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Wren Baker Calls WVU Basketball Job ‘Top 20 in the Country’

Dec 18, 2022; Morgantown, West Virginia, USA; West Virginia University President Gordon Gee welcomes new West Virginia Mountaineers Athletic Director Wren Baker during the first half against the Buffalo Bulls at WVU Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

With the first press conference of new West Virginia head basketball coach Josh Eilert in the books, West Virginia Athletic Director, Wren Baker spoke on the hiring process and the speed fans expected the job to get done.

According to a report from West Virginia Sports Now’s Ethan Bock, Baker spoke on the decision to promote Eilert saying, “People say, ‘No you have to rush this.’ No, this is a top-20 job in the country.”

 

Eilert agreed to terms on the job for a one-year deal worth $1.5M and now owns the title of head coach at a top-20 university, in the words of Wren Baker. While the scenario that started the job search was less than ideal, the Mountaineers had one of the nation’s top recruiting classes in the transfer portal at the time of the opening, a passionate fanbase, recruiting success for top prospects, and a history of excellence on the basketball court.

The West Virginia Mountaineers basketball team’s history definitely fits the mold of that of a top 20 program in the country. The team boasts an overall winning percentage of .618% (1,792-1,110) dating all the way back to 1904. The team holds two Final Four appearances, four Elite Eight appearances, 11 trips to the Sweet 16, and 31 trips to the NCAA Tournament.

West Virginia also owns 28 conference championship wins in both regular-season and post-season tournaments across the Eastern Intercollegiate Conference, Southern Conference, Atlantic 10, and Big East Conference. The Mountaineers also have a rich class of famous Mountaineer basketball alumni including the NBA’s logo Jerry West, Jevon Carter, Rod Thorn, Greg Jones, Joe Alexander, Ron Williams, Da’Sean Butler, and more.

While it’s not an easy claim to say a program has a top-20 vacancy, the rich history of the Mountaineers backs it up. New head coach Josh Eilert steps into a team with a multitude of questions to answer prior to the season’s start, but to Eilert’s credit, he happens to be a member of the Big 12 Conference which has seen many first-year head coaches step in thrive over the past few years including Texas interim head coach, Rodney Terry.

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