University of Kansas

Former KU guard Rex Walters joins Danny Manning’s coaching staff at Wake Forest

Wake Forest coach Danny Manning talks about building experience

Wake Forest basketball coach talks about his teams lack of experience throughout the season and the improvement of his young players. Wake fell to Miami in the first round of the ACC Tournament Tuesday, March 12, 2019.
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Wake Forest basketball coach talks about his teams lack of experience throughout the season and the improvement of his young players. Wake fell to Miami in the first round of the ACC Tournament Tuesday, March 12, 2019.

Former Kansas basketball guard Rex Walters has been hired as associate head coach at Wake Forest, Demon Deacons coach Danny Manning announced Monday.

Walters, 49, spent last season as special assistant to head coach Eric Musselman at Nevada. Musselman is the new head coach at Arkansas.

“I am excited to have Rex join our coaching staff,” Manning, a former All-American at KU, said Monday. “He has tremendous experience as a collegiate head coach and as an assistant coach in the NBA. Rex is widely respected as a great X-and-Os coach and the impact he made at Nevada last season, especially on the defensive side of the ball, was phenomenal. I know our players are going to enjoy learning from his years of experience, both as a player and as a coach,” Manning added.

Walters has been a head coach in college at San Francisco (2009-16) and Florida Atlantic (2007-08). He was head coach of the NBA G League’s Grand Rapids Drive in 2016-17. In 2017-18 he served as assistant coach with the NBA’s Detroit Pistons.

“First and foremost, I am excited about working for Danny Manning,” 1993 KU grad Walters said Monday. Manning is a 1988 KU graduate.

“Coach Manning is someone that I have the utmost amount of respect for. Any recruit who has aspirations of being a great man, a great student and a great basketball player will not find a better example of these three qualities than Danny Manning. I am looking forward to recruiting and coaching the young men in this program and will have fun working alongside a staff of Randolph Childress, Steve Woodberry, Ernie Nestor and Justin Bauman,” Walters added.

Woodberry is a former KU player and Bauman a former KU manager.

“The opportunity to work at such the great academic institution like Wake Forest has a special appeal to me,” Walters said. “I’ve always enjoyed recruiting true student-athletes and I know it’s going to be easy to talk about all that Wake Forest has to offer our future Demon Deacons. Finally, the opportunity for my family to experience the Wake Forest community and the city of Winston-Salem gives me such peace of mind, knowing that my wife and kids will be around great people. I am very blessed to be working at Wake Forest and will work my tail off to make all Demon Deacons proud.”

Walters played professionally 10 seasons, including seven in the NBA with the New Jersey Nets, Philadelphia 76ers and Miami Heat. During his playing career, Walters played for three coaches enshrined in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame: Roy Williams (KU), Chuck Daly (New Jersey Nets) and Pat Riley (Miami Heat).

Walters, who recently talked to officials at UMKC and Stetson about those school’s head coaching vacancies, will officially join the Wake Forest coaching staff on May 20.

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