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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  • Big Ed 62

    Good or Bad I love WV .classof 62 .it is easy to be critical.

  • Shadow

    I only wish WVians has as much concern for Education as they had for Sports. Witness the minimum comments on Hoppy's last article on WV Education.

  • jethro

    i believe belien had a nit year

  • gg

    It's funny how everybody in WV thinks they have a national football power. Remember, your just WV. Nice season!

    • chad

      Only a serious loser such as yourself would come to another teams/state website and post a comment such as this. So remember you're just a loser gg.

  • Jon

    Been reading the comments and I think that we have been spoiled as a fan base at wvu. Of course these aren't top of the line hires. Getting assistants from other bcs schools is not going to happen, that is a lateral move in most cases for these coaches. Personally I would rather takes chances with young coaches with potiential and see if they work out. I think the defense is going to approve greatly, people forget that we totally changed our defensive scheme just last year. CALM DOWN PEOPLE!!!

  • Charles

    Why does Holgorsen continue to hire his friends instead of the best coaches he can find. 106th in pass defense doesn't sound a lot better than DeForest. Just don't understand. These are the best guys we can get? Sorry. I just don't believe that. Dana is going to end up being a short-timer unless the team plays some defense and can stop a kickoff short of the 40. Had really high hopes for this coach, but I've become somewhat disillusioned.

  • Lauderdaleer

    Hey Mountaineer Nation!

    First, let's take the FB hirings for what they were....a former DC to hold onto his career by coaching CBs. A well respected Gibson as a safety coach who wanted to come home. Ask Rich Rod if he knows the feeling.

    Secondly, when you have a BB coach who bleeds blue and gold, is the third winningest active coach, taught Beilein's players to rebound and play defense, you need to chill and trust him. He knows the players he is looking for and will find them....Henderson and Harris.

  • Cowboyslang

    They must have let Patterson do the hiring so they would all be on the same page. Only problem is their reading out of the wrong book. Come on olly this is not what we want. Don't tell me you couldn't find coaches that would be an upgrade. These guys are in the bottom three rated defenses and you expect top notch players to arrive and be coached by this caliber of coaches. Pitiful,Pitiful.

  • Thomas

    Mitchell was our DB coach as well at ECU. Our defense in his first year gave up the most points ever in NCAA football history. Our DB's got burned all year. They missed tackles, could not get a pick to save their lives and didn't know how to play their positions in general. I think you picked up a nice guy but a poor position coach. He may not be much better than what you had.

  • bart

    WVU has the money to hire anyone they want to, they just don't have anyone smart enought to do it....Holgerson doesn't have a clue about defense and he keeps hiring dc's that don't either....I thought Luck was smarter but he lets him do it, so who knows....DEFENSE wins ball games....they lost 6 games with 3 of the best offensive players in the country this year, what do you think it's going to be like next year........I'm a fan, but a disgusted one.

  • joe

    It seems like alot of people assume because Patterson was a CO-coordinator last year that he is not going to be good as THE Defensive Coordinator. I say there is a big difference. DeFo was calling the shots last year and it wasnt Patterson in the drivers seat. I believe this is WHY Holg's made the change.

    People forget Patterson was at Pitt 1 year... and although we had a pretty prolific (Big12 styled) offense... our Offense had a pretty hard time putting points up on that Pitt defense. I think Patterson is a very good DC that has done a great job making a quick impact with comparable talent. I expect the Defense will be much improved and as we start getting some good recruits in will only continue to get better.

  • Shawn


    Please talk to your boss and see if they can take away the ability to comment on your articles. Its amazing how negative some WVU fans can be. I wish people understood the game more then they would be able to post a sensible comment.


  • James

    In then end, players make plays not coaches. We had a bare cupboard concerning defensive talent for a football team and the same can be said concerning our offense on our basketball team.

    Blame still lies at coaches for not getting the right recruits for the system but in the end it's the players who make the coaches look like geniuses not the scheme or the play calls.

    Look at Alabama's offense as an example. An excellent offense offense line with two studs for running backs. There doesn't need to be creativity to succeed there, just execution and a lot of God given talent.

    • chad


  • 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?