Ready for MGoBlog to explode in 3, 2, 1 ...
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (February 21, 2014) – West Virginia University football coach Dana Holgorsen has announced that Mountaineer assistant coach Tony Gibson has been promoted to defensive coordinator. Holgorsen will announce the defensive staff positions at a later time.
“Tony has worked in the Big East, Big Ten, Pac-12 and now the Big 12, and has coached against a lot of different schemes and offenses during his time at the major college level. He is more than ready to take this next step and coordinate our defense,” Holgorsen said. “He is a great evaluator of talent, and Tony is a West Virginia guy who works hard to bring success and good things to this program. I know he will put every ounce of his energy into the job.”
Gibson began his second stint in Morgantown in January 2013 and already has reaped rewards on the recruiting trail, re-opening the pipeline between Pittsburgh and Morgantown. Three players from the Pittsburgh area signed with the Mountaineers in the 2014 signing class, including the top ranked player in the state of Pennsylvania. During the 2013, he also coached two All-Big 12 Conference performers, Darwin Cook and Karl Joseph. Cook also was one of the team’s permanent captains and was named the team’s defensive most valuable player.
He returned to WVU after serving as the assistant head coach, safeties coach and defensive special teams’ coordinator at Arizona during the 2012 season. The Wildcats finished 8-5 overall and won the Gildan New Mexico Bowl.
He spent the 2011 season as the secondary coach and pass defense coordinator at Pitt. The Panthers made their fourth straight bowl appearance, and two of Gibson’s pupils were named to Big East all-conference teams. He was responsible for recruiting Rushel Shell to Pitt, the top running back in the nation.
Gibson served as assistant head coach and defensive backs coach at Michigan from 2008-10. He added special teams’ coordinator to his duties in 2010. During his time in Ann Arbor, the Wolverines earned a berth in the Gator Bowl in 2011 and one of his cornerbacks, Donovan Warren, earned first-team All-Big Ten honors. Gibson was responsible for securing the services of Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year Denard Robinson, one of the top dual-threat quarterbacks in the nation.
He coached defensive backs under Rich Rodriguez from 2001 to 2007 at West Virginia, and was recruiting coordinator his final season in Morgantown. The Mountaineers enjoyed one of their most successful periods on the gridiron, posting a 58-14 record in his final six years on staff and earning a then school record six straight bowl appearances, including two BCS bowl games. Eight of his players earned all-Big East honors and six of his players were selected in the NFL Draft.
His secondary standouts at WVU included first team All-American Adam Jones, who has played with the Titans, Cowboys and Bengals during his eight-year NFL career. The Mountaineers won or shared four Big East titles during Gibson’s time in Morgantown, capturing BCS bowl victories following the 2005 (Sugar Bowl) and 2007 (Fiesta Bowl) seasons. He recruited 32 players on the 2005 team that won the Big East Championship and Sugar Bowl, and secured 40 players who were on the 2007 Big East and Fiesta Bowl championship squad.
Gibson began his career at Glenville State under Rodriguez in 1996, coaching defensive backs and the kickoff teams. In 1997 and ’98, Gibson worked at Cumberland (Tenn.) University, coordinating the program’s special teams and recruitment in addition to mentoring the team’s defensive backs. His career then carried him to West Virginia Tech, where he spent two seasons as assistant head coach and defensive coordinator (1999-2000), before arriving at West Virginia.
Gibson graduated from Glenville State in 1994. He was a defensive back from 1991-94 and was a part of two WVIAC championship teams. The Van, W.Va., native began his coaching career at Gilmer County High School in Glenville, W.Va., in 1995, where he was head coach and interim athletic director. He and his wife, Kerry, have two children, son Cody, who plays football at West Virginia Wesleyan, and daughter, Ashton.
I'm going to the PIttsburgh Coaches Clinic this weekend. Dantonio is the keynote speaker. Is anyone else going? Anything you'd like me to say or ask Dantonio if I should bump into him? Walt Harris and David Shaw are also presenting.
