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NOTEBOOK: WVU marks a basketball first with two new head coaches on the identical time

MORGANTOWN — Mixed, the WVU males’s and girls’s basketball groups have performed practically two centuries value of hoops.

For the primary time ever, each packages are embarking on a maiden teaching voyage.

The 2023-24 seasons will start with two new coaches on the helm — Josh Eilert for the lads and Mark Kellogg for the ladies.

“I’ve by no means had that occur,” stated Kellogg, who’s in his first season at WVU after spending the final eight at Stephen F. Austin.

Compared, each are main their WVU packages solely after some stunning circumstances.

Kellogg was employed in April, following the sudden departure of Daybreak Plitzuweit to Minnesota. Plitzuweit was at WVU for only one season.

Eilert’s case is way completely different. He’s spent the final 16 years at WVU in several roles, however was named the interim head coach in June, after Bob Huggins resigned following a DUI arrest in Pittsburgh.

Regardless of the case, WVU now has two rookie head coaches on the Energy 5 Convention degree.

“We now have talked for positive,” Kellogg stated of his relationship with Eilert. “Josh’s son and my son are the identical age and on the identical golf staff and the identical basketball staff. We see one another fairly a bit, to be sincere.”

Kellogg stated the 2 households have bonded by related circumstances.

“Like, basketball discuss, there’s not a ton of that,” Kellogg stated. “Life discuss, being at West Virginia and taking on the packages, yeah, these conversations have occurred very often.”

Kellogg stated he additionally likes the chemistry and togetherness of the lads’s and girls’s packages.

“The connection between each packages is pretty much as good as I’ve seen,” Kellogg stated. “I haven’t had very many dangerous ones, however there may be a few of that males’s basketball, ladies’s basketball battles. It has not been that method in any respect right here. It’s enjoyable to come back into the constructing on daily basis.”

Image motivation

A father of three, Eilert stated he wished to hold an image of his introductory press convention in his workplace that included his household.

In that very same image is the graphic the college’s advertising division designed that has in massive block letters the phrase “INTERIM.”

“I stare at it on daily basis,” Eilert stated in trying on the interim tag extra so than his household. “It’s a problem. From a private standpoint, I can present plenty of development for myself by watching it on daily basis.”

It’s a continuing reminder for Eilert that there’s work that continues to be and the challenges that lay forward.

“OK, I’m the top coach; I’m the top coach for 10 months,” he continued. “That’s the way in which I have a look at it. It’s a chance to show myself and construct this program to the place it must be. Now there’s strain — completely there’s strain — however I’m excited to take it on.”

Ready for the portal

Throughout Eilert’s transition from assistant coach to interim head coach following Huggins’ arrest, the WVU roster took successful.

Tre Mitchell, Mohamed Wague, Joe Toussaint and James Okonkwo all transferred following Huggins’ state of affairs.

Some could neglect it may have been worse. Guards Jose Perez and Kerr Kriisa additionally entered their names into the switch portal, solely to withdraw and return to WVU.

“I wasn’t going to carry them again by any means,” is the way in which Eilert describes the conditions behind Kriisa and Perez.

By NCAA rule, a college has two enterprise days to enter an athlete’s identify into the portal after they submit the request.

The WVU compliance division requested Eilert if he wished to make use of the whole allotted time earlier than coming into the names into the database?

“They requested me, and I stated if that’s their needs, put them in,” was Eilert’s reply. “I’m not making an attempt to carry something again.”

However Eilert additionally didn’t merely surrender on these two gamers.

“If West Virginia is the place they wish to be finally, I’ll re-recruit them,” he stated. “I’ll return after them and promote them the truth that we’ve got a imaginative and prescient right here, a basis that we’re constructing, we’re going to do issues the suitable method and we’re going to have a particular 12 months.”