West Virginia promoted its longtime assistant coach Josh Eilert to interim head coach on Saturday for the entire 2023-24 season.
The move comes exactly one week after Bob Huggins resigned in the aftermath of a DUI arrest. The timing made it too difficult to conduct an exhaustive search for a permanent head coach, just as the program bleeds players into the transfer portal.
“Ultimately what I came to recognize, was that conducting this search in late June was difficult for many of our candidates and also it put our talented student-athletes at a real disadvantage,” WVU athletics director Wren Baker said in a school release. “With that said, we will conduct our national search at the conclusion of the 2023-24 season.
“Josh Eilert is the right person to lead our men’s basketball program next season,” Baker added. “He has been an important part of our success, and he has displayed great integrity, work ethic and dedication. He has been involved in all facets of our program during his time on the basketball staff, and he has earned this opportunity to coach our team on an interim basis for the 2023-24 season.”
So far, Tre Mitchell, Joe Toussaint and Kerr Kriisa have entered the portal since Huggins resigned.
Eilert came to the Mountaineers in 2007 as video coordinator.
Eilert appeared in a total of eight games at Kansas State from 2002-04 after transferring in from a community college. He scored two points in 12 total minutes played. He was named to the Academic All-Big 12 Team as a senior.
Huggins was arrested June 16 in Pittsburgh.
According to the Pittsburgh Police Department, officers observed Huggins’ black SUV blocking traffic with a flat tire and the driver’s side door open.
Huggins was directed to pull over and, after being questioned by police, was issued a standard field-sobriety test that he ultimately failed. Officers observed “empty beer cans in a white garbage bag of empty metal beer bottles. In the trunk of the vehicle was another white garbage bag of empty metal beer bottles.”
Huggins, 69, was then charged with DUI and released from custody. He resigned just about 24 hours later.
Huggins has coached the Mountaineers since 2007. He was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2022 and is one of only six men’s coaches to reach 900 career wins.
–Field Level Media