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AP photo by Henny Ray Abrams / Tennessee men's basketball coach Bruce Pearl, left, assistant coach Jason Shay and their players celebrate during an NIT Season Tip-Off tournament game against Villanova on Nov. 26, 2010, in New York. Shay, an assistant at East Tennessee State the past five seasons, has been promoted to head coach to fill the vacancy created when Steve Forbes left for Wake Forest.

East Tennessee State University has promoted Jason Shay to fill its men's basketball head coaching vacancy that arose when Steve Forbes left for Wake Forest.

Shay was an assistant on Forbes' staff at ETSU the past five seasons. The Buccaneers went 130-43 during that time for the Johnson City program's best record during a five-year stretch in school history.

ETSU went 30-4 in 2019-20, setting a single-season school record for victories and sweeping the Southern Conference's regular-season and tournament titles.

Shay was named interim head coach last Thursday when Forbes took charge of the Demon Deacons, replacing the fired Danny Manning. The new Bucs coach said in a statement released by the university that he is "humbled, excited and thankful for this opportunity."

"I understand the expectations and standards that have been built for the men's basketball program and guarantee I am going to give my very best every day," said Shay, who is the 17th head coach in program history.

ETSU president Brian Noland said the school "conducted an exhaustive national search" for Forbes' replacement.

"Coach Shay is widely recognized as one of the brightest basketball minds in America, and we are excited that he and his family are deepening their roots in the Appalachian Highlands," Noland said in the release. "I am confident that Coach Shay will build on the tradition of excellence that he has established over the past five years and lead the program to new heights."

Before coming to ETSU, Shay worked as an assistant coach at North Dakota, Northwest Florida State College, Tennessee, Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Mercyhurst (Pennsylvania) College. A native of Galesburg, Illinois, he walked on at Iowa, where he graduated in 1995.

He was a member of Bruce Pearl's staffs at Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Tennessee from 2001 to 2011, working with eight NCAA tournament teams in that stretch, including one that made the Elite Eight and three that reached the Sweet 16. In 2008, the Volunteers were ranked No. 1 for the first time in program history.

"In talking with numerous athletic administrators and basketball minds across the country, everyone had incredible praise for Coach Shay," ETSU athletic director Scott Carter said in the release. "I have known Coach Shay and his family for 15 years and am so excited for his hard work to be realized with this opportunity. His connection to our student-athletes, wealth of basketball experience, competitiveness and knowledge of the game will be invaluable as our head coach."

The Bucs lost five seniors from last season's team, but Forbes was busy in recent weeks rebuilding the roster with transfers, including former Vols guard Jalen Johnson.

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