Staff Departures Continue At WVU Football

Mountaineer inside linebacker coach Blake Seiler works with his players in a drill.

Staff Departures Continue At WVU Football


West Virginia’s football program appeared to have made it through the first wave of staff departures that wash across the college football seas with limited attrition at the end of the season, losing only wide receivers coach Xavier Dye to South Florida. Now, however, another pair are packing their bags.

Linebackers coach Blake Seiler will accept a spot at Old Dominion as defensive coordintor on new coach Ricky Rahne’s staff. Footballscoop.com first reported the move, which has been confirmed by multiple sources.

Seiler and Rahne were both on the staff at Kansas State in 2009 and 2010. Seiler eventually worked his way up to defensive coordinator, but was not retained by new K-State head coach Chris Klieman when he took over for the retired Bill Snyder for the 2019 season. Rahne coached at Vanderbilt and Penn State under James Franklin before earning the nod as the Monarchs’ new head coach this fall.

Seiler was a ten-year veteran at Kansas State — his only destination in coaching prior coming to WVU last year.

Casey Smithson

WVU will also be looking for a replacement for its recruiting staff.  Defensive recruiting coordinator Casey Smithson, who fought hard to hold on to his spot on the staff after Dana Holgorsen departed, is somewhat surprisingly now heading to Houston, according to a report from 247sports.

BlueGoldNews.com has confirmed Smithson’s departure. His last day at WVU was January 2.

Smithson was one of four primary recruiting staffers in Neal Brown’s first front office, joining director of player personnel Brian Bennett, offensive recruiting coordinator Scott Gasper and on-camps coordinator Katie Guisto. Smithson will be the director of player personnel at Houston, a step up from his position at West Virginia.

Smithson worked at WVU for more than a decade, beginning as a recruiting intern in 2007 and moving up through graduate assistant roles to full-time staffer.

As of Friday afternoon, neither Seiler nor Smithson had changed their social media accounts to indicate a departure from WVU.

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  • This topic has 10 replies, 9 voices, and was last updated by Kevin KinderKevin Kinder.
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  • #107784

    Staff Departures Continue At WVU Football West Virginia’s football program appered to have made it through the first wave of staff departures that was
    [See the full post at: Staff Departures Continue At WVU Football]

    #107794

    Why would anyone at this point move from morgantown to houston to follow dana….. he is on thin ice and i would not want my career tied to his unless he gave me guaranteed contract or two or three times my current salary

    #107796

    Not fussed. NOT worried–in the slightest.

    The entirety of the sport is transitional. And that’s not even bringing up the FACT that a coaching change occurred less than a year ago.

    #107801

    No one is irreplaceable. WVU has retained most staff, and the ones leaving are for promotions. Coaching is big business and climbing the ladder is normal. Not surprised

    #107815

    A couple of things to keep in mind here.

    Both of the recent departures were promotions: Seiler to a coordinator spot and Smithson to overseeing all recruiting, not just the defensive side as he did at WVU. Both likely include raises.

    As for going to UH, there’s no doubt working under Holgersen is less stressful than most. It’s a very laid back atmosphere.

    I agree, Paul, that Holgorsen at UH could be a disaster. Will his friend Fertitta give him more leeway if the Cougars don’t get to 8-9 wins this year or next? Not sure, and don’t know how much that would affect those that have worked for him in multiple locations. It’s definitely a gamble.

    #107816

    The one thing I learned in 45 years of business. Never worry about the ones who leave. Worry about the ones who stay.

    #107819

    Any word on who replacements might be? John Pennington, Ryan Nehlen, Clint Trickett? Others?

    #107822

    No direct knowledge, but I would say Ryan Nehlen is a possibility as the receiver coach, as he’s already on staff and is someone Neal Brown already knows.

    As for the linebacker coach, keep an eye on Jon Sumrall, who is currently the linebacker coach at Kentucky. Sumrall is a UK alum, so may not be easy to draw him away from his alma mater, but he previously worked for Brown at Troy and supposedly the two are tight.

    #107930

    Didn’t I see that Clint Trickett was named OC at FAU or FIU

    #107992

    Clint is now QB Coach and co-OC at FAU.

    #108139

    The one thing I learned in 45 years of business. Never worry about the ones who leave. Worry about the ones who stay.

     

    Agreed it can’t be fretted over too much, but one thing is to understand why people are leaving. If it’s for promotions or other good reasons (alma mater, way more pay, etc.) then that’s o.k., but if there are multiples that don’t fit those parameters then it could be a problem that could be identified.

    Not saying or hinting that is the issue here – both got promotions and pay bumps.

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