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COLUMN: Drexel coach Zach Spiker is Morgantown via and thru

Most opposing coaches don’t spend the ultimate moments earlier than tip-off contained in the Coliseum glancing across the area to soak within the second.

Then once more, no opposing coach has ever been Zach Spiker.

For these not acquainted with Drexel’s head coach, who was on the brief finish of a 66-60 loss to the Mountaineers on Saturday, Spiker is a Morgantown man via and thru.

He performed his highschool basketball for Tom Yester at Morgantown Excessive, first reduce his enamel within the faculty basketball world as an administrative assistant at WVU beneath John Beilein within the outdated Huge East and Kevin Pittsnogle days.

“The trail you might have and the folks you come into contact with, wherever you might be, you possibly can be taught a lot from,” Spiker stated. “I feel my time right here with coach Beilein and his employees and the folks related to the college was an unbelievable studying expertise for me and I’m very grateful for that.”

His spouse, Jennifer, is a former assistant coach with WVU girls’s soccer crew, whereas his father, John, is a WVU Corridor-of-Famer and a pioneer within the space of athletic coaching.

John Spiker helped the college transition from the times of telling athletes to “rub some dust on it” to the extra subtle advances seen within the area immediately.

So, yeah, Zach Spiker had good purpose to soak within the second.

“I took a minute to stroll across the Coliseum after I acquired in,” Spiker stated. “I admire that second. I attempted to remain in my common routine. I assumed our crew performed and competed actually onerous. We simply didn’t get fairly sufficient made buckets. They took away some threes and we had a few unlucky calls the place the ball didn’t bounce our means.”

WVU head coach Josh Eilert, an alum of Kansas State, is aware of somewhat bit concerning the return journey house that facilities round successful and shedding extra so than rekindling recollections.

“I’m certain he put lots of thought into it main into it,” WVU head coach Josh Eilert stated. “That’s type of the way in which it’s been for me (when Eilert returns to Kansas State). You throw the ball up within the air and tip it off, you type of zone in.
“I’m certain it was particular for him. It was the primary time he’s been again to the Coliseum as a head coach.”

Spiker’s rise via the faculty teaching ranks has been certain and regular, first spending seven years at Military and having sufficient success there that solely two guys named Bob Knight and Mike Krzyzewski can say they equaled or surpassed.

That is Spiker’s eighth season with the Dragons. Thus far the spotlight was a string of upset victories within the 2021 Colonial Athletic Affiliation match that acquired Drexel into the NCAA match as a No. 16 seed that season.

That would quickly be altering. Drexel was picked third within the CAA this season after returning the majority of his crew that went 17-15 final season.

And, oh, yeah, he’s already acquired a 57-55 victory in opposition to Philly rival Villanova to lean on this season.

“I feel we’re doing what we anticipated to do by way of competitors,” Spiker stated. “I feel we anticipate to win these video games. I assumed our method all day (Friday) was very businesslike. It’s disappointing, frankly, it’s disappointing.”

And he virtually acquired a formidable win in Morgantown. Had a few 3-pointers from Justin Moore fallen — he had two nice appears to be like within the last two minutes — this recreation may have been utterly totally different.

“We didn’t get what we needed out of this journey to Morgantown, which was a win,” Spiker stated.