He said linebackers coach Keith Patterson is now the defensive coordinator after working as the co-coordinator during the season. Joe DeForest, who had been the defensive coordinator, is now simply the associate head coach and safeties coach.
"Instead of having two guys share the responsibility, I think it's important for one guy to take that lead," said Holgorsen, who previously fired cornerbacks coach Daron Roberts.
Patterson has been a co-coordinator at Tulsa and a coordinator at Pitt. He was briefly employed as the coordinator at Arkansas State last winter before Holgorsen hired him away a month after he'd hired DeForest.
Patterson was moved from the coaching box to the field late in the season while DeForest was moved from the field to the box. Patterson signaled in play calls from the field, but said he was not the coordinator. Holgorsen said he made the change Dec. 2, the morning after WVU ended the regular season with a win against Kansas.
Patterson will be the coordinator for the bowl game and said his defense will be multiple and have noticeable differences for the Dec. 29 game.
"We're constantly striving to become better," he said. "I'm not waiting until next year. I want you to see some improvements against Syracuse."
A source told the Charleston Daily Mail last week the contracts and salaries won't change for Patterson and DeForest. Patterson makes $350,000 on a two-year contract while DeForest makes $500,000 on a three-year contract.
DeForest didn't speak to reporters Monday.
"Joe DeForest is very, very, very valuable to our coaching staff and to our football program because he wears many hats and always has," Holgorsen said. "He's a tremendous football coach who's focused a lot on safeties - and we have two pretty good safeties playing pretty good football.
"We're excited about what he's doing with them and that he brings a bunch of experience from a recruiting stand point, a special teams standpoint, an associate head coach standpoint and a next-guy-in-charge standpoint. That will continue next year."
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HOLGORSEN said graduate assistant Andrew Magee will coach cornerbacks for the bowl. Holgorsen said a replacement for Roberts should be in place after the bowl and that he and Patterson will work together to find the right person.
"He's got to be willing to learn this system," Patterson said of the eventual hire. "It doesn't really matter what he knew from his past. We want to get people familiar with what we do. Some people get set in their ways, but they've got to be willing to change and grow as a coach and think outside the box."
Contact sportswriter Mike Casazza at mi...@dailymail.com or 304-319-1142. His blog is at blogs.dailymail.com/wvu.