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WVU football: Dunlap out as assistant, offered different position with school

MORGANTOWN, WVa. -- West Virginia Coach Dana Holgorsen made his third change to the coaching staff this offseason when he dismissed Steve Dunlap on Saturday.

Dunlap, the associate head coach and special teams coordinator, was the last holdover from the coaching staff Holgorsen joined as the offensive coordinator and head coach-in-waiting in December 2010. Holgorsen retained Dunlap last season after three defensive assistants left the school for jobs at Arizona and repositioned Dunlap with special teams. He had been safeties coach.

WVU's athletic department confirmed the move, but has not announced it. A source told the Charleston Daily Mail that Dunlap has been offered an alternate position of employment with the university and it's up to Dunlap to accept and remain at his alma mater or move on to his next job.

Dunlap's coaching contract for $250,000 expires June 30.

Previously, Holgorsen promoted inside linebackers coach and co-defensive coordinator Keith Patterson to defensive coordinator and demoted defensive coordinator Joe DeForest to associate head coach and safeties coach. Holgorsen, who is in Nashville, Tenn., for the annual coaches' convention, later fired cornerbacks coach Daron Roberts.

The Mountaineers were No. 110 this season in net punting, No. 93 in kickoff returns and No. 98 in kickoff return defense, but also saw Tavon Austin named to a variety of all-conference and all-America teams as a return specialist.

Dunlap, who was also the team's outside linebackers coach, has been coaching for 35 years and was in his second stint at WVU. A Mountaineers linebacker from 1976-78, he set school records for tackles in a season (190) and a game (28) and is No. 10 in career tackles (359). He worked at WVU from 1984-2000 in various defensive capacities and was the defensive coordinator the final 10 seasons.

In 1996, Dunlap was a finalist for the Broyles Award given annually to the nation's top assistant coach. The Mountaineers led the country in total defense and were No. 2 in rushing defense and turnover margin, No. 4 in scoring defense and No. 5 in pass efficiency defense.

Dunlap was not retained when Rich Rodriguez was named head coach in November 2000 and Dunlap moved on to Syracuse. He was there from 2001-04 before being named the defensive coordinator at North Carolina State from 2005-06. In 2007, he was Marshall's defensive coordinator and then returned to WVU in 2008 on Coach Bill Stewart's staff.

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



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