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Josh Eilert Reflects on Chaotic Season as WVU’s Head Coach

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WVU Basketball Interim HC Josh Eilert
Kelsie LeRose / WVSN

WVU’s Josh Eilert took the time to reflect on his first season as a head coach as all of the chaos within the program dies down for the moment. Eilert has had to deal with waiver issues, injuries, suspensions, health scares, dismissed players, you name it since he was named interim head coach.

“Every day for me it becomes more rewarding and it slows down a little bit,” Eilert said on Thursday. “Early in the process, it felt like you were getting hit with a huge wave after a huge wave and we were all new to this. I was new to being a head coach. I had four guys that are basically new to being assistant coaches. So we were building that chemistry between our staff and meanwhile trying to navigate all the challenges.”

“More than anything, it’s starting to calm a bit. We’re starting to settle into our positions. Certainly, we wish it would have played out a little differently from the jump and had our whole roster but that wasn’t the case. We made the most of it, now we’re trying to make the most of the last nine games and make some waves from our standpoint,” Eilert added.

Like Eilert said, he isn’t the only one learning a new coaching position. Da’Sean Butler and Jordan McCabe are first-year coaches at the Division-I level. Alex Ruoff served as a graduate assistant under Bob Huggins last season while DerMarr Johnson was hired by Huggins in January 2023. That’s it. All of these guys are learning and adjusting on their coaching ladders.

WVU Basketball Coach Staff

WVU’s assistants (from left to right): Jordan McCabe, DerMarr Johnson, Alex Ruoff, Da’Sean Butler

West Virginia had to retool their roster following Huggins’ resignation in June, leaving Eilert and his staff scrambling late in the summer months. Instead of retaining the majority of last season’s roster with a good transfer portal class, WVU only retained four players and brought in players from all different levels of basketball.

Eilert knew what he was getting himself into when he accepted the job in late June. But it was a great opportunity for the long-time serving staff member.

“I remember telling Joe Mazzulla how difficult the situation is and he said but understand, you’re playing with house money. You’re getting an opportunity to be a head coach. So that’s the way you have to look at it,” Eilert said. “It’s going to be a complete challenge in every sense of the word.”

Eilert now has all of his original roster back as West Virginia (8-14, 3-6 Big 12) just looks to make something happen vs. Texas in Austin on Saturday.

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