Josh Eilert named interim coach for West Virginia Basketball
After 16 years on WVU basketball staff, Eilert gets his chance at the helm.
MORGANTOWN, W.Va (WDTV) - Josh Eilert has been named as the head men’s basketball coach for West Virginia University for an interim period tonight.
After Bob Huggins resigned last week from the program, WVU Athletic Director Wren Baker clearly wanted to conduct a national search and find the coach of the future - and in a statement released tonight, Baker confirmed that West Virginia will look to do so next year.
Baker said, “I spoke with knowledgeable basketball people around the country over the last week, including coaches, professional basketball executives and others of whom I trust to identify a strong group of candidates to speak with. 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. With that said, we will conduct our national search at the conclusion of the 2023-24 season.”
Eilert has spent 16 years with West Virginia basketball - he started working for the program back in 2007, where he worked in various capacities (recruiting, scouting, scheduling, operations, and more). He was part of Bob Huggins’ staff at Kansas State in 2006-07, and Huggins retained Eilert when he moved to West Virginia. In the 2022-23 season, Eilert transitioned into an assistant coach role.
Eilert released this statement today: “I would like to thank Wren Baker, President Gee, Rob Alsop, Steve Uryasz and the rest of our administration for believing in me and giving me the opportunity to lead our storied Mountaineer basketball program,” Eilert said. “I would also like to thank Coach Huggins for retaining me on his staff at K-State in 2006 and for bringing me to West Virginia in 2007. I’ve learned so much from Coach Huggins, and it was an honor to work for a Hall of Fame coach for the last 17 years.
“I’m excited about this opportunity to lead the wonderful group of guys that we have in our locker room. They have been working extremely hard on the court, in the weight room and in the classroom since they returned to campus on June 5. In the coming days and weeks, I will be solidifying our roster and getting our team ready to head to Italy later this summer.
I would also like to thank my wife, Brandi, and my three children for being incredibly supportive of me during my career. My three children were born in Morgantown, and West Virginia is a place we are proud to call home. We love being a part of Mountaineer Nation, and I will continue to put everything I have in seeing our student-athletes succeed on and off the court.”
Eilert played college basketball at Kansas State from 2002-2004, preceded by 2 years at Cloud County Community College.
The hire comes at a much-needed time for Mountaineer basketball - three players (Tre Mitchell, Kerr Kriisa, and Joe Toussaint) entered the transfer portal yesterday due to the uncertainty at head coach, and the hope has to be that Eilert stabilizes the program this summer and keeps as much of the roster together as possible.
He takes over after Bob Huggins’ resignation just one week ago - and he will have a chance this season to make his mark while leading West Virginia for the first time.
Copyright 2023 WDTV. All rights reserved.