UNITED STATES - NOVEMBER 18: College Basketball: Coaches vs Cancer Classic, Wake Forest Justin Gray (1) in action vs Texas Tech during tournament consolation game, New York, NY 11/18/2005 (Photo by Manny Millan/Sports Illustrated via Getty Images) (SetNumber: X74651 TK1)

Justin Gray, who played at Wake Forest, has been introduced this afternoon as the new men’s basketball coach at Western Carolina.

Gray’s contract, for five years at $250,000 annually before incentives, was officially approved by university trustees this morning.

“Western Carolina is ready for another run like 1996,” Gray said in a statement released by the school’s athletics department. “That’s the ultimate goal, to compete for championships and help build young men with character while doing so. I along with my wife and kids are super excited about being here in Cullowhee.”

Gray had spent the last two seasons on Pat Kelsey’s staff at Winthrop, but Kelsey left to become head coach at College of Charleston. Gray played for and Kelsey assisted Wake Forest coach Skip Prosser.

And Gray will succeed Mark Prosser, one of the late coach’s two sons, who left Cullowhee to replace Kelsey at Winthrop.

Gray, who played professionally for 12 seasons, also has been a director of basketball development for the Deacon Club.

Gray finished his Wake Forest career as the eighth-leading scorer in school history with 1,946 points and second with 319 three-point baskets. Gray earned first-team All-ACC as a sophomore and was chosen for the second team in his junior and senior seasons.

Gray played for two seasons with Chris Paul, a West Forsyth graduate from Lewisville who plays for Phoenix in his 16th NBA season.

The teams in Gray’s first three Wake Forest seasons all reached the NCAA Tournament. Wake Forest has won one NCAA Tournament game in three appearances since Gray’s career ended in 2006.