WVU Football Coordinator Positions Have Leading Candidates

WVU Football Coordinator Positions Have Leading Candidates

Neal Brown isn’t letting any grass grow under his feet.

While West Virginia’s 35th football head coach has only been officially on the job for three days, he’s been a bundle of activity. He’s completed working out the details of his WVU contract, made recruiting offers, flown to Morgantown, met the team and toured the facilities. He’s also reportedly closing in on both an offensive and defensive coordinator.

Vic Koenning

On the latter side, Vic Koenning, a seasoned veteran who had two stints at Troy as defensive coordinator, appears to be gaining momentum as the lead candidate to take over the same spot at West Virginia. Indications of that, and of a decision that current defensive coordinator Tony Gibson will not be retained at least as D.C., have come up from sources both public and confidential over the past two days. One recruit who was recently offered tagged Koenning in a tweet announcing the offer, and director of athletics Shane Lyons, in addressing the sentiments of several players toward keeping Gibson, seemed to indicate that decision had been made.

“Before Coach Brown talked with the team [on Sunday] I met with the team and walked them through the [hiring] process with the student-athletes, and told them their best interests were always kept in the forefront in hiring a coach,” Lyons said on MetroNewsTalkline. “There was indication at that time that Coach Brown would bring his own defensive coordinator and that there would be a change in that position from Coach Gibson.”

That followed along with Lyons’ confirmation that he did not require Brown to retain any WVU coaches.

Kirk Ciarrocca

“I did not handcuff him in that manner. There were no requirements to keep existing coaches,” Lyons said. “We did talk about continuity and maybe keep a couple of guys, but he has to do that and decide what he wants to put together on his staff.”

Offensively, multiple reports are pinpointing Minnesota offensive coordinator Kirk Ciarrocca as heading to WVU to handle the same position on Brown’s staff. West Virginia has been without a coordinator since Jake Spavital left in early December to take the head coaching job at Texas State.

Ciarrocca is a native of Lewisberry, Pa. He connected with Brown while they were coaching together at Delaware in 2005.

Lyons also confirmed that Brown’s budget for his 10 assistants will be approximately $3.5 million, mirroring the total from 2018.

Lyons said much of Brown’s message to the team included the theme that they would be “wiping the slate clean.”

“Now is the time to start building trust,” Lyons said of Brown’s approach. “He understands it’s a grind, but it’s about having fun, too.

“I talked to a couple of the student-athletes after the meeting, and they said they felt re-energized.”


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    WVU Football Coordinator Positions Have Leading Candidates Neal Brown isn’t letting any grass grow under his feet. While West Virginia’s 35th football
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    Kirk Ciarrocca with P5 OC experience and connections to PA give me a good feeling.


    Will Gibby stay on in any capacity? I would imagine reading between the lines that he’s probably gone.Too be honest I liked Gibby but sick of the 3-3-5.


    Still don’t know. We have heard a couple of indications, but nothing I am confident enough to report on. There have been a couple of possibilities floated, including as a position coach or in some other capacity, but nothing that is solid at this point.

    He has one year remaining on his contract, which is worth $950,000. If WVU does not retain him, it must pay that entire amount.


    If I’m Shane, I leave it up to Neal to say if he wants him as part of the field staff.  If not, then give Gibby the option of a desk position (that is if Gibby’s attitude is right).  That would do one of two things.  Give us a good ambassador in the office or motivate Gibby to move on of his own accord.  If he wants to keep coaching and take the next step to HC he should look for a DC at another program immediately.  Or he could drop down in class to HC.  I’m sure there are many lower level programs out there looking for a seasoned P5 coach to elevate their program.  Win/Win.


    We have another assistant name for you, but you’ll have to subscribe!

    Can’t keep giving away info for free.  *wink*

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