Gibson Set to Be Named WVU Defensive Coordinator - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

Gibson Set to Be Named WVU Defensive Coordinator

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MORGANTOWN -

Tony Gibson will serve as West Virginia football's fourth defensive coordinator in four years.

The university has yet to make any official announcements regarding the hire, but sources within the program have confirmed reports that Gibson – a frontrunner for the position ever since Keith Patterson left for Arizona State – will fill the role.

Head coach Dana Holgorsen elected to go with continuity rather than hiring from outside of the program, giving Gibson his first Division-I coordinator position after serving WVU as its safeties coach in 2013.

Gibson, a native of Van, W.Va., is currently in his second coaching stint with the Mountaineers. He initially joined the staff in Morgantown when head coach Rich Rodriguez brought Gibson on to coach cornerbacks from 2001-07.

In his career, Gibson has gained recognition as a strong recruiter, having served as recruiting coordinator under Rodriguez before leaving for the University of Michigan. In Holgorsen's signing day press conference, he referred to Gibson as "Mr. Pittsburgh" following his efforts in western Pennsylvania, notably the signing of Aliquippa, Pa. defensive back Dravon Henry.

Gibson returned to WVU due in part to his relationship with former defensive coordinator Patterson, who worked with Gibson for one season at Pittsburgh.

There have been rumblings this offseason about a shift in the defensive scheme to something more akin to the odd stack alignment that defensive coordinator Jeff Casteel utilized before leaving West Virginia for the University of Arizona. Gibson would be a prime candidate should the program elect to move in that direction.

Former WVU defenders praised Gibson when Holgorsen added him back to the staff in 2013, including Tampa Bay Buccaneers safety Keith Tandy.

"The one thing I remember from Gibby is he was a really good motivator and he had his players willing to do anything for him," said Tandy. "He was a good recruiter because he could always relate to the kids and get them to trust him."

Holgorsen is still in the process of solidifying the rest of the defensive staff and has yet to indicate when an announcement regarding specific roles will come. The annual spring media luncheon is scheduled for Friday, Feb. 21. An announcement would be expected no later than that date.

In addition to Patterson's departure, this offseason has seen defensive line coach Erik Slaughter leave the program. Miramar (Fla.) High School coach Damon Cogdell, a former WVU linebacker, was hired in January with no indication of what position he would take on.

Cogdell was not made available to the media following Holgorsen's remarks on signing day, but the open spots at this time are at linebackers and defensive line. 

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