MORGANTOWN - When the 2012 football season came to an end, fans knew several pieces of the puzzle would be leaving the program.
Whether it was the members of the air-raid offensive attack, or the bruising defensive men such as Terence Garvin or Josh Francis. The talent who filled the field in between sidelines was on their way to bigger things.
However, nobody thought five assistant coaches would take off the blue and gold as well. Jake Spavital, Daron Roberts, Bill Bedenbaugh, Steve Dunlap, and Robert Gillespie have all moved on for various reasons.
"Coaching changes are part of the profession that you have to learn to deal with,: said head coach Dana Holgorsen. "Regardless of what the reason is for a coaching change, you always try to turn it into a positive for your program."
The new group of coaches boasts a couple old faces. Lonnie Galloway and Tony Gibson both coached at WVU prior to the Holgorsen era. Galloway heads the wide receiver group now, and is also the man who brought in guys such as Tavon Austin four years ago.
Others that have been brought in to fill some voids are Ron Crook, JuJuan Seider, and Brian Mitchell. Seider was once a quarterback at WVU, but most recently has spent time coaching running backs at Marshall.
The running game was out shadowed by the passing attack last season. The Mountaineers were 10th in college football in passing, but just 53rd in rushing yards per game. Without Tavon Austin's performances near the end of the year (344 rushing yards against Oklahoma), that ranking falls even further.
Although Seider was very familiar with the Holgorsen offense before, he's now a part of it and is still trying to take it all in.
"I think anytime you can continue to learn is good," Seider says. "I get to learn a new offense, and even with some things transferring, certain plays may be different, even though they go by the same name."
Coach Holgorsen also said Seider's notability for recruiting in south Florida also played a role into hiring him. Florida has played a huge role in WVU's program, as guys like Geno Smith and Stedman Bailey came from that area.
The coaching staff isn't panicking just because they have a hand full of new faces this year. It's still football, and it's still the same head coach implementing the same philosophy. Without preparation and hard work, no team is going to succeed.
Teams all over college football experience losses of coaches and players, and bring in new ones, and find ways to succeed. Baylor lost Robert Griffin III after 2011, and in 2012 had Nick Florence take over and break his passing records (in Morgantown).
The new group is not short of motivation or a reason to have something like that happen right here again, but for the Mountaineers.
"They are motivated for a variety of reasons, but the biggest thing is bringing in ideas, having a voice, and bringing some specific things to the table," says Holgorsen.
Spring practices will continue into April. With coaching changes, and a quarterback competition, 2013 is on its way to being an intriguing year for West Virginia football.