Potential Replacements for WVU Basketball Coach Bob Huggins Following Homophobic Slur About Xavier Fans
In light of the recent controversy surrounding West Virginia University (WVU) head men’s basketball coach Bob Huggins, this article explores potential replacements should Huggins be removed from his position. Huggins found himself in hot water after making homophobic remarks about Xavier fans during a Cincinnati sports radio show. In response, he has since apologized for his actions, and WVU released a statement condemning his comments.
Huggins Anti-Gay Slur Should See Him Fired
WVU basketball could soon be looking for a replacement for head coach Bob Huggins. Huggins, who called Xavier fans, “Catholic f**s” in a recent radio appearance could be facing the consequences of his actions as college basketball fans call for him to be fired.
⚠️ Here’s the audio of Bob Huggins calling Xavier fans “Catholic f–s” during an appearance on Bill Cunningham’s WLW radio show in Cincinnati pic.twitter.com/JTftGx9rQE
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) May 8, 2023
Huggins said in an apology statement, “I used a completely insensitive and abhorrent phrase that there is simply no excuse for, and I won’t try to make one here. I deeply apologize to the individuals I have offended, as well as to the Xavier University community, the University of Cincinnati, and West Virginia University.”
— WVU Men's Basketball (@WVUhoops) May 8, 2023
He continued, “As I have shared with my players over my 40 years of coaching, there are consequences for our words and actions, and I will fully accept any coming my way. I am ashamed and embarrassed and heartbroken for those I have hurt. I must do better, and I will.”
In response, West Virginia University released a statement of their own.
Statement by WVU Athletics. pic.twitter.com/BGGAErDU22
— WVU Sports (@WVUSports) May 8, 2023
“Coach Huggins’ remarks today on a Cincinnati radio show were insensitive, offensive, and do not represent our university values,” WVU said. “The situation is under review and will be addressed by the university and its athletics department.”
Potential Replacements if WVU Fires Bob Huggins
Considering the situation, here are five potential replacements for Huggins if WVU does decide to let him go:
• Ron Everhart
Everhart has been an assistant coach at WVU since 2012, working closely with Huggins. Prior to joining WVU, he was the head coach at Duquesne, McNeese State, and Northeastern, where he demonstrated an ability to turn around struggling programs.
Everhart led Duquesne to the Atlantic 10 championship game in his third season and earned an NIT bid. His familiarity with the WVU program and experience in revitalizing teams make him a strong candidate for the head coaching position. He would not be BBI’s pick, but would certainly be on the WVU shortlist and possibly even the favorite for the gig if he doesn’t stand in solace with his friend Bob Huggins.
• Erik Martin
Martin spent 15 years at WVU as an assistant coach under Huggins before taking his first head coaching role at South Carolina State in 2022. Having worked extensively with Huggins, Martin understands the expectations at WVU. He could slot in seamlessly, and offer the program some sort of continuity.
His recent move to South Carolina State may make his return to Morgantown complicated, but his long tenure at WVU makes him an ideal candidate to step into the head coaching role.
• Dusty May
Dusty May has become one of the hottest mid-major coaches in the country after leading Florida Atlantic University (FAU) to a 35-4 record, a Conference USA regular-season title, and who could forget their Cinderella run to the Final Four. With big wins over Tennessee and Kansas State when the pressure was on, May showed he could coach against and beat Power Five opposition.
His impressive track record of success, combined with his ability to energize a team and fanbase, would make him an attractive option for WVU.
• Jason Hart
Hart, a former point guard at Syracuse and 10-year NBA veteran, spent eight years as an assistant at USC before taking over the NBA G League Ignite in 2021.
While he’s currently in a great position that could potentially lead to an NBA head coaching role, his strong recruiting background and experience coaching future pros could make him a valuable addition to the college ranks.
• Pat Kelsey
Kelsey has quickly made a name for himself at the College of Charleston, leading the team to a 31-4 record, CAA regular-season and conference titles, and the program’s first AP Top 25 ranking in 13 years. Kelsey has 11 years experience as a head coach under his belt now, and has been successful at both Winthrop and CofC.
His overall record 234-114 speaks for itself and a Power Five job can’t be far away for the impressive young coach.
His experience as an assistant coach at Wake Forest and Xavier also help Kelsey bring a high-energy, up-tempo style that could breathe new life into the WVU program.
Each of these coaches brings unique strengths and experiences to the table. As WVU evaluates its options in the wake of Huggins’ controversial comments, any one of these candidates could be a solid choice to lead the Mountaineers’ basketball program into the future.
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