Morgantown, West Virginia – According to multiple sources, West Virginia assistant coach Erik Martin has officially interviewed for the position of the head coach of the Cincinnati Bearcats and is expected to take the job if it’s offered.

Martin, who was named to The Athletic’s list of 30 Coaches to Watch in 2018, is in his 15th season as an assistant under Bob Huggins at West Virginia University.  Martin was a standout power forward for Huggins at Cincinnati and graduated there in 1993.

Now, following former head coach John Brannen’s firing, Martin is a lead candidate to take over the Bearcats’ program.

Several former Cincinnati players have spoken out in favor of the university hiring Martin and Bob Huggins has been making calls and advocating for Martin to get the job.

Martin spoke with The Cincinnati Enquirer and said the following about the potential of returning to his alma mater to become the head coach: “To be given the opportunity to coach at Cincinnati, what can I say? You can’t put it into words.  I haven’t been a head coach before, but I’ve been learning from a hall of famer and I’ve spent enough time with him, and he’s spoken about some of the things that are a challenge at Cincinnati. I’m looking forward to having the opportunity to be that guy that leads the university.”

Martin and former teammate and NBA great Nick Van Exel spoke with Cincinnati Athletic Director John Cunningham this afternoon on Zoom and a deal could be imminent.

If Martin does in fact leave to take the position, this would be an outstanding opportunity for Bob Huggins to bring in a young coach who could potentially be an heir apparent for when he decides to retire.  Think Joe Mazzula or Darris Nichols, both highly-regarded assistants and former Mountaineers who would be terrific replacements for Huggins down the road.