WVU Will Not Retain Baseball Coach Greg Van Zant - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

WVU Will Not Retain Baseball Coach Greg Van Zant

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MORGANTOWN -

West Virginia athletic director Oliver Luck announced Saturday that the university would not renew head baseball coach Greg Van Zant's contract just minutes after the team's season ended in Morgantown.

Van Zant stood on Hawley Field following the 5-4 loss to South Florida, taking photos with his family and essentially saying goodbye to a program he spent the past 18 years guiding.

He then met with his players and staff inside the Shell Building on campus and spoke with them one final time as their head coach.

"Greg has spent a total of 26 years with the Mountaineer baseball program, including the last 18 as head coach, and we appreciate his many years of service to West Virginia University," Luck said in a statement. "During his time here, he has contributed to our baseball program as a student-athlete, assistant and head coach, and we wish him the best."

Van Zant finished those 18 seasons with a 528-451-1 record.

The university's release states that a national search for a new head coach will begin immediately.

Just after finishing the season with a 23-32 record, Van Zant was asked if he felt he would return to coach the team next season.

"We'll find out," was his response.

Van Zant cautioned that until the university is willing to put the money and attention into its baseball program that it needs to succeed, any potential head coach could struggle at WVU.

"You're going to have success based on how well the school supports you," said Van Zant. "We've been in the Big East 17 years and we've only had eight and a half scholarships and we've never been fully funded. You can go get a coach from wherever and they're just going to come from programs that have been fully funded that have success. You're only as good as your support.

"I think our school is going to make a commitment to baseball and we'll see what happens."

That commitment to baseball will begin with a commitment to a new head coach as the Mountaineers enter a new conference. Van Zant believes the pieces are in place in terms of personnel for West Virginia to compete in the Big 12 as early as next season.

"We've got to add some pitching to this team and some guys have to come back and improve, but I don't see why not," said Van Zant. "College baseball is college baseball. It's not that big of a difference going to any conference. We play top teams in the country already."

The baseball facilities at West Virginia have long been a concern and as the university works to find solutions that include temporarily playing home games outside of Morgantown, Van Zant offers his own perspective on the issue.

"I think we can easily play at Hawley Field. There's nothing wrong with playing Big 12 games at Hawley Field. We could play here right now," he said. "We need a major upgrade to the facility or a new facility, mainly to recruit with. It's not that we can't play the games here, this is a beautiful ballpark, we just need new dugouts and a clubhouse. I've been saying that for 15 years."

Van Zant also mentions additional seating and chair backs as improvements that need to be done at Hawley Field.

Within 40 minutes of wrapping up his postgame remarks with the media, the release stating the end of his career at West Virginia came out.

He was right. We did find out. Van Zant will no longer coach the Mountaineers.

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