BlueGoldNews.com reported last night that WVU assistant men's basketball coach Jarrod Calhoun is leaving Bob Huggins' staff to take the head coaching job at Fairmont State University. Calhoun has been at West Virginia since Huggins came back in 2007, serving as Director of Basketball Operations before being promoted to Assistant Coach last year. Calhoun has previous ties to Walsh University in Ohio, Cleveland State, and Cincinnati. The Fairmont State job will be his first as head coach.
The Mountaineers have some experience with assistant coaches leaving, but mostly in football. I think the consensus at this point is that when you run a successful program, other schools are going to want to hire your coaches. That's what is happening here. Clearly, FSU wants to capitalize on the name that Calhoun made for himself working under Huggs---and where better to drop Huggins' name than a WVIAC school just down the road from Morgantown. Plus, Calhoun has proven to be a winner apart from Huggins, having helped lead Walsh to three straight NAIA Sweet 16s, including a national title in 2005.
For Calhoun, the move makes sense as well. He earned his bachelor's degree in 2004, so he can't be much older than 30 and starting his head coaching career at that age only bodes well for his future. If he can win at Fairmont State (and I think he can), he will start to get opportunities at smaller D-I programs soon. Heck, if he is successful enough he may be in position to take over for Huggins whenever he decides to retire.
Speaking of Huggins, in all likelihood he will go replace Calhoun with another trusted member of his coaching tree, and life will go on in the Coliseum. Unlike football, basketball coaching is largely dominated by the head coach and the loss of a single assistant isn't as big a blow as the loss of an offensive or defensive coordinator on the gridiron. While Calhoun was certainly an integral part of WVU's success over the past few years, Huggins is the heart and soul of the basketball program and as long as he is walking the Coliseum sideline in his black track suit, the Mountianeers will be just fine.
The Smoking Musket would like to thank Coach Calhoun for his service to the WVU men's basketball program and wishes him nothing but the best for his future career.