MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — West Virginia defensive coordinator Keith Patterson is leaving for Arizona State, two sources told MetroNews on Thursday.

Mountaineers head coach Dana Holgorsen subsequently confirmed Patterson’s departure through a statement.

“I want to thank Keith for his two years that he spent coaching in our program,” Holgorsen said. “He was a valuable member of our staff, and we wish him nothing but the best.”

Patterson’s departure means Holgorsen will enter 2014 with his fourth defensive coordinator in four seasons at WVU. Sources said Holgorsen has identified an internal candidate as Patterson’s potential successor, but the decision has not been finalized.

Sun Devils head coach Todd Graham was expected to announce the hiring of Patterson, who worked as Graham’s coordinator at Pitt during the 2011, when the Panthers’ defense ranked 35th nationally. Their friendship dates back far longer than that, however, considering they were college roommates at East Central (Okla.) University in the mid-1980s.

Upon leaving Pitt in December 2011, Graham reportedly offered Patterson a spot on the Arizona State staff, but Patterson declined in order to serve as interim coach for Pitt’s bowl game and subsequently came to West Virginia.

During national signing day activities on Wednesday, Patterson was not at the Milan Puskar Center.

Patterson served as West Virginia’s co-defensive coordinator with Joe DeForest in 2012 and officially assumed control of the defense for the Pinstripe Bowl. That unit slipped to 108th nationally in total defense (477 yards per game) and 114th in points allowed (38.08 per game).

Patterson, who also coached linebackers, ran the unit last season when it showed modest improvements, ranking 101st in total defense (455 yards per game) and 99th in scoring (33.3 points allowed).

Patterson’s future position at Arizona State was not immediately confirmed. Paul Randolph currently serves as the Sun Devils’ defensive coordinator and the only anticipated staff opening would be the departure of Joe Lorig, the cornerbacks and special teams coach.

The Sun Devils, who were 10-4 last season, won the Pac-12 South Division before falling to Stanford in the conference championship and losing to Texas Tech in the Holiday Bowl.

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  • Itsa Good Day

    Bud Foster from Va. Tech will be in Morgantown on Friday. Any connection to this story? Maybe so.

    • FNP

      That would be awesome but thats not going to happen.

  • Dave

    No big loss. Shouldn't be hard to replace.

    • BH

      True. After all, this is the DC who could not coach a victory over Kansas (!) or Iowa State when leading 31-7 at home! Good riddance.



    • KdubV

      Let's find someone that can SPELL defenSe !

    • JustaFan


  • Blade


    • Mike

      I doubt it would happen but I would LOVE to see Orgeron as our new DC. Of all the names I have seen thrown around he is the best one IMO. Bradley from Penn State, Bud Foster all would be an upgrade.


      I don't think you will see ORGERON come here and work for another idiot(Dana) like the other idiot at USC(Kiffin).

    • FNP

      That would be interesting to see.

  • Chef Camille

    Jeff Casteel-

    • Ole Sasquatch

      Best alternative I've heard.

    • FNP


  • Jay

    I hope potential signees were informed of this move prior to signing. To me, that's only ethical. Patterson knew he was going prior to yesterday. Don't try to tell me he may not have.

    • FNP

      How many recruits did you see with Pattersons names beside of them? That tells you that they really weren't interested in the man, just the scheme.

      • Jay

        Good point.

  • bucktail

    Why do all of these coaches look for greener pastures elsewhere? State of affairs questionable in the Puskar Center. If memopry serves me, Brian Mitchell was DC at East Carolina. I believe Gibby's strength is as a recruiter.

    • For Real

      Really, you have to ask why coaches look elsewhere? Have you been to Morgantown in the winter? It's 30 degrees in Charleston right now and 19 in Morgantown...

    • Mike

      Mitchell was fired at East Carolina.

      • bucktail

        Pete Carroll was fired in New England.

  • Brian

    A relatively big "insider" I know personally(trust me, I'm not an insider, though I throw a few buck towards the program evey year) - mentioned to me last night this was happening per his sources and that Holgs wants to go with Gibson.

    Was also told by the same source however, that some big wigs (he dropped a few names but I think many can guess) - DO NOT want Gibson OR Mitchell (some "old" loyality issues fanning that flame) and want Holgs to try to bring in a proven name from another program before Spring practice.
    He didn't know whom Donors/Luck were wanting but he said there was a name being floated that already has B12 ties??

