MORGANTOWN, West Virginia — As the West Virginia Mountaineers (2-3) fell to the Virginia Cavaliers in the Fort Myers Tip-Off consolation game, one very recognizable figure in WVU sports sat in the stands and watched on.
John Beilein, 70, was photographed at the game by an X account named Former WVU Insider, which obviously led to speculation as to why he might be in attendance. Beilein most recently served as the Senior Player Development Advisor for the Detroit Pistons of the National Basketball Association, and there was some mutual flirtation from both West Virginia University and Beilein about taking over as the head coach this past offseason after Bob Huggins’ (forced) resignation.
West Virginia’s director of athletics Wren Baker reportedly reached out to Beilein about taking over the team, but obviously a deal couldn’t be completed. The exact details are unclear, but there were rumors that Beilein wanted a multiple year contract and West Virginia University could only commit to a one or two year deal. Regardless, West Virginia inevitably decided to retain Josh Eilert as the interim head coach for one year and do a national search after this basketball season.
With that said, could John Beilein be a serious contender to take over the Mountaineers next season? Although he is 70 years old, he is in remarkably good health, and he understands the state of West Virginia, is a brilliant basketball mind, and, most importantly, he knows how to win basketball games. If he’s interested – and from what we’ve heard, he is in fact interested – Wren Baker would certainly have to give one of the most respected and accomplished head coaches in the game some real consideration.
John Beilein in attendance at tonight’s basketball game in Fort Myers pic.twitter.com/5NN0CyT5js
— Former WVU Insider (@InsiderWVU) November 23, 2023