Brett Ballard Named Head Coach at Washburn
April 6, 2017

By Wake Forest Athletic Communications (@TieDyeNation)

TOPEKA, Kan. – Washburn University announced Thursday (Apr. 6) the hiring of Wake Forest assistant coach Brett Ballard as its new head men’s basketball coach. The Division II school selected Ballard to take over its program after Bob Chipman retired after 38 seasons.

“This is an incredible opportunity at Washburn to lead one of the premier Division II programs in the country,” said Ballard. “They have great leadership and a tremendous basketball tradition that I want to continue to build. I am looking forward to impacting the lives of some great young men. It is also an opportunity for my family to go back to a place that we call home.”

At Washburn, Ballard inherits one of the most successful programs in Division II. Chipman led the Ichabods to 808 victories over the past 38 seasons, including winning 12 Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association regular season titles, winning the 1986-87 NAIA National Championship and reaching the 2000-01 NCAA Division II championship game.

Ballard has spent the last five seasons as an assistant coach with Danny Manning, serving two years on his staff at Tulsa before the last three years at Wake Forest. He was previously the head coach at Baker University for two seasons, leading the school to the 2012 NAIA Tournament. Ballard began his coaching career at his alma mater, Kansas, holding several different roles on Bill Self’s staff for seven seasons. As a player, he was a member of the Jayhawks’ 2002 Final Four team.

“Wake Forest is a special place and I want to thank Coach Manning for giving me the opportunity to coach here,” said Ballard. “The way he has treated me and my family, it is hard to put into words what he has done for me. I am really going to miss the people here, especially the players. They have laid the groundwork for very big things on the horizon and I am looking forward to seeing this team continue to grow and have success in the future. I appreciate them taking me on an incredible journey, especially last season going to the NCAA Tournament.”



The Demon Deacons went 19-14 in 2016-17, including a 9-9 mark in the ACC, and made their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2010.

“I am very excited for Brett and his family and I think this is a perfect fit,” said Manning. “The Washburn University community is getting a home run of a person and a coach. I have known Brett for a very long time. We started out together on Coach Self’s staff, sharing a cabinet, and we have come a long way. Having him on the staff at Tulsa and here at Wake Forest has been invaluable because of the knowledge he had of being a head coach. That journey has led us to today where he has a great opportunity to be the next coach at Washburn. We are going to miss him, Kelly and their children, but we are happy for them and look forward to following his teams.”

NCAA Tennis Gear