DeVries departs Drake, takes over at W. Virginia

West Virginia on Sunday hired Drake’s Darian DeVries as its next men’s basketball coach, with the sides agreeing to a five-year deal, the school announced.

DeVries had emerged as one of the country’s top mid-major coaches in recent years, leading Drake to the NCAA tournament in three of the past four seasons. He has won at least 25 games in each of the past four seasons and has a record of 150-55 over six campaigns at Drake.

“I’m honored to lead this historic program which has an outstanding tradition and passionate fanbase,” DeVries said in a statement. “Gamedays in the WVU Coliseum are legendary, and the incredible support for Mountaineer Basketball is known nationwide. I look forward to building on the success of the program.

DeVries takes the vacancy created when Bob Huggins left WVU amid a hailstorm of controversy in the wake of his DUI arrest in June. The school placed assistant coach Josh Eilert in charge for the 2023-24 season before reopening the search for Huggins’ full-time replacement.

The hire comes in the wake of a nationwide search that saw WVU officials visit multiple candidates in person.

DeVries’ experience includes 17 seasons as an assistant coach at Creighton and 20 total seasons on staff with the Bluejays. His time there included working for both Dana Altman (now Oregon’s coach) and Greg McDermott.

DeVries takes over a WVU program that went 9-23 this season, including a 4-14 conference mark that tied for the bottom of the Big 12. The Mountaineers qualified for the NCAA tournament under Huggins in 13 of the prior 18 seasons a tournament was held, and they reached the Final Four in 2010.

DeVries accepts a job with NCAA tournament expectations in a Big 12 that consistently has been the most challenging conference in the sport in recent seasons.

“Coach DeVries is a phenomenal basketball coach and an even better person and possesses all the qualities we desired in the next leader of our men’s basketball program,” West Virginia athletic director Wren Baker said. “His teams play hard and smart and are efficient on both ends of the floor. He has proven to be a strong recruiter and developer of players but even more importantly, a leader with integrity who develops character in the young men he coaches.”

DeVries’ son, Tucker, is expected to follow him to West Virginia, sources told ESPN’s Jeff Borzello. Tucker DeVries was the 2023 and 2024 MVC player of the year and scored 1,867 points in his Drake career. The 6-foot-7 guard averaged 21.6 points and 6.7 rebounds this season, shooting 36.3% from 3.

Drake won a First Four game in the 2021 NCAA tournament and lost in the first round to Miami in 2023 and to Washington State this year. Drake won the Missouri Valley Conference regular-season title in DeVries’ first season at Drake in 2018-19.

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