Little Rock promotes Wes Flanigan to head coach

Stephen B. Thornton/The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette via AP
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Just days after announcing the departure of head coach Chris Beard to UNLV, Little Rock didn’t go outside of the program to hire the next leader of its basketball program.

Thursday morning the school introduced Wes Flanigan as its new head coach, promoting Flanigan from the associate head coaching position he held under Beard. Flanigan, who is a Little Rock native, was an assistant at the Sun Belt school from 2004-08 before moving on to assistant coaching stints at UAB, Nebraska and Mississippi State.

Little Rock has five seniors to replace from this season’s team, which won 30 games and beat No. 5 seed Purdue in the first round of the NCAA tournament. Among those players moving on are guard Josh Hagins, who scored 31 points in that double-overtime victory, and forward Roger Woods.

Guard Marcus Johnson Jr., who averaged 12.5 points per game this season, is due to be the Trojans’ leading returning scorer in 2016-17.