Who will be the next WVU men’s basketball coach? 

By RealWV staff,

Mountaineers near and far woke up this past Saturday morning to news which broke our hearts. WVU Men’s Basketball Coach Bob Huggins was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol in Pittsburgh. According to the police report, he didn’t know where he was or how he got there. The next day, he resigned. 

Substance use is a serious public health matter across the entire state. Something about Coach Huggins’ heart, grit, and authenticity endeared him to West Virginians. Huggs will always be one of us, which is why we hope and pray he gets the help he needs. 

In the meantime, the Mountaineers are bringing in a loaded recruiting/transfer class…and they need a coach. Now. 

Who are some of the candidates to coach the men’s team this year? You’ve got several groups in the mix–current WVU assistants, NBA guys, members of the Huggins coaching family tree, and college coaches on the rise. Here are a few names to watch and a few to discount:

Pic: West Liberty Athletics

Ben Howlett, West Liberty

Would WVU take a chance on an in-state coach who’s found success on a smaller stage? Ben has backers.

Pic: WVU Athletics

Demarr Johnson, WVU Assistant

He certainly knows the game and has the chops with a distinguished career in the sport. Is he ready to be a head coach? 

Pic: WVU Athletics

Josh Eilert, WVU Assistant  

For 15 years, he’s been with WVU basketball in various roles. Perhaps no one knows the program better. He has worked his way from the bottom. But like Johnson, is he ready to be a head coach? 

Pic: WVU Athletics

Ron Everhart, WVU Assistant

With significant head coaching experience and established relationships to the current players, is he the safest option at lead in the interim? 

Pic: WVU Athletics

Rich Rodriguez

Haha, just kidding. Every WVU coaching vacancy leads to talk of Rich-Rod…we couldn’t resist.

Pic: Yahoo Sports

Joe Mazulla, Boston Celtics

Would he be willing to make the move from the NBA back to college after landing a huge job much sooner than expected last season in Boston, where he is well-liked by management? It seems very unlikely. But he is someone who marches to the beat of his own drum and does what he thinks is best.

Pic: The Athletic

John Beilein, Detroit Pistons

Would he want to run it back at WVU after finding success at Michigan and the NBA? The chances seem slim. 

Pic: Sports Illustrated

Jay Wright

No. It’s just not going to happen. Why are folks talking about this? 

Pic: Governor’s Office

Jim Justice, Governor

He loves coaching basketball more than anything else. Would he want the job? Sure. Is it gonna happen? No way.

Pic: UAB Athletics

Andy Kennedy, UAB

He has the pedigree, having coached under Huggins. Would he want to land at WVU and take over for his mentor far away from his home of Mississippi? 

Pic: Youngstown State Athletics

Jerrod Calhoun, Youngstown State

He also has the pedigree as a coach under Huggins and has recruiting connections in this region, but is he experienced enough for a job like this? 

Pic: Radford Athletics

Darris Nichols, Radford

Is his experience at Radford and time playing under Huggins enough to get him an interview? 

Pic: Northwest Missouri State Athletics

Ben McCollum, Northwest Missouri State

Would this former colleague of Wren Baker, who has succeeded at the Division II level, be given a chance? This is a very intriguing long-term option. 

Frank Martin, UMass

He’s done it before. He took over for Huggins at Kansas State and won a lot of games. He could do the job on day one. Does WVU leadership want to stick that close to an old script, or do they want to write a new one?  

Pic by Perry Bennett, WV Legislature

Bob Huggins, retired

Yeah, I know…this sounds crazy. He just retired. But he is beloved. People recover from substance use disorder. What if he got the help he needed and committed to recovery while an interim held down the fort? Would WVU give him another chance? Stranger things have happened.

Stay tuned to RealWV for updates.


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