West Virginia University football coach Neal Brown has announced that Jeff Casteel will join the Mountaineer football staff as a defensive analyst.
“I’m excited to welcome Jeff back to West Virginia and the Mountaineer football program,” Brown said. “He has been a very successful coach throughout his career, and it is great that we can add another West Virginia native to the football staff. I am looking forward to having Jeff, his wife, Rosemary, and his family rejoin the Mountaineer football family.”
Casteel brings 33 years of defensive coaching experience, including 27 years as a defensive coordinator. He has helped guide teams to 14 conference championships and 15 bowl appearances and has coached numerous All-Americans and professional players. He was named the rivals defensive coordinator of the year in 2007, Big East Defensive Coordinator of the Year in 2008, a Broyles Award nominee (five times) and the Football Scoop Linebacker Coach of the Year in 2014. During his tenure at WVU, the Mountaineers experienced one of their greatest periods of success, including winning three BCS bowl wins, 2006 Sugar Bowl, 2008 Fiesta Bowl and the 2012 Orange Bowl.
“Being from the state of West Virginia, I am happy to be back home. West Virginia football means a lot to my family and me,” Casteel said. “I am looking forward to working for Neal Brown and the football staff, because I really respect the direction he is taking the program. I look forward to making a valuable contribution once again to Mountaineer football.”
Casteel returns to West Virginia after serving as the defensive coordinator and linebackers’ coach at Nevada for the past three years. In 2019, the Wolfpack finished 7-6 and earned a spot in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. Defensive lineman Dom Peterson was ranked No. 24 nationally in tackles for loss and No. 25 in sacks and cornerback Daniel Brown finished No. 15 nationally in interceptions per game.
In 2018, five of his starters earned All-Mountain West honors, including Malik Reed, who signed with the Denver Broncos following the NFL Draft. His defense was ranked No. 3 nationally in red zone defense, No. 8 in tackles for loss, No. 10 in third-down defense, No. 27 in sacks and No. 39 in rushing defense. From his first year to his second year, the Nevada defense improved from allowing 208.2 yards per game rushing to 142 and dropped the total defense from allowing 471.3 yards to 378.3 yards per game. Four of his players earned All-Mountain West Conference honors.
Prior to that, Casteel served as the defensive coordinator at Arizona from 2012-16. He helped lead the Wildcats to the 2014 Pac-12 South championship and four bowl game appearances, including the 2014 Fiesta Bowl. The defense aided in setting a school record for most wins over a four-year period. He coached one of the top players in school history, unanimous All-American Scooby Wright, who was the winner of the Bronko Nagurski Award, Rotary Lombardi Award, the Chuck Bednarik Award and the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year.
Casteel coached at West Virginia from 2001-2011, spending his first year as the defensive line coach, second year as the co-defensive coordinator and linebackers’ coach and then the defensive coordinator and linebackers coach for the next nine years. The defense helped the WVU football program win six Big East Conference championships and produced four All-Americans, three Academic All-Americans, nine all-conference honoree and 23 professional players. The Mountaineers finished No. 3 in the nation in total defense in 2010, No. 7 in 2007 and No. 15 in 2005.
He also spent time at UTEP as the defensive ends coach (2000) and at Shepherd University, first as the defensive line and strength coach from 1988-90 and as the assistant head coach and defensive coordinator from 1991-2000.
Casteel earned his bachelor’s (1984) and master’s degrees (1986) from California University of Pennsylvania. He started his coaching career as a graduate assistant at his alma mater from 1984-86, before becoming the defensive coordinator at Palmetto High School in Miami, Florida, and was a training camp assistant with the Baltimore Stallions of the Canadian Football League in 1989.