Tony Dews Leaving WVU For NFL Coaching Job

Tony Dews Leaving WVU For NFL Coaching Job


The Mountaineer football coaching staff had been very stable this offseason … until now.

The Tennessee Titans recently announced the hiring of three new assistant coaches, including WVU’s recent running back coach Tony Dews.

This will be the first foray into the NFL by Dews, who had spent his previous 20 years in the profession in the college ranks. A native of Clifton, Va., and graduate of Liberty University (’97), Dews had worked at West Virginia in several different stints. He had been a graduate assistant for the Mountaineers under Don Nehlen and Rich Rodriguez from 1999-2001. He returned to WVU as the team’s receiver coach in 2007, before following Rodriguez to Michigan (2008-10) and eventually Arizona (2012-16). He came back to West Virginia in February of 2017, replacing Ja’Juan Seider as WVU’s running back coach after Seider took a job at Florida.

With Dews in charge, the Mountaineers rushed for an average of 150.3 yards per game last year, which was fifth among the 10 Big 12 schools.

Dews, who will be Tennessee’s running back coach, joins a Titan staff that will be working for first-year head coach Mike Vrabel. After a 14-year NFL career as a linebacker with Pittsburgh, New England and Kansas City, Vrabel has risen quickly through the coaching ranks. He spent his first three seasons in coach at his alma mater, Ohio State (2011-13), and then served as the Houston Texans’ linebacker coach from 2014-16. He was Houston’s defensive coordinator in 2017. The Akron, Ohio, native was hired as the Titans’ head coach on Jan. 20, and now in assembling his staff, he plucks a Mountaineer.

Since becoming West Virginia’s head coach in 2011, Dana Holgorsen has had a lot of turnover in his coaching staff on an annual basis. He’s had no fewer than two, and upwards of five, assistant coaching changes each year until now. Other than the addition of a 10th assistant in Dan Gerberry, it’s been a very stable year for Holgorsen’s group. Dews is the first member of WVU’s 2017 coaching staff to depart.

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Dews isn’t the only former Mountaineer getting a job in the NFL.

According to FootballScoop.com, the Steelers have hired Blaine Stewart as a coaching assistant. Blaine, who split his college days between James Madison and the University of Charleston, is the son of the late West Virginia head coach Bill Stewart. Bill Stewart gave Mike Tomlin his first coaching job at VMI as wide receivers coach in 1995, and now Tomlin is giving Blaine his start in the profession.

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  • #50683

    Tony Dews Leaving WVU For NFL Coaching Job The Mountaineer football coaching staff had been very stable this offseason … until now. The Tennessee Tita
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    #50690

    Don’t know if this rises to the level of “revolving door”, but it would be nice to have a year or two where there are no departures.

    #50705

    Not sure if this is a huge loss or not. But who replaces him?

    #50706

    If this had been a couple weeks ago, I would have said Dana would have tried to bring Ja’Juan Seider home. But with Seider recently becoming the running back coach at Penn State, that seems unlikely – though you never say never. I’d normally think this hire would be someone who comes from Dana’s background, but Gibbie has had a lot of influence on WVU’s recent hires, even on offense in terms of Dews. I’m not sure who the replacement will be. After a couple years coaching in the D-II level, is Quincy Wilson ready for an FBS job?

    #50708

    Good luck to him. Even though I am a Steeler fan, I hope he does well.

    #50712

    Having worked with Tony Dews during his three different stints at WVU, I can attest that he’s a very, very good person. He genuinely enjoyed coming back to West Virginia, but an NFL job is just too tempting to pass up. Can’t blame him a bit.

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