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‘It’s Been a Long Year’: WVU AD Wren Baker on Concluding Search



Wren Baker WVU

WVU director of athletics Wren Baker spoke with the media following the introduction of men’s basketball head coach Darian DeVries on Thursday morning. Baker reflected on concluding the coaching search and turning to a new era of Mountaineer basketball.

“I’m really happy where it ended up. It’s been an exhausting few weeks but really it has been a long season and year,” he said.

Baker, who has flown plenty of miles the last week, completed his coaching search on Sunday, finalizing a deal with DeVries. West Virginia’s men’s basketball program has had a long year after Bob Huggins’ resignation in June following a DUI. Then-assistant Josh Eilert took over the program, serving as interim head coach. Eilert and his staff were able to regroup with another transfer class during the summer but the team also dealt with waiver issues, injuries and a suspension.

Baker made sure to be transparent with DeVries and the other candidates.

“Once we had it down to three, I shared the terms of what we were willing to do, upfront,” Baker said. “I feel like we were able to move effectively after that.”

West Virginia was one of the several high-major programs searching for a head coach this month, with Louisville, Ohio State, Michigan, Oklahoma State, etc. Baker was able to predict where the coaches would land but one school threw him off and he had to adjust slightly to his plans.

“The one thing that surprised me was that I didn’t think Ohio State would go internal,” he said.

Ohio State ended up promoting interim HC Jake Diebler after a nice finish to their season. OSU was in play for FAU HC Dusty May, who Baker has a good relationship with.

What stood out with DeVries from the other candidates was the balance of offense and defense while at Drake. The Bulldogs were 41st in adjusted offense and 73rd in adjusted defense, per KenPom. Baker, who is a huge analytics guy, looked at sites like KenPom and BartTorvik to get a gauge on his list of coaches.

“Just how balanced they were. They’re good defensively, especially defensive efficiency. They’re really good offensively. They’re great at defensive rebounding, which I think is a very disciplined stat. They play at a pace that I felt like our fans will enjoy,” Baker said. “They were about as well-rounded and balanced as any analytics we look at for any of the coaches.”

DeVries will now take over the men’s basketball program with his son Tucker, who will be joining him for his senior season. DeVries’ next step is talking with the current Mountaineers and staff while looking to fill out his own coaching staff.

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