Coaching Change Brings New Employment Opportunities
The West Virginia University athletic department is saving some money up front when it comes to the contracts of its previous head football coach and its new one.
Dana Holgorsen’s contract with WVU for 2019 called for him to make $3.7 million in compensation, before various performance-based incentive bonuses kicked in.
Neal Brown’s contract this year is for $3.05 million in compensation, again before incentive bonuses are awarded.
Before Mountaineer director of athletics Shane Lyons can start investing that extra $650,000 into a money market account for WVU, though, he’s going to be sending payments back over to West Virginia football to cover the salaries of new employees.
That’s because Brown’s current workforce has grown in comparison to that of Holgorsen’s. West Virginia’s staff list now shows six more full-time employees within the football department compared to what it contained last year.
Brown, nor Lyons, isn’t one to just hand out a paycheck without expecting a return on his investment. The hope is the additional employees help the Mountaineers perform better on the field, as well as off, especially in terms of recruiting.
The size of Brown’s staff compared to Holgorsen’s remains the same in several areas, some of which have an NCAA-mandated limit.
Obviously there are a head coach and 10 assistants, as well as seven graduate assistant coaches and four strength coaches. The academic counseling personnel still consists of five individuals, just as it did in the past, and the equipment room (2) and nutrition staff (1) also are unchanged. WVU’s video department, which handles all the practice and game film, currently features just one employee, compared to two in the past, but there is an opening there likely to be filled before fall camp starts.
Where Brown has made the biggest changes are in the areas that work directly with recruiting, social media/creativity and coaching analysts.
Holgorsen’s recruiting staff featured two full-time employees – director of player personnel Ryan Dorchester and recruiting coordinator Casey Smithson – as well as two part-timers – recruiting graduate assistant Nicole Walton and program assistant Daikiel Shorts. Now under Brown there are four full-time employees working in that area – Smithson is the lone holdover, and he now carries the title of defensive recruiting coordinator, and he’s joined in the recruiting department by director of player personnel Brian Bennett, offensive recruiting coordinator Scott Gasper and on-campus recruiting coordinator Katie Guisto.
Holgorsen’s recruiting staff, as well as some interns, handled much of the program’s social media output in recent years, but now under Brown, he has two full-time employees who oversee that work – Austin Gaines, who is the director of creative video, and Jordan Herald, who is the director of creative design. Most every social media post you – and hopefully all the top flight recruits – now see from WVU Football likely comes from one of these two in a branch of the program that didn’t even exist six months ago.
Holgorsen had previously used two full-time analysts – Ryan Nehlen on the offensive side and Casey Vance on defense. Both were retained by Brown, who also added two others – Tyler Hancock, who will work with special teams, and Robby Brown, who carries the title of senior analyst and special assistant to the head coach for football.
WVU’s administrative staff was also bulked up. Brown retained the program’s two long-time administrative assistants, Lori Rice and Kim Calandrelli, who have each been in their positions for more than 30 years. Holgorsen had two other administrators – Alex Hammond, who was the associate athletic director for football, and Robert Glowacky, who was the director of football operations. Neither of those two is with the team any longer. In their place, Brown has hired three new administrators – Coleman Barnes, who is associate athletics director for football external affairs; Patrick Johnson, who is the director of football operations/internal affairs, and Will Johnson, who is the director of player and alumni relations.
On top of that group of 49, there are many of others who work for the WVU athletic department as a whole and also have various responsibilities with the football program, from maintenance to sports communications to marketing, ticket sales, the Mountaineer Sports Network, food services, etc. But most of those positions also have other duties away from football, and their jobs basically were unchanged by the coaching turnover.
But for some within the Puskar Center, the move from Holgorsen to Brown created new employment opportunities.