Connect with us

WVU Basketball

What We Know So Far in WVU’s Coaching Search



Andy Kennedy
UAB Athletics

West Virginia is in search to replace Hall of Fame coach Bob Huggins, who resigned on Saturday night. Here’s what to know so far in the coaching search.

The top two names that are continued to be brought up are Andy Kennedy (UAB) and Jerrod Calhoun (Youngstown State), both former assistants of Huggins. Kennedy served as the interim coach at Cincinnati after Huggins stepped down back in 2005 for the same situation. Kennedy went on to coach the Bearcats for one year before heading to Ole Miss until 2018. The 55-year-old went back to his alma mater at UAB, where he’s taking the Blazers to the NCAA Tournament in 2022. UAB won 29 games this past season as well.

Calhoun was a student assistant under Huggins for one year at Cincinnati before becoming an assistant at WVU from 2007-12. Calhoun has been Youngstown State’s head coach for six seasons. The Penguins won over 20 games for the first time since 1998 but did fail to win the Horizon League as a 1-seed. Calhoun has won at a tough job, and like Kennedy, has that Huggins connection.

Sources tell WV Sports Now that the current West Virginia roster is in favor of Kennedy. Some of the players have not received many updates and have been scrolling through Twitter for the most recent news, which isn’t uncommon in these situations. Both Kennedy and perhaps Calhoun as well, have the best opportunity to retain assistants, which would help retain the current roster from entering the transfer portal. As first reported by Adam Zagoria on Monday, the players met with former Mountaineers Joe Mazzulla and Mike Gansey to urge the guys to stay together in this. It appears that Mazzulla has been involved with the process, vouching for his guy Calhoun. Mazzulla served as Calhoun’s assistant at Fairmont State in the mid-2010s.

It is most important to the players to keep Huggins’ assistants. The WVU players are still working out in the gym with graduate assistant Alex Ruoff.

Here are other names that have been thrown around that aren’t from the Huggins tree: Pat Kelsey (College of Charleston), Dusty May (Florida Atlantic) and Ben McCollum (Northwest Missouri State – DII). Kelsey and May are up-and-coming mid-major coaches that have seen a lot of success in their programs. Kelsey reached the NCAA Tournament with College of Charleston, going 31-4. May made it all the way to the Final Four with FAU this past March and looks to run it back with his same group next year. May’s name has recently been thrown around as of Tuesday night.

McCollum has the Wren Baker connection. McCollum is the current head coach at Northwest Missouri State and is considered one of the best Division-II coaches in the country. McCollum is 365-85 over the span of 14 seasons and is only 42 years old. McCollum was head coach when Baker served as the school’s AD from 2010-13.

It would be hard to believe that Baker gives a Division-II coach the keys to a Big 12 program knowing he’ll have to deal with the football program in the fall. McCollum is a great coach but the jump-up may be too high and too risky for all parties.

Welcome to the new home of WVU football and basketball breaking news, analysis and recruiting. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and check us out on YouTube. And don't forget to subscribe for all of our articles delivered directly to your inbox.

Get WVSN in your mailbox!

Enter your email address to subscribe to WVSN and receive notifications of new posts by email.