Bob Huggins Could Return to WVU in the Future

Preface: This is a response to MetroNews’ contributor Hoppy Kercheval’s piece called “This morning’s commentary: Bob Huggins will never return as WVU’s head baskeball coach.  

MORGANTOWN, West Virginia — Earlier today, long-time MetroNews reporter Hoppy Kercheval released an article stating that Bob Huggins will never return as the head coach of the West Virginia Mountaineers.

Never is a powerful word and although I find Kercheval to be a fine journalist, I do think his commentary on Huggins is very short-sighted and unwilling to take Huggins’ profound popularity in the state into account.

Kercheval stated that “Huggins will not be on Wren Baker’s radar” as he chooses the next head coach of the Mountainers and that “there simply is no avenue for Huggins to return as coach.”

While I agree that Huggins will not be given consideration this year, to say that he will never coach the Mountaineers again is misguided and reckless. He put Bob Huggins’ chances of ever coaching at West Virginia again at “zero.” The reality is that Huggins is beloved in the state of West Virginia and the situation at West Virginia University could change very quickly in the very near future.

University president Gordon Gee is set to retire in the summer of 2025. Wren Baker, seen as one of the best young athletic directors in the nation, could easily be convinced to leave Morgantown for a top job closer to home (say, Oklahoma or Oklahoma State). With Gee and potentially Baker gone in the future, can Kercheval really say that Bob Huggins has a “zero percent chance” of him returning to coach the Mountaineers.

Let’s say Baker hires a young, up-and-coming head coach like Mark Byington from James Madison or Dustin Kerns from Appalachian State, and perhaps it doesn’t go well. Let’s say the Mountaineers continue to struggle in conference play and don’t make the NCAA Tournament.

Does anyone really believe that the fans won’t want Bob Huggins, healthy and dying to coach again, back on the sidelines of the WVU Coliseum, particularly if Gee and Baker are no longer at West Virginia University?

The chances are slim, yes. A lot would have to fall in place at the right time, Bob Huggins is one of the winningest coaches in the history of college basketball, is treasured in the state of West Virginia, he has tremendous support, and I could certainly see him sitting on his stool inside the WVU Coliseum again one day.

Article from Hoppy Kercheval: