MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — West Virginia fans peeved over the dearth of tickets for Tuesday’s NIT game at Georgetown can find another griping point when tuning into ESPN’s broadcast: Dan Dakich is doing color commentary.

“I catch hell all the time from a variety of fan bases, one of which is West Virginia,” Dakich said during a good-natured phone call Monday afternoon. “I totally get it. I understand.”

And he gets why Mountaineer Nation might be more inflamed than others.

He was WVU’s basketball coach for all of eight days in 2002, before a close-up view of the program’s obstacles had him returning to Bowling Green. Out of coaching and into broadcasting since 2008, Dakich’s polarizing opinions have flowed freely. He infamously tweeted last year that West Virginia would be celebrating two national titles had he stayed.

“When people come firing at me, generally my policy is not a smart one … but I figure out how to fire back,” he said. “I understand that people on Twitter are generally 18- to 25-year-olds that don’t know their ass from third base, I get that. But still, it’s sometimes fun to fire back at them.

“Instead of just sitting there and taking it, you kind of figure what will stick it back to these people where there will be no response. And you can’t really respond to something as stupid as saying we would have already won two national championships.”

Even more infamous than his chain-jerking tweet were Dakich’s assertions to writer Pete Thamel for a 2012 New York Times piece on former Mountaineer player-turned-drug-felon Jonathan Hargett. An article in which Dakich recalled his brief stay at WVU and claimed to find “a culture of dishonesty” that extended all the way up to then-president David Hardesty. Dakich said he and his then-wife met with Hardesty to spotlight Hargett being promised $60,000 to play for the Mountaineers, and he recalled the president warning, “If you go any further with this, we’ll destroy you.”

At the time of the article Hardesty denied making the threat, though being 10 years removed from the conversation he couldn’t recall the precise exchange. Two years even further along, on the eve of Dakich working courtside at WVU-Georgetown, the ex-coach labeled the episode “a dead issue.” Though not-so-dead that Dakich would decline a chance to reiterate his claim.

“I know Hardesty told Pete (Thamel) he was going to lawyer up, but there was no chance he was going to get lawyers, because he would not have had the truth on his side,” Dakich said. “What Hardesty says or anybody else says doesn’t make any difference to me or my ex-wife, because we were there. We know exactly what happened.

“We understand that people need to cover their back sides and talk big and all that kind of stuff. But when Hardesty told Pete that he was going to lawyer up, my first response was, ‘Let’s go. That would be fun. Let’s do it.'”

That quote seems to sum up Dakich’s Myers Briggs makeup: always frank, typically unrelenting and occasionally combative. He’s glad he no longer copes with the physical maladies that followed his worst nights as a coach—”I can’t handle losing,” he admitted. There’s less second-guessing when it comes to providing game commentary or working the mic at his daily ESPN radio show.

“I figure ESPN hired me because I do have an opinion … and I think it’s an informed opinion,” he said.

His opinion regarding Tuesday night’s matchup?

“It’s who wants to be there. I went down to Miami (for an NIT broadcast) a couple years ago and they no more wanted to be in that game than the man in the moon. And neither did their fans, so they got beat.

“I know this: We’ll figure out within five minutes of the game who’s going to win the game. just base on who wants to be there and who doesn’t. You can tell that pretty quickly.”

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  • Steve

    Booooooooooooo! I'm telling you that ESPN has a score to settle with WVU(in their eyes at least). Did anyone watch the 30 for 30 Sunday night about the Big East? They played dueling banjos and showed people dancing barefoot on a wooden porch while talking about WVU being admitted to the conference.

  • Rick55

    I could think of lots of mean ditties to rhyme with Dakich but I'll refrain because I'm also not in the 18 to 25 range. Didn't Dakich ask for a higher contract at WVU in addition to being shocked, shocked I tell you, at the corruption? What's that salary demand made before or after he rooted out this stain? I'm also sure that those Indiana teams were squeaky clean! I'll give him credit for his academic management of the 4 year players even though the majority of players took coursework which was hardly rigorous. As for his winning so much as assistant at IU, that may have had less to do with him than the fact that the Head Coach was a guy named...well... you know.
    The fact that he has the third most wins as coach at Bowling Green is like kissing your sister. You're kissing but it's still your sister. When you look at the record itself, its really not all that. What is it with ESPN? Do they do this stuff on purpose?

    • pc

      He was sooooo successful as a head coach at Bowling Green that when he was fired/quit, the school had never made it to the "big dance" during his tenure. Note that BG is one of the few D-1 teams whose absence from the NCAA tournament is even longer than Marshall's. To sum him up, nothing says more than the fact that the correct pronunciation of his last name rhymes with "jock itch". His eight day tenure as the head coach at WVU is nothing but a brief inconsequential blip in the grand scheme of things, and that apparently still eats at the man to this day!

