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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  • Helen DeWitt

    I have supported WVU fo the last 20 years.
    Why can't they get a couch who can win FEW
    games? Maybe they should get a woman who can do the job..

    I could control them.

  • Baldeagle

    Not to dispute Beaver Sniffer, but after downing several Crown Royals maybe he was impaired.
    I, on the other hand, was in the BFS last night during a robbery and overheard the two gunmen arguing with the cashier that they were close relatives of Allan Taylor and he said that his twin brother Allan has spoken with Allan's barber who said the he (the barber) was the ex husband of a hairstylist in Arizona and heard from her just last week that she got pregnant from some football coach and could not travel to Morgantown, but she did say that her best friend now living in New York told her that she was having a lesbian affair with a woman who was the mistress to a well known professional football team called the Jets and that he was coming to Morgantown for an interview.

  • Baldagle

    Not to dispute Beaver Sniffer's believable story and considering that being under the influence from a few shots of Crown Royal, I was at the BFS last night and during a robbery I overheard the two gunmen arguing with the cashier that they were close relatives of Allan Taylor and said that Allan's twin brother Allan was talking with Allan's barber who is really good friends with some hair stylist out in Arizona who had an affair with coach RichRod and she said that she couldn't come to Morgantown because she was pregnant and that she called a good friend with the Jet organization who said that Rex Ryan would be the next DC.

  • Bob

    Instead, of getting a big name, they should get a lower ranking assistant from a top ranked defensive program. Say, like maybe the Seahawks or Alabama or LSU. Someone who is out to prove themselves, someone who is hungry!

    • sizzler14

      I said the exact same thing!

  • David Warnick

    Why can't WVU keep coaching personnel? It appears that there is a fatal flaw in the athletic department.

  • Will

    Since the whole thing about keeping the coaching staff all together for continuity didn't work out, can we go ahead and dump Joe Deforest and the strength and conditioning coach? They both need to go too.

  • Gold&Blue

    Thought I read somewhere that Gibson might get it

  • wvumd82

    Good Lord, this is no loss. However, it is time for some continuity, some stability, and a cohesiveness that we were accustomed to for many years. Program development happens when athletes and coaches grow together. Young coaches move up and out....its the way it is. But, having young coaches grow within your program, just as your athletes do, is an ideal situation. It is a great situation to be a program that has desirable coaching hires....just pay to keep them.

  • mad hatter

    espn also is reporting that not only holgie's job is on the line this yr but also Luck.

  • mad hatter

    it's being reported that tony gibson will get the DC job, and this guy Bruce, don't remember his last name, has marsha ties, will be brought in on the def.
    now don't take this to the bank, it's not etched in stone yet,,, that's the big rumor with legs

  • Sizzler 14

    How about we go to Alabama or LSU and hire a position coach or assistant and bring them here? 99% of all head coaches were once position coaches, give one of those guys a chance. they have been around the top defenses in the country for the past 6-7 years or so! Give one of them a chance. We cant get ANY WORSE! Maybe we can find a QB while were searching for a DC!

  • Peach state fan

    I'm still very upset the way the Bill Stewart firing was handled, but that was not Holgorsen fault. Let’s get behind the young man and help him have a successful 2014.

    • mad hatter

      get over it, we would have lost every game inthe big12 if stew were here

      • Will


  • Gary

    We need someone like bud foster,or foster himself to turn this team around.

  • cutty77

    Tell me who in their right mind would want to be DC in The Big 12. You can't win. Why do you think Nick Saban cried a couple of years ago about the spread offense's. What Beat Bama in The Bowl game this year. The Sooners hurry up and spread O. 3 out of the 4 Teams that have beat Bama runs the spread.. No better Defense Coach in the country than Nick Saban. But Nick doesn't miss a trick.

  • FNP

    Watch these two names as the DC job search begins.

    Zac Spavital (D-Backs coach at Houston)

    Tom Bradley (Former DC at Penn State)

    I see these two scenarios.

    Spavital coming in to replace Tony Gibson and Gibson taking over as DC.


    Tom Bradley coming in to take over the DC job.