Mark Byington Considered Favorite to be the Next Head Basketball Coach at West Virginia

MORGANTOWN, West Virginia — With the West Virginia Mountaineers struggling through the 2024 season with a 8-17 overall record and a 3-9 record in the Big 12 (last in the conference), it’s unlikely that interim head coach Josh Eilert will return next season. In fact, West Virginia’s director of athletics, Wren Baker, is said to have already started to conduct his search to find the next head coach at WVU.

According to popular social media account, Samurai Hoops, one current head coach is the current favorite to take over the Mountaineers’ program. Mark Byington, the head coach of James Madison Dukes, is their odds-on favorite to lead West Virginia next season.

Byington, 47, has a 205-135 (.604 winning percentage) during his 12 seasons as a head coach at the College of Charleston (2011-2012), Georgia Southern (2013-2020) and James Madison (2020-current). This season, the Dukes are 18-2 overall and 6-2 in the Sun Belt Conference, and had an impressive win on the road at then #4 ranked Michigan State on the first game of the season for both teams.

According to his bio on the official James Madison basketball homepage, “During the 2022-23 campaign, JMU’s first as a member of the Sun Belt Conference, saw the Dukes rack up 22 wins on the season, their most since the 1981-82 edition posted the program record of 24. JMU set season records for total points (2,658), total rebounds (1,257), total steals (298) and steals per game (9.03), while the Dukes’ scoring average of 80.5 points per game was the third-highest in their Division I history.”

Byington, a Salem, Virginia native, was named the CAA Coach of the Year in 2021 and is considered bright, young, talented head coach who will likely land a Power 5 Conference job in the very near future.

In addition to his impressive resume, Chas Wolfe of revealed that CSA (College Sports Associates) Consulting works with both Byington and West Virginia’s Wren Baker, as seen below. The rumor circulating is that Byington and West Virginia Unversity have a “handshake deal” and that he is in fact the choice following the season. According to a source close to the situation, “a sitting division one head coach told a prominent Virginia AAU head coach that Byington had the handshake deal.”

Very interesting indeed! Stay tuned!