MORGANTOWN, West Virginia — West Virginia’s director of athletics, Wren Baker, has said numerous times that he intends to hold a national search for the next men’s head basketball coach. Following his decision to name Josh Eilert the interim head coach for the upcoming season, Baker said, “Coach Eilert will lead the team on an interim basis this season and then we will conduct our national search at the conclusion of the 2023-24 season.”
Josh Eilert is in a very difficult position
The odds of Eilert being named the permanent head coach were distant before, but they became even more remote today when transfer guard RaeQuan Battle had his waiver for immediate eligibility denied by the NCAA. In addition to Battle not being able to play this season, the Mountaineers also recently lost another potential starter when Jose Perez was dismissed from the team by Eilert. Although West Virginia still has talent on the roster, they lack depth and it will be very, very difficult for the current team to live up to the hype that was given to them during the preseason prior to Bob Huggins’ DUI arrest and forced resignation.
West Virginia will start a search after this season and Bob Huggins will be mentioned as a leading candidate
With that said, West Virginia will almost certainly be looking for a new head coach following the season and Bob Huggins’ name will absolutely be mentioned, despite the circus that he created following his resignation. Remember, three weeks after his drunk driving arrest in Pittsburgh, Huggins claimed that he never resigned as the Mountaineers’ basketball coach and was requesting to return to lead the team after a stint in rehabilitation.
Bob Huggins desperately wants his old job back
Now, according to his close friend and current UMASS head coach Frank Martin, “Huggins is in great spirits, he’s lost weight, he’s energetic. He’s good for the game, he’s good for people”, and he’s ready to get back into the game that he loves.
Martin continued: “He is gonna get back on that saddle. He has not had a drink since that day. One day he’ll speak about exactly what transpired that day. It’s not my place to put that out there. It’s a little more complicated than the story that got put out there by people that just saw the end result and it’s sad that the end of West Virginia happened the way it did.”
Bob Huggins wants to return to be the head coach of the West Virginia Mountaineers following the 2023-2024 season, according to a source, and is preparing himself to do so. West Virginia University President Gordon Gee has said that Huggins will never coach the Mountaineers again, however. “I am a great admirer of Coach Huggins in so many different ways,” Gee said. “He’s done many good things for our state and for our university, so that’s the reason I’m so immensely disappointed in him. For the fact he was given a second chance and just did not perform at the level that he should.”
Bob Huggins will have a huge amount of support from the fanbase
Gee may not want Huggins back, but the reality is that Gee intends to retire on June 30, 2025, and Huggins will have an incredible amount of support from donors and boosters, who will be willing to forgive Huggins’ mistakes in the name of winning basketball games. In addition, Huggins is univerally adored in the state of West Virginia, is one of the winningest coaches in the history of college basketball, and there is a very large portion of the fanbase that would gladly welcome him back, particularly if the Mountaineers struggle this season.
While it seems unthinkable that Huggins could possibly return as the head coach at West Virginia, he desperately wants his old job back and he’ll have an incredible amount of support to do so.