want to thank Steve Robinson and Kendall Marshall, who will not be moving forward with us, for everything they have done for Carolina Basketball,” says Davis. “Coach Rob came to Chapel Hill with Coach Williams and was a huge part of every Tar Heel win and national championship over these past 18 years. I deeply appreciate everything he has done to help me grow as a coach and a person over the nine years we spent together on the staff. I didn’t get a chance to coach Kendall, who is one of our greatest point guards, but am proud that he came back to finish his degree and begin his coaching journey at Carolina. I wish Kendall and Steve nothing but great days ahead.”
“The University of North Carolina means everything to me,” said May. “I played here, I won a championship here, it’s where I decided to earn the other side of basketball when I joined Coach Williams’ staff six years ago. Now I have an opportunity to do what I am passionate about, which is teach the game of basketball and help our players have what my coaches brought to me – an unbelievable experience. I am really fortunate to have an opportunity to do that at the place I love. Coach Davis has been a role model and mentor for me for a long time. I’m excited to go down this path with Hubert and support his vision of where Carolina Basketball goes forward. He has an unbelievable knowledge of the game, an amazing work ethic and knows how he wants the program to run. He’s played and worked here and knows what it takes to be successful.”
Lebo is a former head coach at East Carolina, Auburn, Chattanooga and Tennessee Tech.
“It was exciting for me to hear from Hubert when he got the job,” says Lebo. “I’m so happy for him and happy for Carolina Basketball, because other than maybe Coach Williams, we got a guy who loves Carolina as much as anyone in the whole world and is someone who is ready to take us to the next level. I played with Hubert, I’ve been coaching a long time, and the chance to come back to Chapel Hill and coach with Hubert, and have my son, Creighton, playing here as a walk-on, is a dream come true for me.
Manuel was previously Director of Player Personnel, Development and Recruiting Operations for the women’s team. He’s previously served as an assistant at UNC-Greensboro, Valparaiso and UNC-Wilmington.
“This is home, a place where I grew up and became a man,” said Manuel. “It’s an opportunity for things to come full circle for me. I always dreamt about working at UNC when I got into coaching. I love Hubert. There’s always been something about his spirit from the first time I met him many years ago when I was a player. I look up to him because of his character and as a man of faith. He represents all of the things I believe in as a leader.”