USA Today Names Top 10 Candidates to Replace Josh Eilert at West Virginia

MORGANTOWN, West Virginia — Although I firmly believe that West Virginia interim head coach Josh Eilert should be given one more year with the Mountaineers, the team is currently 8-17 overall and in last place in the Big 12 Conference, and it’s very unlikely that he will be given another opportunity next season.

With that considered, hot boards and lists of potential candidates to replace Eilert are starting to pop up. Today, USA Today released their Top 10 Candidates to become the next head coach at West Virgina, and it was very similar to the one The Voice of Morgantown released earlier in the week:

1. Mark Byington – I’ve heard the same. Byington is the top choice right now, although this is obviously a very fluid situation. One source revealed that Byington and West Virginia AD Wren Baker already have a “handshake deal” in place to make him the head coach following this season, but I’m not sure that talks are that advanced yet.

Here’s what USA Today had to say about the potential of Byington to West Virginia: “The rumor mill is swirling that West Virginia’s top choice is Byington, who is having an outstanding season as the head coach of James Madison. The Dukes are cruising in the Sun Belt this season, sporting a 24-3 overall record and pulling off an upset over Michigan State in the season opener.”

2. Dustin Kerns – Kerns is 123-100 overall as a head coach and 22-5 this season at Appalachian State. I think this is a longshot, but certainly possible. Kerns was not listed as one of the coaches being considered on our list.

3. Pat Kelsey – My personal favorite to land the job, Kelsey is a high-energy head coach who has led The College of Charleston to a 20-7 record this year.

4. Dusty May – After leading FAU to the Final Four last year, he will be on every program’s list, but would he leave a very comfortable job for West Virginia? I sort of doubt it. He’s an Indiana alum and would likely wait for a job like that to open.

5. Steve Forbes – Current coach at Wake Forest with a 196-92 career record. Talented, bright head coach if West Virginia could lure him to Morgantown.

6. Andy Kennedy – There was mutual interest between Kennedy and West Virginia before the start of the season, but Kennedy appeared to be very committed to UAB at the time. I don’t think this is a realistic possibility now.

7. Josh Schertz – Has led Indiana State to a 22-5 record this season and could be an excellent under-the-radar choice at West Virginia.

8. Jeff Boals – Was the head coach at the University of Charleston and an assistant coach at Marshall, so he’s a familiar face in West Virginia, but he’s a very underwhelming 13-12 at Ohio University this season.

9. Niko Medved – Current Colorado State head coach with ties to Morgantown. His wife is from the area and they still have a lot of family in West Virginia. Considered an early favorite by many to be the next head coach at West Virginia.

10. Jerrod Calhoun – Longtime assistant at West Virginia, Calhoun has had success at Youngstown State (19-9 this season) as a head coach. He might be in the top ten, but I think several head coaches would have to turn the job down before he was considered.