Huggins remains coy on Harrison’s dismissal while previous, current players speak out

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. β€” West Virginia’s males’s basketball program will play its 531st recreation below the route of head coach Bob Huggins at midday Saturday when the Mountaineers battle Oklahoma on the Lloyd Noble Center.

For the earlier 530, Larry Harrison was a part of the group’s teaching employees.

Yet when the Mountaineers go for his or her first victory inside Big 12 Conference play towards the Sooners, it’s going to be West Virginia’s first recreation since March 29, 2007 with out Harrison having a job.

This comes after Harrison was fired Thursday from his place as affiliate head coach, a title he’d held since July 2010. Harrison first served as an assistant coach at WVU, was promoted three years later and was a part of the employees for every of the final 16 seasons, spanning Huggins’ total tenure in Morgantown.

Harrison was additionally a member of Huggins’ teaching employees at Cincinnati for eight seasons till 1997.

Huggins started a scheduled media session Friday by studying a ready assertion earlier than the group traveled to Norman, Okla.

“The choice to make a change inside our basketball employees was a tough one,” he stated. “Larry and I labored collectively for twenty-four years and shared many nice moments. The choice was made in the perfect curiosity of Mountaineer basketball. I’m not going to take any questions on the matter and can now transfer on to your questions concerning the upcoming Oklahoma recreation.”

It was a distinct tune from Huggins than Thursday evening throughout his weekly radio present at Kegler’s when he addressed the subject inside just a few hours of WVU asserting Harrison’s dismissal.

“I do not actually have loads to say about it,” Huggins stated, “as a result of I wasn’t concerned as I’m being portrayed to be.”

When reached Friday, Harrison stated by means of textual content message that he was not but able to publicly remark on his dismissal, however could be at a later time.

Considering Wren Baker remains to be in his first month as West Virginia’s Director of Athletics, it is honest to surprise how a lot affect, if any, Baker had on the choice. On the opposite hand, Huggins is the second-winningest energetic head coach in faculty basketball with an excessive amount of affect whose voice carries weight. A latest inductee into The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, Huggins is essentially the most highly effective and recognizable determine inside West Virginia’s athletic division.

“At the tip of the day, we’ll do what we at all times do,” Huggins stated. “We’ll make an prolonged search and attempt to discover the perfect match and particular person for the job.”

Harrison’s firing sparked response from previous and current West Virginia players that took to social media to precise their displeasure with the choice, together with the 2 Mountaineers taking part in within the National Basketball Association β€” Milwaukee Bucks guard Jevon Carter and New York Knicks guard Miles McBride.

Harrison labored intently with West Virginia’s guards and two current members of the Mountaineers’ backcourt shared their ideas on social media.

Erik Martin, an assistant coach at West Virginia from 2007-2022 earlier than turning into head coach at South Carolina State final offseason, expressed gratitude for Harrison.

Other previous players to speak out with regard to Harrison’s firing embody guards Juwan Staten, Taz Sherman and Teyvon Myers and middle Logan Routt.

For now, WVU will proceed with two assistant coaches β€” Ron Everhart and Josh Eilert β€” the rest of this season.

Prior to becoming a member of the Mountaineers’ employees in 2012, Everhart served as head coach at McNeese State, Northeastern and Duquesne. Eilert has been a part of the Mountaineers’ employees the final 16 seasons and labored his approach up from video coordinator to Assistant Athletics Director for Basketball Operations to fill the void Martin left behind.

Jay Kurtz, Director of Player Personnel/Recruiting, and Alex Ruff, a Graduate Assistant who sits close to Huggins on the head of the bench, are different key employees members.

“We’re blessed that Ronnie’s been by means of it and been a head coach at three totally different faculties,” Huggins stated. “We have a man with expertise and we even have another guys which can be good basketball guys. Hopefully we are able to put all of it collectively.”

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