  • Aaron

    I remember when they hired Dakich asking "why." I had read the rumors of a potential coach from the A-10. The 2nd best thing that happened to WVU Basketball in the past 20 years is Dakich quitting.

    If he were the coach he thinks he is, he'd still be in the game, winning somewhere. The fact that he's an announcer for ESPN relegated to the NIT speaks volumes.

    • Mister Man

      Aight Aaron!! Good post!

    • Aaron

      Thank you for the attention? I appreciate the following. : )

    • mad hatter

      I remember when Aaron post asking "why"? I have read the BS he post and the 2nd best thing that comes to mind is that I need to remember to flush.

      If he were the poster he thinks he is, he'd be a writer for NYT. Fact is, he's either unemployed or relegated to thinking that he knows what he's talking about whereas he is clueless and speaks with a high volume.


      • Mister Man

        Aight. Another post that makes no sense.

      • Alter E. Go

        Please, allow young Aaron the opportunity to speak and share his vast wisdom and knowledge with us all. Let us feast upon the nectar of his intellect and experience. May we all relish drinking from the watering can of his universal expansive capabilities. Come forth, young Aaron and allow us to serve you oh ye mighty warrior!

        • Mister Man

          Watering can? Universal expansive capabilities? LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Try again!

      • Beaver Sniffer two need to get a room.

  • wvrefugee

    He doesn't know a basketball from a beach ball!

  • Muddy Creek 7

    Looks like Dakich has done real well for himself; ex-coaching career, ex-wife and I'm sure an ex-broadcasting job before too long. I'm thankful he left when he did!

  • Mark

    I will stick with Huggs to the bitter end. At least he wants to be here. Rodriguez didn't, and he is (allegedly) a Mountaineer. Beilein used us a step-up, and tried to get out in year 2 of his contact. Dakich also ran at the first sign of trouble. Huggs seems to really care, and that's why he's popular with the fans despite a rough patch we're going through. He's one of us. The others were simply too good to have to tolerate WV.

    • cadguy49

      Don't. Forget....The only reason Dakitch and Beilein were here was because good old Huggy turned us down the first time....

    • Ninth Gate

      That's right play the old love the state card. Honest to God, WV is the most insecure grouping of people ever created. Let's not get above are raise'n and aspire to be better. Lord knows it don't get much better than old WVa. I guess that's why we lead the nation in.....nothing.

    • C'mon man

      Huggs cares and sticks around because he has a lifetime contract and no worry of losing his job. Such a wonderful mountaineer.

      • Aaron

        Huggs had a better offer from K-State and chose to come "home."

      • wvrefugee


  • Billy

    I am glad he never stayed. I always hit the mute button on him. John B. was what WVU needed. Not him

    • Worm

      John B. Was the best coach WVU has ever had or will have. Bob is a washed up has been.

  • TX Hunter

    How many national championships did Dakich bring to Indiana University? If he was the coach he seems to thinks he was, it would seem that we should have expected a little more out of his tenure in Bloomington at the helm of one of the most storied basketball programs in the country... Citing the likely testimony of an ex-wife strikes me as a bit ironic and humorous. Did he quit on that venture too?

    For the record, I am unfortunately not between the ages of 18 to 25.

  • Mike

    Dakich is a quitter, a whiner and a scum-bag. Not necessarily in that order.

    • Beaver Sniffer

      I agree. He's not in order, not necessary, a bag of scum, a wiener, and quits before he starts.

  • Matt

    Other than his son.......who did Beilien bring to WVU from Richmond? Very curious.

    • Mike

      J.D. Collins and Johannes

  • Dave

    How about getting a story Allan. Like how is Juwan Statens ankle?

    • Allan Taylor

      Yessir, Dave! Huggins says Staten didn't practice Sunday but at this point in the season that could just be a move intended to let him rest a tender ankle.

      • Dave

        Well, I hope he is able to play. Thanks for the quick reply.

  • Greg

    Who cares what this guy has to say anyway? If he really knew what he was talking about he would be coaching and not commentating.

  • wvu_93

    Based on what we discovered was going on I don't blame him for changing his mind. Let's not forget that most of the players that led to the successes came from Richmond with Beilein.

    • BL

      Lol, you mean like Kevin Pittsnogle, Mike Gansey, Tyrone Salley and D'Or Fischer?

  • Big joe

    One and done!

  • justin

    if he didnt quite then wvu wouldnt have landed john beilin. so thanks dakich for quitting. QUITTER