Jay Kuntz Thanks West Virginia and Announces He’s Leaving the Basketball Program

MORGANTOWN, West Virginia — Moments ago, West Virginia Director of Player Personnel and Recruiting, Jay Kuntz, announced his departure from the Mountaineers’ basketball program.

Kuntz, who as spent 15 years with the Mountaineer basketball program, served as Assistant to the Head Coach from July 2017-22 after serving as coordinator of player development from 2015-17. Kuntz is one of the best at his job and will certainly be pursued by top programs around the country, and this is a huge loss for the Mountaineers’ basketball program.

In his message, Kuntz had the following to say:

To the Greatest Fanbase & State, Saying goodbye to a place I’ve called home and to many people I’ve considered family for the past 16 years is no easy task. West Virginia University and the state of West Virginia hold such a special place in my heart and always will, no matter where this profession leads me and my family. I am so thankful for so many people that this post alone cannot do it justice. But I’d be remiss to not start with the person who gave me my first opportunity as an 18-year-old kid. Coach Huggins cared enough to take me under his wing and show me what it truly meant to work. He and his family have meant so much to me throughout my time in Morgantown, and I will be eternally grateful to them for everything.

Two summers ago, Coach Huggins, then-athletic director Shane Lyons, and now Tarleton State athletic director Steve Uryasz awarded me the opportunity to help direct the transfer portal for the first time in this new era of college basketball. I was extremely fortunate, as I have always been, to work with a talented coaching staff consisting of many previous head coaches and rising stars In the coaching world. With only one senior returning, Kedrian Johnson, accompanied by five underclassmen with little to no experience, we knew this would be no easy task. The initial goal was to return this program to its rightful place in the NCAA tournament. Our program achieved that feat, only a season removed from not reaching the postseason and returning very few contributors. That was all a testament to the coaches and players.

As C.S. Lewis said, “Hardships oftentimes prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny.” Navigating through these tumultuous waters this past season tested the will of every employee of Mountaineer Basketball. Like many others, I was very fortunate that Coach Ellert stepped up and accepted the daunting task of guiding this program through the season. His leadership allowed our staff and players to move forward. Josh, Brandi, and the Eilert family taught me what it meant to look adversity in the eyes and make zero excuses, even if the results weren’t ultimately what we all hoped. They did it with integrity and class, and Mountaineer fans should commend Coach Eilert on everything he did for our program.

Next, I thank all the players who donned the Mountaineer uniform. We as a staff are only as good as our players, and I’m incredibly grateful for all of the amazing relationships I’ve had with you guys over the past 16 years. Your hard work, dedication to your craft and commitment to West Virginia University and its Basketball program never went unnoticed or unappreciated. For that, I love you all.

Lastly, to the Mountaineer fanbase and the people of West Virginia, I am at a loss for words for the first time, which I know will surprise some of you. The love and support you provide West Virginia University and its athletics programs are second to none. You are tough, but fair, and I wouldn’t want it any other way. The grit of the fanbase is what truly separates WVU from anyone else, and unless you have been here to experience it, you have no idea what it means when we say our people bleed gold and blue. Thank you for all of it, The good,

the bad, and the ugly. Those experiences have shaped me into who I am today, and I’ll be better for it in the future. West Virginia

Basketball has a storied past and a rich history that will continue to make memorable moments for all of us in the future. We are

fortunate to have Director Baker at the helm. I say this unequivocally: he will not only make the right hire, but the best hire, to lead

Mountaineer Basketball for years to come.

Yours truly, Jay Kuntz