"I want to thank UC," Downey said. "I'll miss Charleston. We loved it here. The kids went to good schools. My wife had a good job. I had a good job. In the end, I just felt this was the right thing to do."
UC representative Scott Castleman, speaking on behalf of athletic director Bren Stevens, said the search for Downey's replacement has already begun. A listing has been posted on the NCAA's Market website.
"We haven't discussed a timetable," Castleman said, "but we'd like to get someone as soon as possible, with school a month away. That said, we want to make sure it's the right person.
"There should be a lot of interest. Coach Downey did a terrific job."
Among the early list of possible candidates are Delta State head coach Jim Boone (Winfield native) and assistant Chris Richardson (Charleston); WVU Tech's Bob Williams; East Tennessee State assistant and former Mountain State University coach Bob Bolen; Austin Peay assistant and former Tennessee-Martin head coach Bret Campbell; former Downey assistant Kurt Young, now a top assistant at Northern Kentucky; Fairmont State assistant Paul Molinari; and Mars Hill coach Rick Scruggs, who was the head coach at Gardner-Webb and then an assistant at Appalachian State.
Reach Mitch Vingle at 304-348-4827, mitchvin...@wvgazette.com or follow him at twitter.com/MitchVingle.