North Carolina men’s basketball coach Hubert Davis announced his staff hires Thursday and, as he mentioned at his introductory press conference, they all played for the Tar Heels.
Jeff Lebo, a former point guard who played from 1985-89, will be an assistant coach. Lebo brings 20 years of head coaching experience from his stops including Auburn and last at East Carolina before he stepped down in 2018.
Sean May, the Final Four’s Most Outstanding Player from the Heels’ 2005 national title team, makes the transition from being director of basketball operations last season under Roy Williams to an assistant coach.
Brad Fredrick is the lone remaining assistant coach who was on Williams’ staff. Fredrick played for the Heels from 1996-99 and has been on the bench the past eight seasons including the last five as an assistant coach.
It’s the first time since Phil Ford, Dave Hanners and Pat Sullivan were assistants under Bill Guthridge from 1997-2000 that all three assistant coaches were former UNC players.
“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,” Davis said in a statement. “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.”
Eric Hoots elevated to director of basketball operations while director of strength and conditioning Jonas Sahratian and head athletic trainer Doug Halverson also join Fredrick as one of the holdovers from Williams’ staff.
Jackie Manuel, who also played on the 2005 title team, will take on the role as director of player and team development. Manuel spent last season in a similar role for Carolina’s women’s basketball team.
“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.”