Morgantown, West Virginia – After West Virginia “parted ways” with longtime assistant coach Larry Harrison, the university will now conduct an immediate search for his replacement.
Although Bob Huggins was clearly unhappy with how this situation has played out, he has half of a season remaining this year and will need to find a competent, viable option to join his staff. With that said, here’s a look at realistic possibilities for the Mountaineers moving forward.
1A – James Long, Former Head Coach at WVU Tech/Current General Manager of Carolina Factory
Why James Long? A native of Charleston, West Virginia, Long worked under Huggins prior to leaving to become the head coach at WVU Tech. At Tech, Long had a 62-21 overall record in three seasons.
Long graduated from WVU with a bachelor’s degree in finance. He played for the Mountaineers from 2014-2017 and was a member of the Academic All-Big 12 Men’s Basketball First Team.
Why not James Long? Long is a Huggins’ protege. The Mountaineers need a fresh perspective and new ideas, and it’s possible that Long would bring more of the same.
1B – Juwan Staten, Head Coach, Flyght Academy Prep in Dayton, Ohio
Why Juwan Staten? Young, up-and-coming coach who could relate to today’s players. He has worked as a GA under Huggins and had many successful years playing professionally before retiring and becoming a coach.
Why not Juwan Staten? Limited experience coaching at this level.
1C – Alex Ruoff, Current Graduate Assistant at West Virginia
Why Alex Ruoff? Very respected former player who has done well as a grad assistant under Huggins this year. Ruoff will likely be promoted in the future, so why put off the inevitable?
Why not Alex Ruoff? Although Ruoff has a ton of playing experience, he’s very new to the coaching game.
1D – Da’Sean Butler, Assistant Video Coordinator for the New York Knicks
Why Da’Sean Butler? One of the greatest players in the history of West Virginia basketball, Butler continues to climb the coaching ranks and has a tremendous relationship with Huggins. Butler would get immediate respect from West Virginia players.
Why not Da’Sean Butler? Not many downsides here. Seems like a great fit.
Swing For the Fences
Darris Nichols, Head Coach, Radford
Why Darris Nichols? Former GA under Huggins, Nichols was an assistant at Northern Kentucky, Wofford, Louisiana Tech and Florida before accepting the head coach position at Radford.
Why not Darris Nichols? Radford has a 17-26 record in 2 seasons under Nichols and it’s unlikely that he would consider leaving a head coach job to become an assistant at his alma mater. However, would WVU give him a “head coach in-waiting” title to lure him back?
Joe Mazzulla, Interim Head Coach, Boston Celtics
Why Joe Mazzulla? If West Virginia really wants to make a splash, they would throw bags of cash and promises of replacing Bob Huggins when he decides to retire at Joe Mazzulla.
Why not Joe Mazzulla? He’s almost certainly going to be hired as the full-time head coach of the Boston Celtics and likely wouldn’t even consider an offer from West Virginia at this time.
Current Odds to replace Larry Harrison as new assistant coach at West Virginia:
Juwan Staten +100
James Long +100
Alex Ruoff +150
Da’Sean Butler +200
Darris Nichols +250
Joe Mazzulla +500 #WVU
— The Voice of Morgantown (@voicemorgantown) January 13, 2023