Today’s Reliable Rumors About the WVU Head Coach Search

MORGANTOWN, West Virginia — Here at The Voice of Morgantown, West Virginia’s Leader in News, Analysis and Rumors, we openly deal with and discuss rumors. When a major university is in the midst of a coaching search, there will be a lot of rumors circulating online. Today, I will give you the reliable, realistic rumors that I have heard about West Virginia’s search for its next head basketball coach.

There is major mutual interest between West Virginia and Mark Byington

As I’ve said for the last month, it’s very likely that Mark Byington will be the next head coach at West Virginia University. As I previously said, there were rumors that Byington and WVU had a “handshake deal”, and while that may have been overstated a bit, these two parties have major mutual interest in striking a deal.

Byington, who has led James Madison to a 31-3 record and a NCAA Tournament berth, is an outstanding coach and an even better person, and he’s remained tight-lipped over the last couple of weeks about the West Virginia job. However, someone in his inner circle has leaked information and it’s now very clear that if West Virginia were to officially offer him the position, he would likely jump at the opportunity. Byington, from all accounts, runs an excellent program and has created an awesome culture at James Madison, and he would be a superb fit at West Virginia. Remember, Wren Baker said yesterday that “fit” is one of the most important parts in choosing who will take over the basketball program.

With that said, Wren Baker knows that he needs to make sure that all donors and interested parties are heard before he makes his final decision. Can he be swayed? Of course. But Baker loves Byington and Byington loves West Virginia.

Darian DeVries to WVU has picked up a ton of steam over the last couple of days

DeVries, who led Drake to a Missouri Valley Championship earlier this week, has become a very hot commodity in the coaching search, and West Virginia is certainly among the schools interested. According to a source, DeVries has already met with both West Virginia and Ohio State. Now, when I say he “met” with them, I mean that his people have spoken to the two schools to gauge interest. I believe DeVries is either West Virginia’s top choice or right up there, but there will be a lot of competition for him with several head coach job openings becoming available. Not only has Ohio State reached out, I’ve heard that Michigan and Louisville are also very interested in him. If Ohio State, Michigan or Louisville are truly after him, West Virginia cannot and will not be able to outbid any of the three for DeVries.

In his six seasons with the program, DeVires has put together an impressive 149-54 record (.734 winning percentage) and a 78-33 record in the tough Missouri Valley Conference. DeVries, a native of Aplington, Iowa, has led Drake to 3 NCAA Tournament appearances, a Missouri Valley Conference Championship in 2023 and was named the Missouri Valley Conference Coach of the Year in 2019 and 2021.

In addition, DeVries’ son, Tucker DeVries, is a current player at Drake and is the two-time Missour Valley Conference Player of the Year, averaging 21.8 points, 6.9 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game this season while leading the Bulldogs to a 27-6 record this season. Tucker DeVries has two years of eligibility remaining and would almost certainly follow his father to Morgantown if he coaches the Mountaineers next season.

Josh Schertz had a ZOOM call with West Virginia today

Schertz, the current head coach at Indiana State, had his season end in the Missouri Valley Championship, and so he is now able to start meeting with interested programs and fielding offers. From what I understand, Schertz is likely in the top five at West Virginia but not one of the top one or two candidates. However, Wren Baker is obviously going to do his due diligience on all potential hires, and unlike the other candidates he’s interested in, Schertz was available to discuss the position now that his team was likely eliminated from the NCAA Tournament.

Schertz, 48, is the 7 time South Atlantic Coach of the Year and the 2024 Missouri Valley Conference Coach of the Year, leading the Indiana State Sycamores to 26-5 record. In addition, he could potentially bring his star player, Robbie Avila aka Cream Abdul-Jabbar along with him.

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Brad Smith
Brad Smith, "The Voice of Morgantown", is the most trusted, accomplished name in West Virginia sports journalism. Smith is the foremost, preeminent authority on West Virginia athletics and a lifelong fan of the Mountaineers. Smith, a proud graduate of West Virginia University, resides in Morgantown most of the year, but has a home in Jacksonville, Florida, where he lives during the winter.