CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The abrupt departure of Mark Downey as the University of Charleston men's basketball coach has left the school with a quickly dwindling window of time to find his replacement.
"Right now, the most important thing is getting the best person for the job," UC Communications Director Scott Castleman said. "We obviously want to move as quickly as we can, because the new school year is about a month away.
"At the same time," he added, "we want to make sure we get the best person in that can help us on and off the floor in the Mountain East Conference."
Downey left UC to become head men's basketball coach at Division II West Alabama of the Gulf South Conference. UWA announced the hire Friday. The 41-year-old Morgantown native was a two-time UC hoops captain and coached the Eagles to winning seasons in each of his three years at the helm.
Under Downey, UC went 15-13 in 2010-11, jumped to 26-7, a national ranking and an NCAA Tournament berth in 2011-12 and had a 19-9 record in 2012-13. The program suffered a significant off-the-court blow when three players - Robbie Dreher, Terrell Lipkins and Quincy Washington - all were arrested on first-degree robbery charges in April. The three, all among the Eagles' top four returning scorers, were removed from the team.
As quickly as UC must fill the position, Castleman said the university has received correspondence from other coaches about the job just as quickly. The job opening was posted Friday morning.
"I know there's been a lot of interest already," Castleman said. "We've received a lot of calls and emails. It looks like we're going to have a good pool to choose from."
There are a number of possible candidates out there, many of whom have West Virginia connections. Below is a list of coaches that, according to Daily Mail sources, either have expressed interest or may express future interest in the job: