It took some time, but Hubert Davis has officially finalized his first staff as the head coach of Carolina Basketball. When he was introduced he made it known that to coach under him, you had to have some former tie to the Carolina Basketball program in some way, and that was held true in the decisions he made. Davis hired both Jackie Manuel and Jeff Lebo, as both Steve Robinson and Kendall Marshall aren’t being retained, while keeping some of the staff Roy Williams had assembled over the years.
Following a brief career in pro basketball, Manuel entered the coaching profession, as an assistant with UNC-Greensboro, Valparaiso and UNC-Wilmington. His time spent with UNC-W, coincided with the hire of C.B. McGrath, a lifelong assistant under Roy Williams, He returned to Chapel Hill back in 2020, as a member of Courtney Banghart’s staff for the women’s program, where he served Director of Player Personnel, and Development and Recruiting Operations.
Manuel is expected to take over the role that Sean May left behind, as May is being elevated to a position on the bench staff. While Manuel doesn't bring with him a tremendous amount of experience, he does fit what Hubert Davis wants in members of his staff. Manuel is a lifelong “Carolina guy”, and won’t have any issues helping sell top recruits on the University of North Carolina. Hubert Davis stressed he wants his staff to be filled with guys that played for, or coached with either Dean Smith, Bill Guthridge, and Roy Williams, and Manuel fits the criteria for what the new head coach is looking for.
In addition to the hiring of Jackie Manuel, former Tar Heel and teammate of Hubert Davis Jeff Lebo will be joining the staff as well. Lebo brings with him a wealth of head coaching experience at the mid-major, and Power 5 conference level. He was last seen in college leading the ECU program before resigning back in 2017. After some time away from coaching, Lebo resurfaced with the Greensboro Swarm, the Charlotte Hornets G-League affiliate for one season, before taking a role on a high school staff. Lebo will now return to Chapel Hill, and will have the opportunity to coach his son Lebo, who joined the program as a preferred walk-on last season.
Sean May isn’t the only holdover from Roy Williams’ last staff, as both Eric Hoots and Brad Frederick will be staying on board with Hubert Davis. And arguably the most important holdovers are strength coach Jonas Sahratian and trainer Doug Halverson, who are regarded the best at what they do.
Hubert Davis - Head Coach
Sean May - Assistant Coach
Jeff Lebo - Assistant Coach
Brad Frederick - Assistant Coach
Eric Hoots - Director of Basketball Operations
Jackie Manuel - Director of Player and Team Development
Jonas Sahratian - Strength and Conditioning Coach
Doug Halverson - Head Athletic Trainer
Four Corners Podcast:
Make sure to stay tuned to the Heel Tough Blog for the latest news around the Carolina Basketball program.