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Shay would love chance to replace Forbes

Joe Avento • Updated Apr 30, 2020 at 5:47 PM

Jason Shay has worked with Steve Forbes for 12 years. Now, he might be in line to become Forbes’ successor.

Shay was chosen to serve as ETSU’s interim coach Thursday when Forbes was hired as head coach at Wake Forest. He certainly would love to have the “interim” tag removed from his title.

“I would be ecstatic,” Shay said. “I’m just hoping for the opportunity. I’d be more than excited to move over one seat.

“I love Johnson City. I think it would be a good opportunity. The fans are great and it’s a great program in a great position moving forward.”

Shay was with Forbes for five years on Bruce Pearl’s staff at Tennessee. They spent two years together in junior college before coming to Johnson City. Shay was Forbes’ first hire on his staff with the Bucs.

“I have to sell my vision on how the program would be moving forward, but it’s not going to be terribly different,” Shay said. “I’ve been with Steve a long time. There would be continuity and stability.”

Forbes has reportedly said many times that if he ever left ETSU, he would campaign for Shay to get the job. Now it’s happened.

“He thinks I’m deserving,” said Shay, a former walk-on at Iowa. “We’ll see how it all plays out.”

Shay has appeared in 11 NCAA Tournaments as a player and a coach. He would have made it 12 this year had the event not been canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

In announcing that Forbes was leaving, ETSU said it would begin a national search.

“I want to congratulate Steve,” Shay said. “I’m really happy for him. I couldn’t be more happy for Steve, Johnetta, Elizabeth, Chris and Johnathon.”

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