Stewart Emerging as Top Candidate for WVU Defensive Coordinator - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

Stewart Emerging as Top Candidate for WVU Defensive Coordinator

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MORGANTOWN -

Jeff Casteel is expected to be named the new Defensive Coordinator at the University of Arizona later today. Casteel is believed to be bringing Defensive Line Coach Bill Kirelawich and Defensive Backs Coach David Lockwood with him to Arizona. Safeties coach Steve Dunlap's status remains unknown. Casteel, Kirelawich and Lockwood all have bios viewable on the University of Arizona's website.

That likely means an end to the 3-3-5 odd stack defense at West Virginia. It also leaves essentially the entire defensive side of the Puskar Center vacant.

Former University of Houston Defensive Coordinator Brian Stewart is believed to be one of the top candidates to replace Casteel. Stewart told the University of Houston last week that he was leaving to pursue other opportunities. Rarely does a coach leave a job without having another one lined up.

Stewart turned the Houston defense into one of the best in the country. The Cougars had the second best red zone defense in the nation trailing only Alabama in that category. Stewart also had his defense forcing turnovers helping to guide Houston to the seventh best turnover margin in the country.

Stewart runs a 3-4 defense and has plenty of NFL experience to backup his college experience. He was previously a Defensive Coordinator of the Dallas Cowboys and led the Cowboys to a pair of top-10 rankings in both years he held that position. Stewart has also worked for the Philadelphia Eagles, San Diego Chargers and Houston Texans.

His previous college experience includes stints at Syracuse, Missouri, San Jose State, Northern Arizona University and Cal Poly.

Stewart is also well known as a great recruiter. That could help to open more doors for WVU in the Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana area.

If Stewart is not ultimately hired to replace Casteel, one of Holgorsen's former colleagues at Oklahoma State might be the guy. Joe DeForest is reportedly in the mix for a potential position on Holgorsen's defensive staff and that might include the role of Defensive Coordinator. He is currently Oklahoma State's Special Teams Coordinator, Associate Head Coach and Safeties Coach.

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