Josh Eilert out as interim coach at West Virginia

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West Virginia officially is looking for a new head coach after its season came to an end following the opening round of the Big 12 tournament.

Mountaineers athletic director Wren Baker announced Wednesday that the university is beginning a national search to fill that vacancy. The announcement comes one day after West Virginia concluded a 9-23 season (4-14 Big 12) under interim coach Josh Eilert with a 90-85 setback to Cincinnati in the tournament.

The Mountaineers are seeking help on the sideline for the second time in nine months after the resignation of then-coach Bob Huggins in the aftermath of a DUI arrest.

“As I shared last summer following our initial coaching transition, we decided to wait until the conclusion of the 2023-24 season before embarking on a full national search,” Baker said in a statement.

“Upon our return to Morgantown from the Big 12 men’s basketball championship, I met with coach Eilert, the coaching staff and the team to let them know we are moving forward with our search plans. All of Mountaineer Nation owes a debt of gratitude to coach Eilert for his leadership during a challenging season, as he and his staff faced all obstacles with class and professionalism.”

Eilert, 42, assumed the head coaching job in Morgantown despite never serving in that position previously.

In a statement posted to social media after his dismissal, Eilert thanked West Virginia fans and hinted at tumult that they didn’t see.

“I am acutely aware that this season was not what anyone expected, from start to finish,” he said. “No one is more disappointed about that than I am. The postmortem on that can and will be debated. There were the challenges you all saw and experienced with us, and then there were those that you did not; some so detrimental that they could not be overcome under the circumstances.

“But know that I did everything in my power to protect this team and represent this University to the best of my ability.”