West Virginia announced on Monday that it had hired DerMarr Johnson as an assistant coach for men’s basketball.
The move came four days after the athletic department relieved associate head coach Larry Harrison of his duties. Harrison has been one of head coach Bob Huggins’ long-time assistant coaches, both at West Virginia and at Cincinnati.
Johnson, who played seven years in the NBA and 16 years of professional basketball, still has to complete new hire protocols before starting his work with the Mountaineers.
“He’s extremely well-liked by former players, coaches and fans alike,” Huggins said in the release. “He has a tremendous presence in the Washington, D.C. area, being one of the most-recognized athletes to come out of there in a long time. I’m thrilled that he’s joining our program and look forward to him getting on the court.”
Johnson played one season for Huggins at Cincinnati (1999-2000), a team that was No. 1 in the country for 12 weeks. He averaged 13.0 points and 3.7 rebounds in being named Conference USA Freshman of the Year. Also on that team was National Player of the Year Kenyon Martin.
Johnson went into the NBA Draft after that season and was selected No. 6 overall by Atlanta. He played for four teams in seven seasons and had to overcome an automobile accident where he fractured four vertebrae in his neck following his second year in the league.
He played the remainder of his career overseas.
He joined the Cincinnati coaching staff as a student assistant in 2017, earned his bachelor’s degree in 2019 and has been the Bearcats’ director of player development since May of 2021.
West Virginia hosts No. 14 TCU on Wednesday.
You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard.