MORGANTOWN - Things could have been a whole lot easier than they were for JaJuan Seider.
He was the recruiting coordinator and the running backs coach at Marshall, preparing for his fourth season with the Thundering Herd and one when he expected the team to be "pretty darned good."
He'd heard his name was thrown around at other schools for various openings. Invariably, a school would lose an assistant coach and Seider would hear about it one way or another.
"Somebody always calls or texts and says, 'Hey, this job is open. Maybe they're going to call you. You need you call them,' " Seider said. "I was dealing with all of that. Jobs down south my name was circulating. I don't get excited until I get a real phone call from somebody. That's when you know."
February had turned to March and the focus was on spring football. Yet on that first day of March, West Virginia lost running backs coach Robert Gillespie to Tennessee. Six days later, Seider was interviewing in Morgantown. A day after that, he was hired. Two days later, he was coaching in the first spring practice.
Things could have been a whole lot harder than they were.
"It was a no-brainer," he said.
He was not free from pain, though. Joining WVU's staff meant parting ways with his mentor, Marshall Coach Doc Holliday. It was Holliday who'd recruited Seider to Morgantown from Belle Glade, Fla., and who tutored Seider when he was a graduate assistant with the Mountaineers. Holliday hired Seider on his first staff at Marshall in 2010.
And it was Holiday who Seider had to say goodbye to first.
"He said, 'I'd be more selfish as a person and as a coach to tell you to stay here. You played there. They're going to take care of you. You've got to go. I can't tell you to stay here,' " Seider said. "That meant a lot to me. It took a big burden off my shoulders to leave Doc on that note."
It was as big of a loss for Marshall as it was a gain for WVU - for the same reasons. Seider fit a need, but not just by sliding into the spot Gillespie vacated on the coaching staff.
Seider stepped right into the place from where Gillespie plucked good players.
"We needed a south Florida recruiter," Mountaineers Coach Dana Holgorsen said, "and he's potentially one of the best ones in the country."
Seider is from the area. He played there. He coached there. He knows the people and they know him. For as long as he can remember, he's witnessed the way colleges have treated the area.