Obviously there has been a great deal written about the offensive line and it is probably the biggest question mark on this team. While I feel like I've read a great deal about the offensive line in general, there doesn't seem to have been as much critique of individual players. For instance:
Glasgow: We saw him both at guard and as center, is he better at one position than the other? Clearly he had his problems with botched snaps in the middle of the season, but my sense is that by the end of the season, he had settled in at center. Did others who know more about the offensive line see improvement or did he still have less obvious flaws in his QB exchanges?
Kalis: were his challenges more with technique, knowing what he was supposed to do, speed getting off the ball? Something else?
Magnuson: seemed to have at least two challenges. First: strength (was he 285 or 295 last year, he is listed both ways in various rosters and depth charts. Second: he was learning a new position (and then had to deal with switching from the right to left side. Given the coaches willingness to switch him around so much, it seems they have a great deal of confidence in his ability to pick things up. Do people who know more about the offensive line think his challenges were more in picking up a new position, strength, something else?
Bosch: my sense is that he was playing because the coaches felt he had good technique and strength, but he just hadn't picked up enough of the offense yet.
Miller: were his challeges in the strength department, or is there something else holding him back?
I think that with either Glasgow or Kugler at center, we will be the strongest we've been since Molk left. I hope Kugler is able to step up, because then I think with Glasgow moving to guard, we'd be alright in two positions. The Magnuson injury is worrisome, because I think the biggest thing he needed was more time in the weight room. I still think he'll be the starting left tackle, he just won't be as improved as we'd hoped.
I think Bosch is going to step up and take the other guard spot and that the biggest question mark going into fall will be right tackle. For those who know more about the offensive line, how much of a question mark is it that Braden wasn't able to move inside? Obviously many others have done it, so it seems like a big red flag to me. For that reason, I think we'll see Dawson at right tackle.
I am more optimistic than many and I think that while last year's line had it's challenges with youth, Borges playcalling and constantly mucking with the line greatly exacerbated those problems. I think that we'll see more improvement than many are expecting.
Thanks for everyone who looked past my formatting fiasco and provided some of the player speciic insights I was hoping for.
- Chris Bryant to take medical
- Jake Ryan moving to MIKE
- Magnuson will miss "most" of spring, will do some individual stuff, surgery went well
- Tuley-Tillman had hand surgery
- Drake Johnson and Darboh are limited and working their way back
- Some other odds and ends related to the D coaching moves
I'm sure someone who was listening can elaborate on/clarify some of the above. These are from Michigan Insider tweets as he was interviewed.
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- University of Michigan head football coach Brady Hoke announced today (Thursday, Feb. 20) the following coaching responsibilities for the defensive staff in 2014:
"Everyone on the staff and the kids are really excited about these changes," said Hoke, the J. Ira and Nicki Harris Family Head Football Coach. "Greg and I met and felt this was the best for everyone, including him and his ability to coach a position group and run a defense from the middle. When you look at Mark's experience on the defensive line, then being able to split the secondary, where you have five positions and 20-plus guys, and with the way offense and passing has changed in college football, I think it balances our staff on that side of the ball."
Offensive staff responsibilities will remain the same with the addition of offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier.
Michigan has offered two more 2015 prospects. Both play mutliple positions in high school, but figure to play somewhere in the defensive backfield in college.
Name: Stephen Griffin
Ht/Wt: 6'3" / 185 lbs.
Location: South Mecklenburg High School - Charlotte, NC
Offers: Charlotte, Clemson, Duke, Georgia Tech, Michigan, North Carolina, NC State, Old Dominion, Tennessee, Wake Forest
Rating: ★★★ .8333 (247 Composite)
Ranking: #872 NAT/ #71 S (247 Composite)
Name: Marcus Lewis
Ht/Wt: 6'1" / 188 lbs.
Location: Gonzaga College High School – Washington, DC
Offers: Boston College, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, North Carolina, NC State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Syracuse, Temple, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, West Virginia
Rating: ★★★★ .9467 (247 Composite)
Ranking: #112 NAT/ #12 ATH (247 Composite)
I've had previous contact with Lewis but not with Griffin. I will attempt to track them both down for a reaction ASAP.