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West Virginia made a significant move on Sunday by hiring Darian DeVries as the new head coach of the men’s basketball team. DeVries, who was previously the coach at Drake, signed a five-year contract with the Mountaineers. The decision came shortly after Drake’s exit from the NCAA Tournament, where they suffered a first-round loss to Washington State. Athletic director Wren Baker praised DeVries for his coaching abilities, character, and player development skills. DeVries had a successful tenure at Drake, earning the Missouri Valley Conference Coach of the Year title twice and leading the team to March Madness three times.

DeVries, who is 48 years old, has an impressive coaching record with a 150-55 overall record in six seasons. His teams at Drake consistently won at least 25 games, and this season, they tied a school record by finishing with 28 wins. DeVries’ success also extended to the home court, where Drake boasted a 30-1 record over the past two seasons. His hiring comes after a tumultuous year for West Virginia, which saw multiple challenges, including player defections, injuries, and distractions. The team finished with a disappointing 9-23 record, resulting in the departure of Hall of Fame coach Bob Huggins and the interim appointment of Josh Eilert.

Upon his appointment, DeVries expressed his excitement and honor in leading the historic West Virginia program, known for its passionate fanbase and legendary game days. Athletic director Wren Baker sought a coach with a proven track record in Division I, aiming to bring success back to a program that has struggled in recent years. DeVries, who has familial ties to both basketball and football, brings a wealth of experience from his time as an assistant coach at Creighton and his playing career at Northern Iowa. His son Tucker was a standout player for Drake this season, leading the team in scoring.

Drake, in response to DeVries’ departure, announced that they will begin a search for a new head coach to fill the void left by his departure. Drake’s athletic director, Brian Hardin, commended DeVries for the positive impact he had on the program during his six-year tenure. Under DeVries’ leadership, Drake experienced success on the court while establishing a strong culture off the court. The university expressed gratitude to DeVries for his mentorship and leadership, wishing him well in his future endeavors. DeVries’ success at Drake and his reputation as an effective coach and mentor indicate that he is well-equipped to lead West Virginia back to prominence in the competitive world of college basketball.

DeVries’ hiring marks a new chapter for West Virginia basketball, with hopes for a resurgence under his leadership. Baker emphasized the importance of finding a coach who understands and appreciates the culture and history of the university and the state. West Virginia has not had significant success in recent years, with three last-place finishes in the Big 12 since 2019 and limited success in the NCAA Tournament. Despite these challenges, DeVries’ arrival brings renewed optimism and enthusiasm for the program, with the belief that he can build on the existing success and lead the team to greater achievements on and off the court. West Virginia’s passionate fanbase and renowned game days create an exciting environment for DeVries to showcase his coaching abilities and continue his legacy of success in college basketball.

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