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Who Can West Virginia Expect to Look Towards in Coaching Search?



West Virginia WVU Basketball team sings Country Roads

For the first time since 2007, West Virginia is in search of a men’s basketball head coach. Basketball Hall of Fame coach Bob Huggins resigned on Saturday night after being charged with another DUI on Friday night in Pittsburgh.

WVU Director of Athletics Wren Baker has been on the job for about six months now and will be completing his second coaching search already on the job. Baker hired Stephen F. Austin head coach Mark Kellogg for the women’s basketball program. Baker and Kellogg have a history together as Baker hired him a decade ago.

It is expected that West Virginia will conduct a national search but will also consider internal options.

At this point of the offseason, who can Baker look at?

Internal Hire: Eilert, Everhart, Johnson

This would be WVU’s best-short term plan. Promoting Josh Eilert, Ron Everhart or DerMarr Johnson as interim head coach for the season would be their best opportunity of keeping all of their current players. With Huggins resigning, the NCAA allows the players 30 days to decide if they want to leave or not. Keeping the coaching staff that has built relationships with the returning, and even new players, would avoid a mass exodus in portal entries.

Texas promoted Rodney Terry in December after Chris Beard was dismissed for his off-the-court issues. Terry coached the Longhorns to the Elite-8 and received much praise for the job he did after Beard. Terry’s job was so well done that he got the interim tag taken off.

John Beilein

If they wanted to, West Virginia can look once again to John Beilein to keep the program afloat for a couple of years. Beilein recently got out of coaching but since has returned to the state. Beilein coached Michigan until 2019 before taking the Cleveland Cavaliers job for half a season.

Beilein, who’s 70 years old, would be a good hire short-term, if he’s even interested in getting back into the game. A screenshot has surfaced on social media of someone asking Beilein’s son, Patrick, if his dad would return. Patrick said, “They just have to make the call to him.”

Ben McCollum

Baker could go with someone he’s familiar with in Ben McCollum. 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.

Poach Coach From Another Program

WVU can look to take a coach away from their current team. A couple of names that come to mind can be Andy Kennedy from UAB or Pat Kelsey from College of Charleston. West Virginia could either hire the transitional hire in Kennedy or roll the dice with Kelsey, who has built CofC up to a great mid-major program this past season.

West Virginia’s program has a well-respected history that makes them an attractive job. WVU also has top-of-the-line facilities, highlighted by its practice facility.

WV Sports Now will keep you posted on the latest in the coaching search.

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