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WVU football: NFL assistant joining Mountaineers

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- Daron Roberts, an assistant coach with the Detroit Lions the past two seasons, has joined the West Virginia coaching staff to coach wide receivers and work closely with special teams.

Roberts, 32, will replace former wide receivers coach Lonnie Galloway, who took the same job at Wake Forest earlier this month.

"I am thrilled to have Daron Roberts join the West Virginia football family," said WVU offensive coordinator and coach-in-waiting Dana Holgorsen said. "He is one of the brightest and most motivated young men in our entire profession. He will coach the wide receivers, and I know he will do a great job with the special teams."

Roberts graduated from the University of Texas, where he was the student body president and majored in government. Roberts worked one year as an aide to Sen. Joe Lieberman and then went to Harvard, where he earned his master's in public policy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government and then a law degree.

He worked for four law firms and was assistant to the chief counsel for Texas Lieutenant Governor Bill Ratliff, but took a detour off his career path. Despite no playing experience beyond high school and no coaching experience at all, Roberts wanted to be a Division I head coach.

He worked as an assistant coach at Bishop Miege High School in Shawnee Mission, Kan., in 2007 and then wrote every NFL team and numerous college teams to ask for an opportunity.

The Kansas City Chiefs took a chance and invited him as an unpaid intern for the 2007 training camp. At the end of camp, he was brought on as a volunteer with special teams. Roberts set up the team's special team drills in practice and conducted the kickoff and punt drills.

He also helped assign daily player grades and evaluations and produced weekly scouting reports on the opposition's kicking tendencies.

The following year he was made a quality control assistant on defense. Roberts crafted scouting reports that went over tendencies for personnel packages, formations and down-and-distances as well as detailed blocking schemes and route combinations.

Roberts also coached rookie defensive backs, produced team- and player-specific video packages and conducted the weekly self-scout to review defensive call tendencies and situational success.

When Gunther Cunningham left the Chiefs and was hired by the Lions as the defensive coordinator after the 2008 season, Roberts made the move with his mentor. Cunningham made Roberts his assistant secondary coach in 2009.

Roberts also founded "4th-and-1," a free camp that provides football skills as well as SAT prep and life skills workshops.

Contact sportswriter Mike Casazza at or 304-319-1142. His blog is at



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