MORGANTOWN - A graduate assistant coach on the football team earned a promotion shortly after the close of the fall semester at West Virginia University.
Coach Dana Holgorsen announced that Andrew McGee will take over the responsibility of coaching the Mountaineers' cornerbacks after the departure of former coach Daron Roberts, who left to pursue other opportunities, according to a statement released by Holgorsen shortly after the end of a 7-5 season in which the defense was often torched by opposing passers. WVU ranked at the bottom of the Big 12 Conference in pass defense.
"Once the Kansas game was over, whatever was going to happen, there was no sense in wasting time," Holgorsen said. "This gives us a chance to move forward. Is every single problem going to be fixed? Of course not."
McGee will be under the scrutiny of the hierarchy of the defensive staff during December practices.
"Andrew is a good, bright young man," Holgorsen said. "He has a bright future."
The Mountaineers have only a limited amount of time to fix those defensive ills as they prepare to take on Syracuse at 3:15 p.m., Dec. 29 in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium.
But McGee's promotion will not be the only change on the defensive staff. Keith Patterson sheds his title of co-defensive coordinator and will assume those duties alone. His former counterpart, Joe DeForest, will remain as the associate head coach and safeties coach.
"There will be some changes (defensively), noticeable changes," Holgorsen said. "I just can't tell you what they are."
Patterson, however, cautioned against revamping the entire defensive scheme.
"You can't make wholesale changes," he said. "It's a process, multiple but simple. I try to get the guys to develop a mentality of attacking."