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Buzz Williams will leave Marquette to take over the vacant head coaching position at Virginia Tech, according to multiple reports.
Williams had been the head coach of the Golden Eagles for the last six seasons, compiling a 139-65 mark and a 69-36 record in league play. He had made the NCAA tournament his first five seasons at the helm, making the Elite 8 in 2013 and the Sweet 16 in two other season, but Marquette missed the postseason all together this past season.
Unless something truly out of this world happens — and, quite frankly, this is pretty crazy — this will go down as the biggest move of the coaching carousel. There is not much basketball tradition at Virginia Tech, and it is currently buried at the bottom of an ACC that is going to add Louisville to the likes of Duke, North Carolina and Syracuse. Credit to new athletic director Whit Babcock for getting this hire done. Williams has quite the rebuilding job in front of him, as the Hokies are coming off of a 9-22 season in which they went just 2-16 in the ACC.
You have to wonder what was going on behind the scenes at Marquette that would make Williams decide that now was the time to leave the school. His relationship with the Marquette brass was strained, according to Yahoo! Sports, and it seems that he was not a fan of the direction that the new Big East was heading in. Throw in the fact that Marquette is currently without an AD — meaning that Williams does not know who his boss will be next year — and that was enough to make him decide to head to Blacksburg. Well, that and reports that a clause in his contract triggered by the change in AD reduced his buyout from $2 million to $100,000.
Williams will reportedly sign a seven-year deal worth around $18 million with the Hokies. He has been a hot name on the coaching carousel for a couple of years, as he was reportedly in the mix at places like Arkansas, Oklahoma, SMU and UCLA recently.
The name that has popped up to replace Williams at Marquette is Ben Howland, the former UCLA coach.