West Virginia University Athletic Director Wren Baker met with the media Monday morning to discuss the departure of WVU women’s basketball head coach Dawn Plitzuweit to Minnesota and the search to replace her.
Baker said he first heard of Minnesota’s interest in hiring Plitzuweit around the start of the conference tournament and was informed of her decision the morning after the Mountaineers were eliminated in the first round by the Arizona Wildcats.
He added that the decision for Plitzuweit to leave was a family one.
“By the time we got a chance to have a conversation, we didn't get into a lot of details because I think this was more of a family decision for her. She alluded to that in her statement. I certainly alluded to that in my statement,” Baker said. “So I hate it for West Virginia, hated for WVU. But most of all, I'm disappointed for the young women in our women's basketball program. Because it's hard to go through transition.”
Baker said his past experience will help him in this search, adding that he intends to look far and wide for a successor.
“I'm fairly open and want to cast a wide net. You know, I've hired a lot of coaches,” Baker said. “I've had success hiring coaches, and they've come from different backgrounds. And I think going into this one, it's important to run an efficient process. But I think right now, at this moment in time, a broad net to really look at all candidate profiles is important.”
In addition to that, Baker also added that WVU would probably use a search firm for the process.
Despite reports of long-time WVU women’s basketball head coach Mike Carey being interested in the position, Baker said it’s too early to discuss that.
“At this point, I wouldn't try to say anybody is a candidate or isn't a candidate. But any conversation that I had here early would not be as a candidate, it would just be learning about the job,” Baker said. “We will probably get to the point of having conversations with candidates until the end of the week and not early in the next week.”
Carey does intend to return to coaching in the future.
Other than the details mentioned in the press release Saturday, Plitzuweit has yet to speak on her departure from WVU.