West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen has hired Brian Mitchell for the second and final vacancy on his staff, a source told MetroNews on Wednesday.

Mitchell, 44, spent the past three seasons as defensive coordinator at East Carolina but was dismissed Jan. 3 on the heels of an 8-5 season that included a 43-34 loss to Louisiana-Lafayette in the New Orleans Bowl.

WVU has not announced the hiring, nor that of Tony Gibson, whose hiring MetroNews reported Tuesday night. Gibson, who coached safeties at Arizona this past season and served as a former WVU assistant under Rich Rodriguez, will split secondary duties with Mitchell.

Mitchell played cornerback at Brigham Young from 1987-90 and, after three NFL seasons with the Falcons and Cowboys, he spent 11 years as an assistant with BYU. He later coached with Holgorsen at Texas Tech for four seasons.

In 2011, during Mitchell’s second season at ECU, he implemented a 3-4 scheme. Though the Pirates finished only 5-7, they ranked 33rd in pass defense and 56th in total defense.

This past season, ECU dipped to 107th in the NCAA in pass defense (275.6 yards per game), while ranking 83rd in passing efficiency defense, 87th in total defense (430.6 yards per game) and 53rd in rushing defense (155 yards per game).

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  • george

    Might as well kept what we had.....................

  • Shawn

    Theres a difference in running a defense and coaching a part of it. These are good hires for recruiting purposes. And its time to stop the chatter about how bad the D was this year. Let me ask a question to all of you who are currently holding Holgs to the fire. What players on that Defense other than Joseph, Francis and Garvin could actually have a chance to start on a defense in the Big 12? Hmmm......i cant think of one single person. This team was not built for Big 12 play and it will take a couple years to get the right people for the system. Just because i can fish doesnt mean i can get on the lake with Kevin Van Dam and win the Bass Master Classic. Come on people, RELAX and get ready for the Blue/Gold game! Support your team and remember that RR went through the same type of streak his first 4 years.

    • it' about time!

      Thanks Shawn! Well spoken. I agree 100%. The only thing the coaches can do is tell you the plays, it's up to the players to make it work for the "O" and the "D". Just need to be more physical. Sometimes you need to go back and look at those little recreation league teams play to help you remember that drive you once had!

    • unclec

      What about Bruce?

  • Hoosier_Mountaineer

    I've never seen a more emotional but near sighted fan base as WVU's. I'm pretty sure our D can't get any worse so why aren't we at least optimistic w/ new hires on D. We are maybe a top 25 program right now so why do we expect top position coaches to come to Morgantown? Wait and criticize after week 3 or 4. AD's & coaches know a lot more about this than we do.

  • chad

    Playing DB is about talent, athleticism and instincts, not coaching (See Karl Joseph -Freshman). You can either play back there or you can't. The players we've had the last 2-3 years have been awful. It's about getting good player. If these guys can recruit players with those attributes we'll be fine. I can't imagine ECU was able to pull in much quality talent at the DB positions.

  • unclec

    I guess you get what you pay for. But prices we are paying we should have better. Part 2.what kind of talent do we have and how well do they get long with coaches? Hope the head coach gets along with the defence coaches. Never thought I would miss the 3 3 5, do miss coaches. Team chemistry is what we need. Still a proud mt eer

  • Pghmountaineer

    Pam I agree with you. Secondly it's not very encouraging to get a coach who was let go by his previuos team because his defense didn't perform. I don't see an improvement in the defense. We are unable to coach these guys up.

  • ric

    lol.....when wvu football and dana start winning again ( soon) everyone will be back on the bandwagon singing his praises. fickle fans in this state.

    • Terri

      ric, I agree with your post. I just shake my head when I read some of the post. I am sure that Dana does not want another season like last year. He is trying to right the ship. We may not agree on his hires but we need to give them chance and support. I just hope that none of the players reads the fans post, they need to read about our support not our criticism of the staff. This is one fan who 100% behind the team and will wait to see how these hires work out.

  • usafadec

    Once again, as I questioned earlier with the Gibson hire, why are we taking these guys who coached such lousy defenses last year and that were statistically near the bottom of the barrel? What am I missing? If these two hires pan out, we are NOT taking positive steps to right our defensive woes. I thought the goal was to achieve improvement . . . . guess not. Just maintain the status quo and settle for mediocrity. Hang on fans . . . this train is in for a wild ride the next few years until the inevitable train wreck (i.e., Holgs and staff are told "Adios"),

    • Kevin


      Wow, i guess we are completely ignoring the success our D had when Gibson was with us under Dick Rod, or we are ignoring the fact that Arizona was in year 1 of a new defensive scheme with players that were not recruited for that system. No seniors on that UA squad either.
      I guess you also missed the fact that ECU was 33rd and 56th respectively in pass defense and total defense. Oh, and Mitchell wasn't hired as a DC but as a position coach. I guess you are a "what have you done lately for me fan" rather than a true MOUNTAINEER! Give the process a chance, these guys know what they are doing, at least more so than the armchair qb you are. Get your head out of your A##, support our team or move to Huntington. JERK

      • Mountaineer B&G

        Kevin, you're funny!!!!:)

      • Mountaineer B&G

        Now, now, Kevin! Watch your manners. Is Mitchell a relative to you or something? The "Gibby" hire is a simple "man, he's from WV" hire and Mitchell must be good at a "kegger." We'll see. I hope you have the guts at the end of next season to still be commenting on this site. Oh, and why is it that anyone who questions the moves of Ollie or Holgs always gets cast as a "Marshall Fan." That's pretty rich!

