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Arizona to introduce Casteel as defensive coordinator

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - The University of Arizona will introduce four assistant coaches today to complete Coach Rich Rodriguez's first staff and three are expected to come from Dana Holgorsen's defensive staff at West Virginia.

Tom Duddleston, the sports information director at Arizona, said Tuesday the Wildcats will announce the hiring of a tight ends coach, a linebackers coach, a defensive line coach and a cornerbacks coach.

Later in the evening, the athletic department website briefly posted biographies for WVU linebackers coach/defensive coordinator Jeff Casteel, defensive line coach Bill Kirelawich and cornerbacks coach David Lockwood.

A source said earlier Tuesday WVU is prepared to lose Casteel and that WVU expected to lose more than one coach. The Tulsa World reported Tuesday Holgorsen is targeting Oklahoma State safeties coach Joe DeForest as Casteel's replacement.

DeForest, 46, has been at OSU for 11 years and worked with Holgorsen when Holgorsen was the offensive coordinator in 2010.

He's a respected recruiter in Houston and the Gulf Coast and has made a name coaching special teams.

The World reported DeForest made $400,000 this past season, the same as Casteel, though Casteel was due a $50,000 annual raise in each of the next two seasons.

Holgorsen and athletic director Oliver Luck did not return messages seeking comment.

Rodriguez, a former walk-on safety who earned a scholarship at WVU and was the coach from 2001-07, was hired Nov. 22 at Arizona. Almost immediately it was assumed Casteel, who has been with WVU since 2001 and who declined an offer to join Rodriguez at Michigan in 2007, would be Rodriguez's defensive coordinator.

Casteel consistently declined to talk about the possibility and told the Charleston Daily Mail after the Orange Bowl victory, "You know what, I really don't want to get into all that. We should enjoy the win and worry about all those things as we keep going."

He began as WVU's defensive line coach in place of Kirelawich in 2001 and was moved to linebackers and promoted to co-defensive coordinator with Arizona State coach Todd Graham a year later. In 2003, he took over the coordinator's position. Casteel, a Paden City native who helped the Paden City High team to the 1979 Class A state title, was named the 2007 Rivals.com Defensive Coordinator of the Year.

Kirelawich has been at WVU since 1979 after spending the previous nine years as the head coach at Cardinal Brennan (Pa.) High. He was the defensive line coach from 1980-87, the outside linebackers coach from 1988-90, the line coach from 1991-2000, an administrative assistant from 2001-02 and then the line coach again since 2003. In 2010, Kirelawich was named the FootballScoop.com National Defensive Line Coach of the Year.

Lockwood played cornerback from 1985-88 at WVU and was a graduate assistant with the Mountaineers in 1989. He returned to WVU as the defensive backs coach in 2000 and then the cornerbacks coach in 2008.

Those three, as well as safeties coach Steve Dunlap, were retained when Holgorsen was hired by Luck in December 2010 and then made the head coach in June. Casteel signed a three-year contract. The others signed two-year deals. None of those contracts have buyouts, meaning Casteel, Kirelawich and Lockwood would owe WVU no money and WVU would owe them no money. If Dunalp is replaced, he'd be owed his 2012 salary.

Rodriguez previously hired Tony Gibson as his safeties coach. He worked with Casteel at WVU from 2001-07. Casteel and Kirelawich would also be reunited at Arizona with running backs coach Calvin Magee, quarterbacks coach Rod Smith and receivers coach Tony Dews.

Contact sportswriter Mike Casazza at mikec@dailymail.com or 304-319-1142. His blog is at blogs.dailymail.com/wvu.

 


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