Utah basketball has itself a full deck of five assistant coaches yet again — and the program turned to its new league for the latest replacement.

The university announced Thursday that former West Virginia assistant Josh Eilert, who served as the Mountaineers’ interim head coach last season, will join Craig Smith’s staff ahead of Utah’s jump to the Big 12.

Eilert spent the past 17 seasons at West Virginia in a variety of positions, starting as a video coordinator in 2007, serving as the director of basketball operations for nearly a decade and moving up to an assistant coach role in 2022 before becoming head coach under the interim tag during the 2023-24 season after Bob Huggins resigned in June 2023 after a drunken-driving arrest.

Related
Way-too-early Big 12 basketball power rankings and how recruiting has shaken things up

The Mountaineers went 9-23 and 4-14 in league play under Eilert last season.

“I would like to thank Coach Smith and the University of Utah administration for this incredible opportunity,” Eilert said in a statement.

“I have an immense amount of respect for Coach Smith for the way in which he runs his program and the success he has had along the way. I am thrilled to remain a member of the Big 12 Conference, a league that I have spent 17 years in. My family and I are eager to join the Salt Lake City community and represent the University of Utah and this storied basketball program! Go Utes!”

Eilert was not retained at West Virginia after the school named former Drake coach Darian DeVries its new head coach. He is the second addition to the Utah coaching staff this offseason, joining former Sacramento State assistant Loren Leath.

The pair were brought on after the Utes lost assistants Chris Burgess and DeMarlo Slocum to BYU and Washington, respectively.

Eilert’s work at West Virginia ranged from coaching the wings and post players to scouting and recruiting, as well as day-to-day operations of the program. In 2021, Silver Waves Media named him to its top 50 notable Division I support staff list.

Utah Utes head coach Craig Smith coaches the Utah Utes as they play the Indiana State Sycamores in an NIT semifinal basketball game at the Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis on Tuesday, April 2, 2024. Smith his coaching staff with the addition of former West Virginia assistant Josh Eilert. | Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

Eilert, a Kansas native, started his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Kansas State from 2005-07. After time at a community college, he played for the Wildcats from 2002-04.

“We’re thrilled to have Josh and his wonderful family join the Utah men’s basketball program,” Smith said in a statement.

“Josh is an excellent coach in all facets. He is well-rounded in all phases of the game and articulates the game in a clear and concise manner. Josh has an excellent background in player development and will specifically work with the ‘bigs’ in our program. He also has a vast knowledge of the Big 12, having played and coached in it for nearly two decades; which will be very impactful as we head into that conference this season.”