  • Derek

    This is a young squad they improve each game if you can't see the potential you must be blind. Remember Huggs. Hasn't had a true rebuilding try this is it. His incoming class is his big man class don't be a hater.

    • Big Tom

      from the absolutely terrible results, i find it very diffi cult to see any potential in our freshmen.....joseph and bruce , that's it, and there never were 9 freshmen on the field at the same time as someone said, maybe 9 played sometime or other b ut not at the same time.

  • BKRussWV

    I'm just speechless. Truely flabbergasted. Sarcasim, wit, and ironic metaphor notwithstanding; I honestly do NOT understand these hires - other than we simply cannot actually get anyone better to come here. Very sad state of affairs for my beloved Eers.

  • Big Tom

    both these hires played roles in terrible defenses... exactly what is ollie and dana thinking... are we so finanically strapped that we can't afford someone good at coaching defenses?// wow, we're going to be terrilbe again next year,and the year after, hasn't dana learned anything .....

    he's just not gonna make it as a HC and WVU is gonna suffer,, i was pro dana, now, i am confused.

    • Bianca

      They are not thinking. Ollie and Dana need to go.
      They are ripping the Mountaineer spirit.

      • Shingdaddy

        So the Mountaineer spirit is only not 'ripped' if we win? Please. WV was settled by people living off of hard times. Being a Mountaineer is all about being able to pick yourself up. We went 7-6 w/a young D (and poor coaching on that side of the ball) and you talk about Holgs like he is a pariah. Remember when Nehlen was going 3-8 and nobody said a word cause he was coach. This guy won the Orange bowl a year ago and we won 10 games for the first time in 4 seasons. This isn't the Big Least anymore. This is the Big XII. We got a year or two to go. For god sake have some faith and some patience.

    • George

      I have to agree these aren't the best choices, and yes, these coaches were most likely hired because WVU can't afford a Holcomb or a Chip West. I don't expect WVU to see much improvement on defense in 2013.

      With freshmen starting in Jan and recruiting being an issue especially with Signing Day rapidly approaching, WVU got who they could get with what they could afford. I wonder what who WVU approached for these positions and who turned them down due to the money being offered and who turned them down due to Coach Holgorsen or both.

  • Gerald

    Could we have hired two coaches from teams with worse defensive records over the past year. Brian Mitchell was let go from that "NCAA power" East Carolina. This is as bad as hiring DeForest and Jeff Mullen. Have we slipped back to the WVU of the sixties when we had no national respect and couldn't attract anyone of a decent coaching caliber.

    • David

      Considering that ECU has had no benefit of belonging to a more lucrative conference, operating with less money, located in the heart of ACC country, and thus more difficulty recruiting four star talent, I think ECU has done reasonably well developing their football program. Not sure they deserve your "slam". Wasn't that long ago that WVU was in a similar boat.

    • Roni


  • Thomas Smith

    Pam not only does your comment make no sense being on a page about wvu football and not wvu basketball. Its also ridiculous, Bob Huggins is one of the best college coaches in history, losing Beilein was like losing $100 and then winning the lottery.

    • Superdaveo

      Amen!!! With all of the negativity surrounding our football coaches...mostly defensive staff....full of non-proven winners...some idiots pick on one of the best Basketball coaches in NCAA history!!!

      Go join the Marshall fan base if you can't support Huggs....Huggs is a proven winner....I have faith in his staff....which is a lot more than I can say for status of FOOTBALL PROGRAM!!!!

    • Bianca

      Her comment is a lot about his persona, also part of a team.

  • Shawn

    cannot wait for this staff to hit the ground running and improve this defense

  • Pam Burch

    I would take john Beilein back 1st thing if he would come...sorry huggs, just the way it is..you won with Beilein players...your old school of screaming and yelling the bad words for the tv cameras to air on tv is out..watch the winning teams a pat on the back is good. no matter how well any player plays you show them no respect on tv ..

    • jake_d

      Huggs has a very solid class of bigs coming next year and look how well Henderson and Harris are doing this year. WVU basketball will be just fine going forward and will probably challenge for the Big 12 title in year or 2. BTW, you do realize that Huggs was the coach with Ebanks, Jones, and Bryant on board when we swept thru the BE tourney and into the Final Four. Yeah Mazulla and Butler were Beilien guys but it was Huggs who led us to the FF and if Butler hadn't gone down, we probably would've won the NC. He's 3rd in Active wins - I think the man knows what he's doing.

    • Matt

      I respect your opinion Pam but please look at the records...Just because Beilein is on top now, get back to me in March and see where both teams are at...Maybe Michigan wins it all, but the season is young...

      • Steven

        Not sure if serious

    • Bianca

      Oh yea some of Pam's comments make sense and do apply to basketball. Huggins is tasteless on the floor and thank goodness he got out of his lounging clothes and put a jacket on. Beilein is a class act and you can be successful without ignorance. However, his coaching talent is evident and the team is young, maybe just clean up demeanor.

    • J!

      Pan your an idiot. Go find another team to root for. We don't need you :)

    • Austin

      how can you say that do you remember him holding dasean butler in the final four for the whole country to see? Also I would say that devin ebanks and kevin jones were pretty good players that huggs recruited that are now in the NBA. How many players did the beilein era put into the league?

      • WVWho

        He's probably going to put 4 or 5 guys from his number 2 team in the league in the pros...Huggs on the other hand might make the NIT.

      • Chalkdust