Two Head Coaches Have Already Turned Down WVU Job

Cover Photo: Luke Blain

MORGANTOWN, West Virginia — Yesterday, the West Virginia Mountaineers dismissed Josh Eilert as the interim head coach of the program and director of athletics Wren Baker said that he would immediately begin a nationwide search for fill the position.

Baker also said that the process would be deliberate but that he intended to have a new head coach in place as soon as possible and it appears that he is doing everything possible to make that happen. According to CBS Sports, Baker has already reached out to multiple head coaches about the position.

In an article on CBS Sports today, it’s stated that “Athletic director Wren Baker has taken some swings on a few sitting head coaches who have passed, and at least one who is still considering the option.” The article goes on to say, “The search will be a tight one and fit is paramount.”

Yesterday, Baker met with the media and made it clear that the head coaching position at West Virginia is a great job and he would find the right person to take over the program.

“I think it’s important that we have somebody, not necessarily that has ties to West Virginia, but that will come in and understand West Virginia and West Virginians,” Baker said.

“We want somebody that’s committed to building a championship program on the court but also committed to building leaders off the court,” he said, “That’s really important that we’re helping young people grow and develop and get prepared for life.”

“Because of the portal, there is an opportunity to have some early success, but I always encourage coaches to build the program and not a team,” Baker said. “When you are onboarding a new coach, I think it’s important that they get the culture right, they get their staff right and their systems right. You must have patience to allow them to grow into it.

“There are coaches around the country who have more immediate success because of the portal, but there are still some it takes time. The portal will open on March 18, so there could be a pretty significant roster overhaul, but there has been in other programs as well,” he added. “Hopefully, the results will come sooner rather than later, but they will come.”

“This is a great basketball job, I mean a really strong program,” Baker pointed out. “We have tremendous tradition, and we’ve done it with multiple coaches over the years. We’ve got great facilities – certainly a top-10 or maybe a top-five basketball practice facility – and the Coliseum is an awesome venue.”

Although Baker is clearly interested in bringing in a top candidate to turn the basketball program around, it’s clear that he will have tremendous competition from other programs who are also searching for a new head coach. Ohio State, Louisville, Oklahoma State and Vanderbilt are just a few of the many open jobs that West Virginia will have to compete against to attract top head coaches. However, like Baker said in his press conference yesterday, West Virginia is an outstanding position with excellent NIL, facilities and fans.