Many West Virginia University football fans were understandably concerned when three assistant football coaches packed their bags and headed west after the 2011 season.
Defensive assistants Jeff Casteel, David Lockwood and Bill Kirelawich all loaded up their wagons, and in my eyes, slapped all Mountaineer fans in the face when they joined former WVU coach Rich Rodriguez in Arizona.
Everyone remembers what 'Fraudriguez' put the Mountaineer football program through, and he'll probably never be forgiven for his defection from the Mountain State.
And now I'd have to think that most Mountaineer fans are putting the three departed coaches in the same category as the former head coach, especially after learning that all three took pay cuts with their new positions.
But not to worry, help is on the way. And in the long run it may be a blessing in disguise, especially replacing Casteel, whose 3-3-5 odd stack defense has become somewhat stagnant among WVU?fans.
Joe DeForest officially became the first new replacement on Saturday when he left Oklahoma State after 11 seasons. He was associate head coach, special teams coordinator and safeties coach for the Cowboys.
Then on Wednesday, head coach Dana Holgorsen added Mike Smith, who was a defensive intern for the New York Jets this past season.
Smith was a linebacker at Texas Tech when Holgorsen was on the coaching staff there. While with the Jets, Smith mostly worked with the linebackers. He had a brief NFL?playing career with the Baltimore Ravens.
Holgorsen has yet to announce what roles the new coaches will have with the team. But it appears that both are good hires and formidable replacements for those who left.
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ANOTHER?RB: It appears that West Virginia isn't having any problems getting running backs to play in the Mountaineers' pass-happy offense.
WVU landed a third verbal commitment on Tuesday when South Dade High School (Fla.) standout Torry Clayton chose the Mountaineers over the likes of Cincinnati, Illinois and Memphis.
Running backs Roshard Burney (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.) and J.T Washington (Satellite Beach, Fla.) are the other two verbal commitments.
National signing day is Feb. 1.