WVU’s Spavital Leaves For Head Coaching Position At Texas State
West Virginia’s football team will be searching for a new offensive coordinator, as Jake Spavital has been hired as the head coach at Texas State. The TSU athletic department website confirmed the hiring.
— Texas State Bobcats (@TxStateBobcats) November 28, 2018
Spavital has served as an assistant coach at WVU in two different stints. He was a member of Dana Holgorsen’s original staff, working with the Mountaineer quarterbacks in 2011 and ’12. The Tulsa native then left to become the offensive coordinator at Texas A&M, working with the Aggies from 2013-15. He took over as the offensive coordinator at the University of California in 2016, and then came back to West Virginia in 2017, working the past two seasons as the Mountaineers’ quarterback coach and their offensive coordinator.
His QB pupil at WVU this past season, Will Grier, completed 266-of-397 passes for 3,864 yards with 37 touchdowns and eight interceptions. Grier finished the regular season second in the FBS ranks in passing yards per game (351.3) and passing TD (37). As a team, West Virginia’s offense was ninth nationally in scoring (42.3 points per game) and eighth in total yards (520.4 per game).
Spavital takes over a Texas State program that has had only marginal success since moving up to the FBS level in 2012. Prior to that, the Bobcat football squad did enjoy winning ways, capturing the NCAA Division II national championship in 1981 and 1982, when the university was known as Southwest Texas State. The Bobcats played at the FCS level from 1987-2011 before moving up to the FBS ranks.
First under Dennis Franchione (20-28 from 2012-15) and then under Everett Withers (7-28 from 2016-18), the Bobcats have had just one winning season in their seven years as an FBS program, initially as a member of the WAC (2012) and then the Sun Belt Conference (2013 to present).
Withers came to Texas State after two highly successful seasons at James Madison (18-7, two FCS playoff berths), but he wasn’t able to replicate those winning ways in San Marcos, which is about 30 miles south of Austin. He was fired earlier in November.
Spavital will be the first of Holgorsen’s WVU assistant coaches to become an FBS head coach, though Dana mentored Kliff Kingsbury (previously at Texas Tech) and Lincoln Riley (Oklahoma) when he was an assistant himself at prior stops.
Kingsbury, who recently was fired after a six-year stint as the head coach at Texas Tech (35-40), certainly could be a logical candidate to take over for Spavital with the Mountaineers, although he already has multiple NFL offers. JaJuan Seider also could be a potential replacement. A former WVU quarterback (1996-98) and assistant coach (2013-16), Seider served as the running back coach at Florida in 2017 and has spent the 2018 season as the running back coach at Penn State.
Jake Spavital is married to former WVU gymnast Mehgan (Morris) Spavital, who is a native of Belle, W.Va. They have two young children, Madison Grace and Landyn Zachary.
Below is a video of Spavital’s final press conference as WVU’s offensive coordinator, as he addressed the media following WVU’s 59-56 loss to Oklahoma last Friday.