    • Beaver Sniffer

      While throwing back a couple shots of Crown last week with seven guys who know some guys who said that they heard that this one girl's mother had overheard a conversation about two people talking in the bathroom stalk next to them that Rich Rod's wife has been approached for the DC job. It was made very clear to me that, although they didn't want to gossip or pretend that they knew some big cheese's in the know, they understood that she had been approached by some people in the Obama administration and was explicitly told that if she liked where she was living she could keep living there. Not sure how she would coach from AZ but I also heard that some guy, whom you all know who I'm talking about, said that would never happen unless her hair stylist would come here with her. Personally, last night, a girl over at the blackjack table confirmed all this. Small world.

      • Billy

        I live in southern WV and went to get my hair cut and the barber told me the same story. He said his brother inlaws uncle called and told him on a cell phone. Small world indeed

      • jkarm

        This may be one of the best posts….EVER!

      • kensgirl

        I saw Ferris pass out at 31 Flavors last night. I guess it's pretty serious.

      • Stan

        Hahahaha, best thing ever. I was thinking of making a similar reply, but would not have been close to the quality of this one.

      • Joe Manchin

        Master, I am not worthy......

    • Low Rider

      Boy I hope your insider is wrong. Tony Gibson as DC would be a complete disaster. He is a mediocre DB coach, how the hell does he qualify to be the DC? Dana needs to go find an established defensive coach to revive the mountaineer defenses of old.

    • Mister Man

      Does your 7th grade English teacher check your work?

      • Wow

        Mister Man, I had no problem understanding what Art was saying.

      • Wow

        Mister Man = Smart A$$. I had no problem understanding what Art was saying.

      • joe

        Shut up mrs man.

    • Art In Ohio

      A person in Morgantown (in the know) told me it was Gibson. On the show tonight I believe they also said it would be Gibson. I hope this is true so the changes would not be a major issue with the players.

  • Phil M.

    It can't be internal !!

    To be a top program you have to go out and find the best available DC.

  • KevinO

    Best wishes to ASU. When you are 101st in defense, anyone can step in and make improvements.

    • Fordo

      We at The Sun Devil Nation appreciate your best wishes, KevinO. With Patterson's history with Coach Graham we're excited about him coming on-board.

      I'm curious though...who's 101st in defense? Can't be WVU as you were rated @ 75th. Can't be ASU as we were rated 17th nationally. Are you talking about Arkansas? I see them at 101st.

      No matter...we're happy to have Patterson coming in...and it'll provide an opportunity for WVU to maybe find a local guy for DC.

      GO DEVILS!!! #ForksUp

      • don

        If ASU was 17th nationally in defense then we should hire their old coach when they hire Patterson. Sounds like they are going the wrong way.

      • David

        Can we interest you in DeForrest??? We will be happy to pay you to take him. Hey what are friends for?

        • both sides of ball

          I'm with David. I'll add to the buy out 4 DeForrest to go bye bye. Heck take Holgo 2.

      • FNP

        In two years with Patterson as coordinator, the Mountaineers finished 99th (33.3 points per game, 2013) and 114th (38.1 ppg, 2012) in scoring defense. In total defense, WVU finished 2013 101st (455 yards per game) after ending 2012 114th (472.5 ypg).

        • Charleston

          Just out of curiousity, where did you get your stats?

      • FNP

        Things just dont work out and its time for WVU to pony up some cash and get a quality name. They should've went after Brian Stewart when he was available.

      • John

        WVU was prior to Patterson stepping in last year.

  • Ray

    Good too bad he can take deforest with him! They have both done a sorry job! Please rich rod come back! You can make it with all the cheerleaders you want for all I care!

    • Ron

      We don't want Rich Rod in WV he didn't even want to be here.

    • Bob

      I'm with you on deforest unfortunately asu is trying to get better and Patterson might have a little potential but deforest is useless

  • LoganvilleJeff

    I hope there isn't a lot of handwringing over this departure. Injuries or not, if the best you can offer is "modest improvements" over the historically bad 2012 defense, you probably don't have a lot coaches attending your breakout sessions at coaching clinics.

    Just not DeForest. Please.

  • cutty77

    No big loss here. My Guess is Gibby gets the job.Only a Guess

    • FNP

      Brian Mitchell may get the nod as well. It will come down to those two.

      • Mike

        Mitchell was a failure at East Carolina as DC

      • cutty77

        Forgot about him. But Gibby has really made a difference in The recruits he has brought in the last 2 years. Gibby is very smooth,and believe me he knows what he is doing. He took care of Rich Rod for a Long Time. Gibby has no ego either,he just loves West Virginia.

        • Mister Man

          If he has no ego, he shouldn't be coaching.

  • FNP

    Well thats not the best news i've heard all day. As long as DeForest doesnt step in i'll be happy.