After Bob Huggins announced that he is retiring as the head coach of the West Virginia basketball program, it was rumored that several players on the current roster may leave the team.
MORGANTOWN, West Virginia — According to sources, Wren Baker already has his eyes on possible replacements for Bob Huggins. Baker, in his first year on the job as the director of athletics at West Virginia University, understands that replacing a legend like Huggins is a huge responsibility and that he must get it right.
Baker confirmed last week on the 3 Guys Before the Game Podcast that he has a list of potential candidates ready in case one of his head coaches either leaves the program or he is forced to fire. Although he clearly didn’t think he would have to use the list this quickly, Baker has several head coaches in mind to take over the West Virginia basketball program.
However, it’s important for Baker to realize that hiring someone from outside the program will likely mean that several – if not all – of the players committed to play for the Mountaineers next season might leave. Jose Perez, Omar Silverio, Kerr Kriisa, Jesse Edwards and RaeQuan Battle all came to play for Bob Huggins. Sure, NIL money and other factors played a part in their decisions to become Mountaineers, but ultimately Bob Huggins, one of the winningest coaches in college basketball history, was the reason they came to West Virginia.
With that said, perhaps the only way for West Virginia to possibly convince this talented roster to stay in Morgantown is to hire an assistant coach within the program. The players are already at West Virginia and are familiar with assistants Josh Eilert, Alex Ruoff, DerMarr Johnson, Jay Kuntz and Ron Everhart. These are Bob Huggins’ guys. Although Bob Huggins can’t be the head coach of the team any longer, one of his assistants is the next best thing.
Josh Eilert and DerMarr Johnson have been the names most frequently mentioned as possible candidates since the Huggins’ news hit, but don’t discount a veteran presence like Ron Everhart to take over the reigns for the upcoming season.
At this point, keeping the coaching staff together is the best way to keep the roster intact, and really, that should be the top priority for Wren Baker.