WVU athletics

Tony Gibson will be named WVU’s defensive coordinator, per sources.

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — West Virginia safeties coach Tony Gibson will be promoted to defensive coordinator, sources confirmed late Wednesday.

The 41-year-old Gibson, who returned to West Virginia last season after a serving on Rich Rodriguez’s staff from 2001-2007, was the leading candidate to land the job ever since Feb. 6, when MetroNews first reported former defensive coordinator Keith Patterson had left for Arizona State.

A school source remained unsure Wednesday about the timing of an official announcement.

Though Gibson has been a defensive coordinator at only one other stop—Division II West Virginia Tech, during the 1999 and 2000 seasons—he served as the secondary coordinator in 2011 at Pitt, where he worked alongside Patterson and shared the concepts that mimic WVU’s current 3-4 scheme.

That 2011 Panthers’ unit ranked third nationally in sacks (3.31 per game), 12th in tackles for loss, 35th in total defense (350.6 yards), 38th in scoring defense (22.8) and 51st in pass-efficiency defense.

Sources said head coach Dana Holgorsen and Gibson are continuing to interview candidates for the defensive line coaching position.

Having built a reputation as a top recruiter, Gibson is a West Virginia native who played his college ball at Glenville State.

He will become WVU’s fourth defensive coordinator in four seasons, though his promotion brings more elements of schematic continuity than previous staff changes.

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  • Alex

    It's a proven fact we haven't had any depth on our defense for the past two years. I feel that it would not have mattered who we had as coaches or DC was. In football you cannot win without depth . This year we are going to have it. I feel we will be able to be competitive more than we have ever in the Big 12. Gibson is the right person to lead us. Good choice Dana.

    • Aaron

      You are correct. And while there are those of the average mind who blame the current staff, the truth is there were only a hand full of Jr's and Sr's who saw the field. I may be missing a few but for the most part the only players not brought in by the current staff who contributed were Darwin Cook, Will Clarke and Curtis Feight.

      As talented as many of the young guys are, two things that can't be coached are experience and experience. With what WVU's defense has returning, the defense should be much better.

      • Alex

        Most people don't know or under what took place the pass two years on defense. All they know is we had a bad defense and did not win ballgames that's the average fan. A true fact is we have had to play mostly freshmen and sophomores for the last two years,boys that just got out of high school jump in the big 12 schedule in other words we was playing boys against man.. Not this year they are growing up and some are men now , we will be a lot better. One thing is I have learned in life you can't take away experience and these guys have it now. We come up with a good scrambling strong-armed quarterback we can cause some problems and win a lot more games this year.. A lot ifs but it can be done... Go Mountaineers...

        • GoEers

          Very good point Alex...coach Gibson will have experienced players to work with as well as a few newcomers that could help just like Worley was able to last season.

          I like this hire and expect WVU's defense to be much improved over the past year.

        • oh yeah

          Alex, lay off the we have no players excuse, we are tried of it. they played young kids cuz they benched or ran the older ones off, the older ones knew what they were doing was messed up and they weren't quiet about it. they chose to play the young kids and many other program also played young kids and don't whine about it constantly and their ADs sure don't have the nerve to come out and whine about it when they were part of the problem that caused it.

          • Aaron

            What older players were benched or ran off?

        • Aaron

          I would concur. If the offense can score a few points and keep the defense off the field, it can be a very successful season. I'm anxious to see if Holgs does what Rich Rod did when he came to WV.

          Expectations were that Rich Rod would throw the ball all over the field but he found out that even in recruiting, his offense was better suited to the run, thus he adjusted his philosophy to the players on hand.

          With the return of Smallwood, Smith and and the addition of Thomas-Williams and returning starters on the O-line, WV should be a better running team. The question is, will Holgs adjust his play calling or will he insist on throwing it as much as he has in the past.

          It will be interesting to see.

          • mad hatter

            me concur too

          • mad hatter

            i think he'll continue to act out his little boy tantrums and get so lost in himself that once again, we have a losing seasn.

        • mad hatter

          so, are you saying a 10-2, 9-3, 8-4 , 7-5 season,,, and a bowl?

    • mad hatter

      talent would have helped.

      • Big Larry


        "Love your Work"

        Your comments are spot on....

        They remind me of...me.

        • KeatonsCorner

          He reminds you of Larry Jeffords? Or Lawrence Tomas?

          • The Wisetalker

            This Keaton dude is whacked out and thinks its his job to police the message boards.

            He loves to call names and expose anyone who has a different opinion than his.

            If you read any of his screen name comments...its just the same stuff over and over. Just a different name. That's what trolls are paid to do,

            Keaton needs to stay in his corner like his mommie keeps telling him.

          • oh yeah

            Keaton - who pays you? Ollie? With state money to get on websites and push his agenda and constantly make his mistakes look positive? Glad you finally admitted it. Hope someone looks into who is paying you.

