After weeks of speculation, Buzz Williams is leaving Virginia Tech for Texas A&M. It is a return home for Williams, a Texas native who previously coached on the Aggies staff in the mid-2000s.
That leaves a huge void in Blacksburg. Luckily, it is not one that athletic director Whit Babcock couldn’t anticipate.
According to college hoops insider Jon Rothstein, Babcock has been working on background to prepare for Williams’ departure.
Per Rothstein, a top Virginia Tech candidate with Buzz Williams’ departure is Seton Hall’s Kevin Willard.
Last time the job opened, Tech went with Williams out of the Big East. That worked out pretty well.
Rothstein indicates that could happen once again.
Sources: Seton Hall's Kevin Willard is expected to be a primary target to replace Buzz Williams at Virginia Tech. Hokies' AD Whit Babcock has been prepared for this departure and has had a list of potential candidates for weeks. #shbb
— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) April 3, 2019
Willard is 169–126 in nine years at SHU, and has reached four straight NCAA Tournaments. In 2016, the Pirates won 25 games and captured the Big East title during the conference tournament at Madison Square Garden.
Interestingly, another one of the major names rumored to be connected to the Va. Tech job for a few weeks is Williams’ successor at Marquette, Steve Wojciechowski, the former Duke star and assistant coach who could return to the ACC. He’s mentioned in a list of candidates by The Roanoke Times, as is Willard.
The Hokies job should be a pretty attractive one, with what Williams was able to do in five years. It sounds like Babcock may be able to fill this one quickly as well.