Former Tar Heel players pursue coaching dreams at UNC
Posted January 5, 2012
Updated January 6, 2012
After Jackie Manuel’s playing career ended at North Carolina, he went to the NBA Developmental League. Everything changed this year.
“The lockout stopped me from pursuing my basketball dream,” said Manuel, who was a guard in Chapel Hill from 2001 to 2005.
Meanwhile, Bobby Frasor’s spent his post-Carolina life playing overseas in Belgium and Cyprus. He was looking for a change.
“Living by yourself in a foreign country where you don’t know anybody and don’t know the language, I don’t miss that whole aspect,” said Frasor, who played at UNC from 2005 to 2009.
By pure coincidence, Manuel and Frasor each arranged meetings with their former Carolina coach, Roy Williams, on the same day this offseason. They were seeking advice on their futures.
“I’d been talking with coach [Williams] about coaching since my first year out [of college],” Manuel said.
Frasor had the desire to coach at an even earlier age. His father had coached high school hoops for 27 years.
Williams quickly gave both Manuel and Frasor temporary jobs on the UNC staff.
Manuel is the assistant to strength and conditioning coordinator Jonas Sahratian.
"It's funny because some of the coaches are saying that Jonas is rubbing off on me a little bit. I'm starting to take his little demeanor. His little walk and everything," said Manuel. "I'm like a little Jonas in there."
Manuel sits behind the bench during games, and the itch to play is still there. "The first six games, I literally wanted to jump out there on the court and do some things myself and try to guard a couple guys."
Frasor has the job of assistant video coordinator.
"I'm at the bottom of the ladder," he said. But he's at the top of the Smith Center during games, videotaping the action from high above the court.
He also sets the DVR to record every single televised college basketball game across the country.
"So when the NCAA tournament rolls around, if we play any one of those teams, boom, we'll have fifteen, twenty games on them," Frasor said.
Frasor and Manuel’s temporary gigs end in May. Then they will likely try to find assistant coach jobs somewhere and chase their new dream.
“Whenever you do get into coaching, you don’t say, ‘I want to be an assistant coach my whole career,’” said Frasor.
“The ultimate dream is head coaching somewhere,” said Manuel, “in due time.”