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Darian DeVries leaving Drake basketball for West Virginia head coaching job

The Darian DeVries Era – one filled with growth, stabilization and success – is over at Drake.

DeVries, the Bulldogs men’s basketball coach, will depart the relatively flat lands of Des Moines for the Appalachian mountains of West Virginia, ending the tenure of one of the school’s most beloved coaches.

West Virginia confirmed DeVries' hiring on social media.

Drake also confirmed the news in a news release sent out Sunday evening.

“The litmus test for any employee that departs a place of employment is, ‘Did they leave it better than they found it?’” Drake director of athletics Brian Hardin said in the release. “It is easy to say that Darian DeVries has left our men’s basketball program and our athletics department in incredible positions thanks to his six years at Drake.

"Darian led the Drake men’s basketball team to new heights on the court while establishing an elite culture off the court. He was an incredible mentor to the men in our men’s basketball program for the last six years and a wonderful representative of our department. We are grateful to Darian for his leadership and wish him the best in his next journey.”

Marty Richter will serve as the interim head coach effective immediately.

In six seasons with the Bulldogs – from 2018 to 2024 – DeVries compiled a 150-55 overall record, including a 28-7 record this year. Drake won 20 or more games in each season under DeVries.

DeVries' departure comes on the heels of a 66-61 loss to Washington State in the first round of the NCAA Tournament last week.

DeVries led Drake to March Madness three times during his tenure: 2021, 2023 and 2024. Two of those appearances were automatic bids after winning the Missouri Valley Conference titles in consecutive seasons – 2023 and 2024.

Before DeVries arrived at Drake, the Bulldogs experienced a bit of a coaching carousel. The Bulldogs went through three head coaches – Ray Giacoletti, Jeff Rutter (interim) and Niko Medved – between 2014 and 2018.

Mar 20, 2024; Omaha, NE, USA; Drake Bulldogs head coach Darian DeVries watches warmups during the NCAA first round practice session at CHI Health Center Omaha. Mandatory Credit: Dylan Widger-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 20, 2024; Omaha, NE, USA; Drake Bulldogs head coach Darian DeVries watches warmups during the NCAA first round practice session at CHI Health Center Omaha. Mandatory Credit: Dylan Widger-USA TODAY Sports

DeVries was one of the longest-tenured coaches in Drake history, and the first to coach the Bulldogs for more than five seasons since Kurt Kanaskie (1997-2003).

Of Drake’s coaches during the 21st century, DeVries is only the second coach to put together a winning career record at the school – Keno Davis went 28-5 in his single season in Des Moines. Medved went 17-17 in one year with the Bulldogs.

DeVries produced several successful players during his time at Drake, none better than his son Tucker DeVries. The younger DeVries consistently rose to the top of the MVC and was named the conference’s player of the year in back-to-back years. Tucker DeVries has a year of college eligibility remaining.

Alyssa Hertel is the college sports recruiting reporter for the Des Moines Register. Contact Alyssa at ahertel@dmreg.com or on Twitter @AlyssaHertel.

This article originally appeared on Des Moines Register: Drake's Darian DeVries leaves to coach West Virginia basketball