WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) — Wake Forest athletic director Ron Wellman is retiring and the school has chosen former Tennessee AD John Currie to replace him.
President Nathan Hatch announced the moves Sunday, saying Wellman will retire and Currie will start on May 1.
“John is the perfect fit to follow in the footsteps of his mentor,” Hatch said.
Wellman, the longest-tenured AD in Division I, has led Wake Forest’s athletic department since 1992. The school has won five team national championships and seven individual titles under his watch, including men’s tennis in 2018, while raising $400 million in donations during his tenure of nearly 27 years.
The 47-year-old Currie is a Wake Forest alumnus who was Kansas State’s AD from 2009-17. He spent much of 2017 at Tennessee before he was suspended in the midst of the search to replace football coach Butch Jones that turned into a fiasco. He received a $2.5 million settlement with the school in March 2018.
He is taking over a Wake Forest program that is mostly on solid footing, with Dave Clawson’s football program winning three bowl games in three years and a collection of new facilities popping up all over the campus — including an indoor practice facility for football that opened in 2016 and a sports performance center and basketball facility that is scheduled to open later this year.
The most pressing immediate question faced by the department centers on men’s basketball, though the season will end well before Currie’s official start date.
Coach Danny Manning is 65-90 overall and 24-64 in conference play with one NCAA Tournament appearance in five seasons. Barring a miracle run in the postseason, the Demon Deacons are headed for their seventh losing season since 2010 — also the last year they finished above .500 in ACC play.