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Next WVU Head Coach Odds: Ben McCollum? Or John Beilein Reunion?

Adam Thompson for Bookies.com

Adam Thompson  | 5 mins

Next WVU Head Coach Odds: Ben McCollum? Or John Beilein Reunion?

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Bob Huggins is out as men’s basketball coach of West Virginia University, after a DUI arrest capped off a series of career-cracking incidents from which he could not recover. 

It will take some big shoes to take the place of Huggins, a Morgantown native and WVU legend who was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame less than a year ago. But someone has to, and one name being rumored is extremely familiar with the program.

Bookies.com veteran oddsmaker Adam Thompson has revealed his list of college basketball odds for the next head coach of the Mountaineers: 

West Virginia Next Basketball Coach Odds

CoachOddsImplied Probability
Ben McCollum+40020.0%
John Beilein+50016.7%
Jerrod Calhoun+50016.7%
Pat Kelsey+52516.0%
Josh Eilert+55015.4%
Andy Kennedy+75011.8%
Ron Everhart+10009.1%
The Field+60014.3%

Odds above are projected and were created by our Bookies.com Senior College Basketball handicapper Adam Thompson. They do not reflect odds that may be available on legal betting apps.

As a program, West Virginia had considerable success under Huggins. The Mountaineers advanced to the NCAA Tournament 11 times in 15 eligible seasons, with a Final Four in 2009-10. He also helped usher a new era with the team moving to the Big 12 from the Big East in 2012-13. 

Last season the team finished a modest 19-15 and only 7-11 in the Big 12, but still got a berth to the Big Dance. The year prior, it missed the postseason altogether. The Mountaineers had finished top three in the Big 12 in four of the previous five campaigns. 

In an effort to springboard back into conference relevance, much of the 2023-24 roster was built using the transfer portal. To that end, and given the sudden mid-June departure of a coach, WVU may consider an internal candidate, though WVU athletic director Wren Baker indicated this will be a national search. 

Ron Everhart, also on staff, has had three college basketball head coaching stints and would be the most-seasoned selection. Josh Eilert has yet to be a head coach but is considered an up-and-comer in the coaching ranks. Both will be considered. 

That said, there are strong external candidates. 

Ben McCollum of Northwest Missouri State may not resonate to casual fans, but the man has led the Bearcats to three NCAA Division II national titles in the past three seasons. If any school can get him to  move up – he’s professed his love for his current situation – this might be it. Baker was the AD at NWMS earlier in his career. 

When Baker had to hire a new women’s basketball coach, he went with a familiar name that he used to work with over a decade prior. He could do the same again here. 

Former Michigan coach John Beilein got WVU back to the road of relavence in his five-season stint before leaving to guide the Wolverines. He currently serves as an advisor for the Detroit Pistons, but reportedly is a prime target. Would Beilein, 70, leave his cushy gig and return to Morgantown, if even for just 1-2 seasons? 

A flight tracker noted a jet from depart Pontiac, Mich. to Morgantown on June 22. Mountaineers fans are believing, or at least hoping, Beilein was on that plane. 

Jerrod Calhoun of Youngstown State wouldn’t make a national splash, but locals might. Calhoun coached under Huggins at WVU and had success at Division II Fairmont State, just 20 miles southwest of Morgantown. He’s guided YSU to 24 wins this past season and will be a candidate for a bigger-boy job in the coming seasons, if he doesn’t head back to the Mountain State. 

Pat Kelsey built Winthrop into a winner and parlayed that into a gig at the College of Charleston, where he led the team to a 31-4 record in just his second season (it was 17-15 in Year One). Kelsey will eventually land a power gig. WVU’s dedication to basketball – it is considered a major player in the NIL market – could push Kelsey to the next step sooner than expected. 

UAB head coach and former Huggins assistant and Ole Miss head guy Andy Kennedy is likely to get a strong look. After working with Huggins at Cincinnati, Kennedy turned a moribund Rebels program into a respectable program. For the last three seasons he’s been at UAB, which took runner-up at the NIT this season and was in the NCAA Tournament in 2021-22. 

The Field has legitimate names that could consider West Virginia a prime opportunity. It includes Toldeo's Tod Kowalczyk, former Xavier and Louisville coach Chris Mack, Ohio coach Jeff Boals; and up-and-comer Takayo Siddle of UNC Wilmington. 

Kowalczyk has led the Toledo Rockets to three-straight MAC regular-season championships and has won the league’s Coach of the Year award in two of the last three years, though he indicated last week (before this vacancy existed) that he wasn’t going anywhere. 

About the Author

Adam Thompson for Bookies.com
Adam Thompson
NFL writer and expert Adam Thompson joined Bookies.com in 2019 after a successful run as senior handicapper for SportsLine and CBSSports.com. He's long been established as one of the nation's premier handicappers, specializing in the NFL where he's hit on more than 60% over the past three years. Adam's NBA, PGA and horse racing picks have also produced major winners over the last 12 months. His customized NFL and NBA odds for players and teams have been picked up by hundreds of websites over the past year.