Gerberry Glad To Be Back In A Coaching Role For Mountaineers
Dan Gerberry has waited a year to get back into coaching on the field.
Oh, he had no major complaint last year, as he spent all of 2017 as the senior analyst for the Mountaineer football team. After a couple years with a limited salary as a graduate assistant — first at WVU in 2015 and then at Pitt in 2016 — it was nice to be on the payroll as a full-time employee. But the 2009 Ball State grad, who spent five seasons in the NFL (2009-12 with Detroit and 2013 with Jacksonville), is hungry to get back on the field and coach.
Dana Holgorsen had enticed Gerberry back to West Virginia last year with the promise that as soon as the NCAA approved the addition of a 10th assistant coach, the job would be Gerberry’s. But until then, he would in the role of an analyst, whose primary job was breaking down film. There had been some conjecture originally that the 10th assistant would be added last spring, but the NCAA held off until the end of the 2017 season. Now the Mountaineers and all other FBS programs can add the extra assistant coach. And Holgorsen didn’t have to look far to find his. Gerberry was right down the hall.
Now he’s back on the field.
“It has really been an easy transition that I have been waiting a year to make,” noted the native of Youngstown, Ohio. “There were times last year that it was a little tough, because I wanted to talk to the players and tell them things. But that wasn’t allowed.
“I’m glad now I can get out there and actually coaching again.”
Gerberry didn’t just twiddle his thumbs last year. He dove head first into the analyst role, and he believes the experience has made him a better coach.
“Anyone in that situation should take advantage of the opportunity,” he noted. “I think I learned a lot by being around some very good coaches, watching how they did things. And then diving into the film and other things I did really gave me some insight there. I think it helped me a great deal.”
A former offensive linemen in his playing days, Gerberry is overseeing West Virginia’s tight ends and fullbacks. He is charged with replacing Elijah Wellman, who was WVU’s starting fullback the past four seasons. Converted linebacker Logan Thimons, as well as walk-ons Elijah Drummond and Joseph Turner, will battle to replace Wellman.
And at tight end, Gerberry will have options. But those additions will be needed as West Virginia offensive coordinator Jake Spavital wants to increase the tight end’s role in the Mountaineer offense.
“Well, right now, yeah we lost Eli (Wellman). With Eli, we lose a lot of experience and a lot of leadership, which is something you can’t just replace,” Gerberry stated. “With that said moving forward, Trevon (Wesco) has been fantastic. He has really taken ownership of our room. The kid is 6-foot-4, 270 pounds. He offers a different element. I don’t mean to compare and contrast but right now with our room we are so much taller, we are so much longer, we are so much heavier. Jovanni Haskins is doing a good job. He is six-foot-four or five, 240 or 245 pounds and he brings a different element. Now all of a sudden you have different types of bodies in there and they are working really hard and we are going to get better as we go.
“And Jesse Beal is interesting,” Gerberry added of the walk-on tight end prospect who came to WVU this semester after spending the past eight years as a pitcher in minor league baseball. “His maturity makes him very valuable, and he’s a big guy (6-6, 254 lbs.) who moves well. I look forward to working with him and all the guys.”