          • KeatonsCorner

            Big Larry has nothing on me...

            I am known by many names but the ones you may be most familiar are these:


            KeatonsCorner ll






            I am a Pro WVU professional troll and paid very well to spout off my rhetoric. Its what I do and I am good at it.

            So beware of me all you Marshall Trolls...

            PS...I thought I scared off Big Larry but I see he's back....

          • GoEers


            That guy uses so many different screen names he probably wakes up each morning not knowing who he is other than a jealous Marshall troll!

  • DNEcowboy

    This program desperately needs to get some stability and stop this coaching carousel. That being said, we as fans need to give these new coaches a chance to prove themselves outside of one or two years or sometimes one or two games! Is Gibson the next great D-coordinator? Not sure but lets give him a chance outside of one or two games to prove it.

  • richard

    i think this is a home run hire! gibson was the right choice---hands down. i bet this defense is greatly improved this year. now we need to do something with the special teams. they can make or break a game------and they were baaaaad last year.

    • Aaron

      I agree richard. While some might point to his lack of experience, every coordinator had was in the same boat at one time or another. They all had a "first" job. By promoting an excellent coach from within, Coach Holgs maintains consistency with his current players as well as alleviating any concerns for new recruits.

    • mad hatter

      essentially , he has no track record as a DC. So , we promote him to DC...Somewhere , along the road, we will hire a proven commodity, but until we do, we are just blown in the wind...Luck has to realize if we want to strive to be big time, we have to hire big time... Now by some chance , Tony may do a good job,,, but at this pt. why do we take a chance like this? It's time to hire an AD that knows football and knows the chances we're taking with this program... the big 12 could easily say, adios, you guys just wasn't what we thought you were.

      • Jon Davis

        We aren't a big time power program.... We aren't alabama or Michigan or Texas. We can not hire who we want. We are a school where a top flight can cut his teeth and move on. We couldn't even keep a native son at his Alma mater. Rich fraud left. As will holgS after a few winning seasons. What what makes you think we can hire a top notch cord???? Gibby is a great recruiter and that's what we need. Coaching us soooo overrated. We need recruiters and motivators and he is that

        • wvrefugee

          Unfortunately, we were headed in the "big time" direction when Rich left. Now we just stink........as does our AD!

      • True Fan

        You double talkin winer! Shut up and do something about that diahrhea of the mouth condition you have.

        • mad hatter

          ur an idiot

        • The Wisetalker

          Untrue fan...

          Leave the conversation to the adults and go back to your play toys.

      • The Wisetalker

        All of these coaches are jumping ship because it has fallen into the ABYSS.

        When Holgorsen gets fired at the end of this coming season, none of these existing coaches will be able to find a job.

        The defense which had shown a little promise is back to square 1 as is the offense with no proven QB.

        Ollie's Follies has done irreparable damage to this program and will take years to recover if it ever does.

      • Bob Smithers

        " Hire an AD that knows football "? Starter at WVU at QB,starter for Houston Oilers at QB.I figure he's forgot more about football than you'll ever know doofus.

        • Aaron

          He was also an executive in the NFL. You are right, he's forgotten more about football and how to run a program than most know.

        • mad hatter

          look at his record at hiring coaches, and contracts.... i mean, ,, lifetime contract for huggie,,,, millions and millions thrown at holgie and look what we got,,,,, the buyout would break wesbanco

      • Brian

        mad hatter you are a idiot

        • mad hatter

          brian , you're an idiot

        • Mike


  • Protechcpa

    This is a good move for the program. Tony has some roots here and appears to believe in WVU. Would make a good "Head Coach In Waiting" (one could hope). He has that Pittsburgh recruiting connection. Personally, I would rather have the eastern cream that wants to stay close to home but is looking for the stage the Big Twelve offers as opposed to the rejects of Texas, Oklahoma and so on. We really should settle in and face the facts. WVU will either be a long term home for mid level coaches with roots or a short term stepping stone for "name" coaches from the outside. DH planned to be the latter. He just did not plan on his own incompetence at the HC level. Thank you for your dedication, Tony. We need you.

    • Mitch

      @ Protechcpa,
      "Head Coach In Waiting"? You went full retard with that one.

    • Aaron

      I don't think Holgs is giving up on Texas as a recruiting ground but if you look, successful programs recruit multiple states.

      Florida State is a perfect example. While the bulk of their players are instate, they have 20-30 players from at least 13 other states multiple players from GA, MS, AL and NJ.

      WV needs to recruit the same area's that have made them successful in the past; PA, NJ, FL, OH and yes, TX.

      As to Holgs, given the state the program was in when he took over, I think it's a bit early to presume he will not be a successful head coach. If I'm not mistaken, I think the University did that once before and that guy turned out pretty good.

