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Jeff Battle, known nationally as one of college basketball's top assistant coaches, is in his 13th season at Wake Forest and his 29th season overall in the coaching profession in 2013-14.
Battle has been instrumental in Wake Forest's success the past 12 seasons as the Deacons ascended to the No. 1 national ranking in 2005 and again in 2009, won a school-record 27 games in 2005, advanced to the Sweet Sixteen in 2004 and won the 2003 ACC regular season title. Wake Forest has averaged almost 20 wins per season and has made six NCAA Tournament appearances during Battle's tenure.
Battle, a tireless recruiter, has helped bring in a number of top-notch recruiting classes. Wake Forest's 2010 recruiting class was ranked No. 6 in the nation according to ESPN, while the Deacons' 2008 class was ranked No. 3 in the country by Rivals.com. Battle also helped bring in the No. 10-ranked recruiting class in 2006, the No. 16 class in 2003 and the No. 30 class in 2007, all according to Rivals. Wake Forest's 2012 recruiting class was ranked No. 21 in the country by ESPN.
FoxSports.com named Battle as one of the top high-major assistant coaches in the country in 2008. BasketballScoop.com also tabbed him as a semifinalist for its Rising Star Coach of the Year Award in 2009.
"I believe in what we are striving to accomplish as a coaching staff and as an athletic department," Battle said. "It truly is an exciting time to be at Wake Forest."
Battle came to Wake Forest after spending seven seasons at Xavier University as an assistant coach under Skip Prosser. Battle coached alongside Prosser for 14 years and at three different institutions. He was on the Loyola (Md.) College staff in 1993-94 when Prosser made his head coaching debut, then joined him on the sidelines at Xavier before coming to Winston-Salem prior to the start of the 2001-02 season.
At both Wake Forest and Xavier, Battle has concentrated his expertise on the development of the guards. Both Chris Paul, a 2005 All-American, and Josh Howard, a 2003 NBA first-round draft pick, credit Battle with their emergence as all-around players. At Xavier, Battle played a big role in helping James Posey make the transition from post player to perimeter player.
Battle's knack for developing talented guards was evident when he helped guide Jeff Teague to a breakout season in 2008-09. Teague was a relatively underrated player entering the season but, under the tutelage of Battle, was a second team All-American and entered the conversation for national player of the year honors.
Battle also mentored two-time All-ACC guard C.J. Harris, helping to develop him into one of the top scoring guards in the conference. Harris earned third team All-ACC honors as both a junior and senior, as he ranked among the top six in the conference in scoring both seasons.
At Xavier, Battle was instrumental in the Musketeers' success from 1995 through 2001. During his seven seasons at Xavier, the Musketeers won 20 games or more six times while advancing to postseason play six times, including five NCAA Tournament appearances. Xavier averaged more than 21 wins per season during Battle's tenure on the sidelines.
In 1993-94 at Loyola, Battle was a part of one of college basketball's greatest turnarounds. The year before Prosser and Battle arrived at Loyola, the Greyhounds were a dismal 2-25. But Loyola turned its fortunes around under the new staff, finishing 17-13 and making the NCAA Tournament for the only time in school history.
Prior to Loyola, Battle was an assistant coach for three seasons at Delaware State. The 1990-91 Hornets set a school record for victories with 19 and had the school's best-ever Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference mark at 10-6.
In 1989 and 1990, Battle served as head coach at Caesar Rodney High School in Dover, Del.
Battle began his college coaching career as a graduate assistant at Marshall University (1985-86) under head coach Rick Huckaby and as a graduate assistant at Delaware (1986-88) under coach Steve Steinwedel. Both teams enjoyed success during that time. Marshall was 19-11 in 1985-86, while Delaware was 31-25 from 1986-88.
Battle's success as a coach followed an illustrious career as a player. He played four seasons at Marshall, helping the Thundering Herd compile a record of 82-38 from 1982-85. Battle was the starting point guard and a captain in his junior and senior seasons, guiding Marshall to two consecutive NCAA Tournament berths.
Battle still ranks fourth all-time at Marshall in career steals (172) and seventh in career assists (431). His 177 assists as a senior in 1984-85 ranks 10th on the school's single-season list.
Battle, born Oct. 26, 1961 in Philadelphia, received his bachelor's degree in physical education from Marshall. He received his master's degree in physical education from Delaware in 1988. Battle resides in Winston-Salem with his son, Jordan (19).