Chris Beard is reuniting with one of his former assistants in Wes Flanigan, according to multiple reports this week.
Flanigan spent the last five seasons under Bruce Pearl at Auburn, which happens to be his alma mater. He was a four year starter as a point guard for the Tigers and got to coach his son there as well. It is certainly an interesting move for the experienced coach. Not many people make a lateral move AWAY from where they played their college ball.
Before his five year stint at Auburn, Flanigan was the head coach at Little Rock, taking over for Coach Beard after his departure for Texas Tech. Following that 30-5 season that catapulted Beard into coaching stardom, Flanigan floundered to a 22-42 overall record in his two seasons at the helm.
Flanigan’s coaching career began locally, as he spent four seasons as an assistant at Northwest Community College in Senatobia, MS from 2000-2004. He then bounced around from Little Rock to UAB to Nebraska to Mississippi State before his stops with Beard and Pearl.
Coach Flanigan is credited with the development of Sharife Cooper and JT Thor, both of which were one-and-done NBA draft picks out of Auburn.
There is not a lot of evidence out there as far as his specific coaching role, whether it is lead recruiter or the defensive/offensive specialist. One thing can be sure, if he could be lured away from Auburn, Coach Flanigan is looking at a major role on Coach Beard’s staff in Oxford.