      • mad hatter

        what about va. and md,,, seems we've plucked a few players from there,,, i say leave texas alone, concentrate on our normal areas, and heavy on fl.

    • mad hatter

      so you know dana personally, and you know his thoughts when he was hired at wvu?

      so, what's he thinking now? Does he want out? please keep us informed.

  • Kevin w

    I'm glad a wv native got the job,, I think it will work out , he's a proven recruiter ,, give him time,,

    • Aaron

      I would agree. There's something about WV coaches. Lou Holtz, Nick Saban and Jimbo Fisher are all national champions and Rich Rod was so successful he was courted by one of the top programs of all time in AL before assuming the helm of the all time wins school in college football where he was never given enough time to prove himself.

    • Red Dwarf

      If you're going to go "native only" let's extend an offer to Jimbo Fisher or Nick Saban as defensive coordinator.

      • mad hatter

        how bout lou holtz

    • mad hatter

      wasn't RR a wv native? see how that worked out.

      • jfk

        apples to oranges, hatter

      • GoEers

        Yeah he lead WVU to 2 BCS Bowl Games. Dana coached WVU in the 3rd one in which WVU beat Clemson 70-33. That's why he got a contract extension...several teams had Dana on their radar after that season.

  • Aaron

    Tony is a good coach, the kids like him and he's a good recruiter. I think he will be fine but only time will tell if this is a good hire or not. One thing is certain, it should keep current recruits in place which is something that may not have happened with an outsider.

  • Charleston


  • Dave

    Congratulations Tony and good luck with your new job. I'm glad Tony got promoted and I'm glad we have another West Virginia guy at the position. I think that's a plus. We'll just have to wait and see how it works out. Hopefully Dana can get things fixed like Huggy Bear did with the basketball team.


    • GoEers


      It's a great day to be a mountaineer wherever you may be!

  • TruthTeller

    And people wonder why WVU can not get any hold of this team? It is constantly changing and never seems to stop.

  • mad hatter

    Here i go again. isn't there a proven DC out there that we can hire ... how bout the pro ranks, it's good enough for stanford, but......
    i am not saying he'll do a bad job, it's just we're at a pt. where we don't need maybe's, or if's... we need someone we know can do the job,

    enough said, he gets the job,,, i'm not the one in charge of the hiring. Let's hope our new assist. we hire, is a great coach and great recruiter and has had experience on the div 1 level and been successful....but i doubt it.

    • leroy gibbs

      have to agree w mad hater on this one

      • Brian

        Leroy Gibbs....u r a idiot too i see

        • mad hatter

          brian is another one eyed mutant hill billy from logan parading as a human being.

    • Mike

      Time will tell. Four DC's in four years...that side of the ball has been a mess. I'd say 50-50 chance of getting better...or worse.

  • Country Roads

    I am glad Tony got the job, congratulations. As a Mountaineer fan it's good to see someone who is familiar with the state and the fans here. And another thing is one of our top recruiters as a better job better paying job more reason to stay here. Thanks Dana you did the right thing.

    • sput

      the best and the smartest hire Holgerson has made since he has been there great job

    • mad hatter

      do you really think this is the guy that holgie wanted,,, he has many buddies out west that would make great drinking pals, and he hires tony? Give me a break,, this is another Luck hire.

  • dbm

    This is a disaster. We can only hope the Holgerson Error ends after this season.

    • Dave

      I think it's a great move.

    • mad hatter

      folks , you better get used to holgie,,, he won't be gone after this season, unless he loses all the games
      the way Luck structured his contract, the buyout will be multi multi millions, not counting the assistants...
      so for sure, holgie is here for at least two more yrs...who else would be hire, who else would come to wvu? seriously, wvu is in a huge jab being in the big 12, it is set up for a continous repeating disaster...I wish this wasn't the case... it could be worse ,we could be inthe american conf

      • Joe

        or worse yet........we could be left in Conference USA with all the teams nobody wants, respects or cares to root for

        • GoEers

          Correct...we could be flying out to Texas this year and play UTEP and UTSA instead of The University of Texas and Texas Tech. Add to that the $25 million tv revenue that comes with it!

          • GoEers

            Hi Larry Jefferds...it cracks me up when you hijack the screen name of the person who called you out.

            How's everything going in Huntington?

          • KeatonsCorner

            "WE"??? "WE"???

            I know in your dreams you think you are one of the players but fortunately you are not.

            You are not going to Texas or anywhere else except to bed tonight without your milk & cookies...

            Quit acting like a WVU player or a WVU fan...you are what you are...a paid WVU Troll who spouts off his WVU rhetoric on every article...

            What a sick person you are...

    • Aaron

      Why is this a disaster.

  • Art in Ohio

    Good luck Tony. I also believe this a good hire.

  • J.R. Holmes

    Great hire, good luck Tony

    • Dub V Fan


  • steve

    Good thing they dont play d in the big 12