WVU football: New assistants, including one familiar face, could arrive Thursday
MORGANTOWN - The Charleston Daily Mail has confirmed that former East Carolina defensive coordinator and NFL veteran Brian Mitchell and Arizona assistant coach Tony Gibson will be on West Virginia University's campus as soon as Thursday.
Their arrival is likely the final part of the offseason coaching cycle at WVU, which included the dismissals of Daron Roberts (cornerbacks) and Steve Dunlap (special teams).
Mitchell, from Waco, Texas, was an all-conference cornerback at Brigham Young and a seventh-round draft pick of the Atlanta Falcons in 1991. He played three seasons with the Falcons and the Dallas Cowboys. Mitchell learned last week his contract would not be renewed at ECU. He was there for three seasons and coached the secondary after spending four seasons at Texas Tech as the cornerbacks coach and 11 seasons at his alma mater.
Gibson, from Van and a graduate of Glenville State, was on the WVU staff from 2001-07 as the defensive backs coach and eventually the recruiting coordinator.
He is held in high regard for his ability to recruit players out of Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania, so much so that former Pitt Coach Todd Graham hired Gibson on his staff there in 2011.
Gibson worked that year as the secondary coach and passing defense coordinator under defensive coordinator Keith Patterson, who is now WVU's defensive coordinator following last month's promotion from Coach Dana Holgorsen.
Gibson left WVU in 2007 to follow Coach Rich Rodriguez to Michigan and was there from 2008-10 as the assistant head coach, secondary coach and a strength and conditioning coach. He rejoined Rodriguez this past season at the University of Arizona as the safeties coach and defensive special teams coordinator.
Holgorsen could not be reached for comment Tuesday night. He was in Nashville, Tenn., Monday and Tuesday for the annual coaches' convention. A source told the Daily Mail Monday Holgorsen was to interview between eight and 10 people for the two openings on his coaching staff.
Contact sportswriter Mike Casazza at email@example.com or 304-319-1142. His blog is at blogs.dailymail.com/wvu.