The Top 5 Favorites to Become the Next Head Coach at West Virginia

West Virginia has already interviewed candidates and is reportedly closing in on naming its next head coach.  

MORGANTOWN, West Virginia — West Virginia University has already conducted interviews with candidates and a decision could come “very soon.” With that said, here are the candidates that we believe would be the best head coaches to take over for Bob Huggins:

#1 – Ben McCollum, Head Coach, Northwest Missouri State

McCollum, 42, worked for Wren Baker when Baker was the director of athletics at Northwest Missouri State from 2010-2013. It’s easy to say that McCollum is considered the top candidate for the job right now simply because of the familiarity Baker has with him, but the reality is that McCollum has been one of the most spectacular winners over the past several years in college basketball, albeit in Division II.

During his 15 seasons at Northwest Missouri State, McCollum has compiled an impressive 365-86 record (80% winning percentage) and has won the NCAA Division II national championship four times (2017, 2019, 2021 and 2022). So while some will (fairly) say that making the jump from Division II to Power 5 Conference basketball is a massive step, McCollum is really young for a head coach at age 42 and he is a winner. 

I believe McCollum is the early favorite to become the next head coach of the Mountaineers and is exactly the head coach that Wren Baker wants to hire.

#2 – Andy Kennedy, Head Coach, UAB 

Kennedy, 55, is reportedly the choice of donors of the program. He’s a close friend of Bob Huggins and likely the head coach that Huggins would recommend to take over for him if he has any pull remaining.

Kennedy was the head coach at Ole Miss for 12 seasons, where he compiled a 245-156 record (61% winning percentage) and made it to postseason play 8 times (6 NIT appearances and 2 NCAA appearances). Kennedy has been at UAB for 3 seasons and put together an outstanding 78-25 record (76% winning percentage) during his stint there.

Kennedy, who was an assistant under Huggins at Cincinnati, is a very similar coach to Huggins and would be the best option to keep boosters happy and perhaps keep the talented roster together. Huggins would almost certainly put his stamp of approval on the hire and provide assurance to his former players that Kennedy is the right man to replace him.

#3 John Beilein, Senior Player Development Advisor for the Detroit Pistons of the NBA

Beilein, 70, a member of the college basketball hall of fame, has an incredible 754-425 career record and is known as one of the most spectacular basketball minds in the history of the sport. Beilein was the head coach of the Mountaineers from 2002-2007, leading the team to the Elite 8, Sweet 16 and an NIT Championship.

#4 Dusty May, Head Coach, FAU

May, 46, has a 101-60 record in five seasons at FAU and is considered one of the top up-and-coming coaches in college basketball. FAU finished 35-4 overall and 18-2 while finishing in 1st place in Conference USA.

May was also the Conference USA Coach of the Year last season and led his team to the NCAA Final Four.

#5 Steve Forbes, Head Coach, Wake Forest

Forbes, 58, is the current head coach at Wake Forest and is a bit of a long shot, but his name has gained some traction over the past couple of days. Forbes was wildly successful at East Tennessee State, compiling a 130-43 record in 5 seasons with the team before moving to Wake Forest. At Wake Forest, he has put together a 50-39 record in 4 seasons, including a 25-10 record during the 2021-2022 season.