West Virginia quarterbacks coach Jake Spavital, who developed Geno Smith for two record-setting seasons, has accepted the same post at Texas A&M, where he’ll begin working with Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel.
A source within the WVU athletic department confirmed Spavital’s decision Thursday night. The Aggies’ previous quarterbacks coach, Kliff Kingsbury, left in December to become head coach at Texas Tech.
In 2009, Spavital was only two years removed from playing quarterback at Missouri State when he took a post as offensive graduate assistant at the University of Houston under Holgorsen and current Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin.
Spavital becomes the third postseason staff change for West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen, who dismissed defensive assistants Daron Roberts (cornerbacks) and Steve Dunlap (outside linebackers/special teams).
In 2010, he served as offensive graduate assistant at Oklahoma State, working under Holgorsen when he was the Cowboys’ offensive coordinator. While Spavital, 27, is a young coach who learned in Holgorsen’s shadow, his resume will soon boast an impressive five-year span in which he worked with Case Keenum, Brandon Weeden, Smith and Manziel.
In August 2011, Smith said of Spavital: “Jake does all the dirty work. He’s an understudy, like a mini-Holgorsen, but he really gets it. He’s cool. I enjoy being around him, and he works hard.”
Spavital also made inroads as a recruiter. Among the current class of WVU commitments, Spavital was the lead recruiter on linebacker Al-Rasheed Benton, quarterback Chavas Rawlins, Zaire Williams, defensive back Daryl Worley and junior college receiver Kevin White.