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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  • Jamie36

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Gibson is a great recruiter, no doubt. But look at how our defensive backfield performed during his tenure under Rich Rod . . . not well. When he ditched WVU for Michigan I distinctly remember the players in our secondary saying how much more they learned under our new coaching staff as Stew came in, and paraphrasing here, but they (defensive backs) said something along the lines of, "We actually know what's going on out there now. We know what everyone is doing and not just what we're supposed to be doing." Paraphrasing, but nonetheless, I'm not sure what Coach H is thinking here? Of course, who does. I love the Eers, and I hope I'm wrong, I want nothing but the best for our team (and coaches). So good luck Coach Gibson, but you're going to have a LOT to prove to this fan.

    • Aaron

      I don't know why Stewart would make a difference as Jeff Casteel was the defensive coordinators for the years you are referring to. If Gibson was the problem as you claim, why isn't Casteel responsible for not correcting the mistake and fixing the problem?

    • mad hatter

      well, his qualifications, are... he's a hill billy. and he's a pretty good recruiter..

      his work at wvu and michigan speaks for itself... both defenses terribly lacking.

      but,, he's a local, he won't jump, he'll have to be fired,,,,

      the more i hear, the more i feel this is more than likely,, a terrible hire

      • WV Grad

        Hillbilly correction update: now we are Hill Williams, Hill Persons or Appalachian Americans!

  • Low Rider

    Not good. I know everyone deserves their chance in life, but giving the Defensive coordinator job to someone who has never been a DC, seems to be a risk. If Tony G had coached all of the defensive positions in his career it may be OK…but he has been a DB coach his whole career.

    Give Tony credit for his strengths…he is a good recruiter and the kids like him. I don't feel good about this hire at all.

  • Will

    I .... don't ..... understand......

    I like that he's from WV but a proven coordinator seems like the direction DH should've gone in what is clearly a "hot seat" year for him. I hope Gibson does great. It just seems like now is not the time for guessing. Pay the money to get a proven defensive guru.

    • mad hatter

      well said

  • Charles

    I hope he's a lot better DC than he was DB coach. The secondary was seldom around a pass receiver. Seems that we could have found a proven DC somewhere. Hiring Gibson as DC shouldn't be a reward for recruiting a good player. That is just doing his job.

  • mike ryan

    kids will play their butts off for him, gteat hire,
    wvu are on right track


    I agree with most all of you that Tony is a great hire. I am hesitant to think it's a home run until something happens with Deforest, probably now the highest paid special team coach in WV and what did WVU get for that? When I saw Holgs and Deforest smile and hug each other after our last win, and Patteson was no where to be seen, I could right there visualize that Holgs will have a hard time firing his buddy, unless OL tells him he has to get rid of him or else.

    • mad hatter

      without a doubt, if deforest isn't fired or demoted in pay considerably after this yr, Luck will lose many donors and bunches of respect.

  • Shawn

    I'll give anybody a chance. I like his recruiting and I think he brings a tougher mindset than the past two guys. The kids love him and i truly think they'll buy into him. All I can say Gibby is please blitz the dang QB. If you can get some sacks this year then you've done something the last two guys couldnt do.

    • mad hatter

      shawn, every where he has gone, the secondary did not get better,,, in fact , they struggled,,, so now, for whatever reason, he's promoted to the most important job on the staff..... being an ok recruiter and a hill billy is not qualifications for a job..
      we are still thinking small time and our on field results will be small time until we actully go out and find decent qualfied coaches and pay them...sorry, this is a very iffy hire IMO

      • FNP

        I would say since you are calling him a hillbilly then you're either from Huntington or you arent from WV.

        • mad hatter

          no , i'm a hillbilly too

  • Ed

    Congrats Tony
    The man from Van has character
    That is why he recruits well
    The character of the coach translates to his team
    His defenses will play with strong character no matter the scheme they play
    Looking forward to tuff never say D from Tony's charges

    • Aaron

      I didn't realize it was from Diane. Did he play for Coach Goebel?

      • Aaron

        He was from Van. Sorry, didn't mean to call Coach Gibson it.

  • WV Grad

    Show them how the home boys "git 'er done" Gibby. Smoke 'em!

  • jowettusmc

    Would you go to a job if it may only last 1 yr.This gives the coach a chance to prove that a local can do it!! Go ERRRRS

  • Rtdeco

    Chinese math is easier to understand than the state of the mountaineer football program...as an institution, luck and companys view of the program is that its in a most fragile state...ever...we are at a crossroads...i hope tony gibson is a home run...but frankly he would not have been the hire if the program under holgorsen had more recent success...now it appears next year is the make or break year...with a rumored 6 to 7 wins necessary. the reasons for gibson appears to hinge on keeping the current and next years recruiting class in order..no disruption..no losing of recruits. it must make for awkward staff meetings for holgorsen when the first order of business routinely has become introduction of the newest coaching hire.

    • Aaron

      How many coaches has Nick Saban lost?

    • mad hatter

      the person running this show,,, AD LUCK, may just be fired if something special doesn't happen this fall...terrible hire, terrible contract with holgie,,, i mean, if he were fired right now, we owe holgie 11 million bucks , let alone the assist. payouts..

      Luck, you act like a beginner,, wait a minute, you are a beginner... you have put wvu in the worst position in it's history...sad.

      • Grant

        You don't fire Luck over what has to even be proven is a bad hire. He has increased revenue, saw several facility improvements, and help place WVU into a power conference. If/when it is time to get a new football coach, he'll do fine.

        • jeepster

          hey guys,wasn't this a football article? Are you happy as long as the university brings in money,or would you actually like the football team be competitive ? And as far as good business decisions go,do you not think the terms of that buyout clause were ridiculous? I don't think there is a coach in the country with that amount in his contract.

          • Aaron

            If wins define success, then WV should have stayed in the AAC and dominated. Sure, they would have saw revenues in the neighborhood of $5 million per year but hey, they would have been king of what used to be Conference USA.

            The program is much better off now, even if they are posting as many wins...yet.

          • mad hatter

            imo, his handling of the third tier rights says it all,,, finally he was told to stand in the shadows and let real lawyers handle it,,,
            the contracts he gave to holgie and huggie, leads me to believe there is something underhanded going on a wvu and an outside audit should be performed,,, yes,, call me crazy, but something stinks over top of the AD's office.

          • Grant

            More money, more exposure, and higher level of opponents leads to better facilities and better recruits. These things typically give you a better overall program. If Dana doesn't get it done, then Luck will find someone who will.

            Now, the fans need to realize that going 7-5 with schedule is about the same as going 9-3 in the Big East or 11-2 in CUSA. Texas and OU are very rich and traditionally great programs. Baylor, TT, TCU, Ok St, and KSU are all legitimately good programs as well. I am not saying that WVU shouldn't expect to win more than 8 or more games every year, but if Texas can have a bad stretch, then you're kidding yourself if you don't think WVU won't have an occasional bad season as well.

      • GoEers

        Yeah you said the same thing about Luck in regards to the basketball team.

        Also, you don't fire an AD who increased revenues by over $27 milion from what they were receiving in the Big East. In fact you try to retain him and hope he doesn't take other jobs as they open up...kind of like what almost happened with Texas.

        • Aaron

          Luck has proven his loyality to WV by his years of service on the Board of Governors. When Stanford came calling last year, he politely declined. Texas was a different story as he is an alumni of their Law School. Anyone who thinks he'll run in a heartbeat is either naive or...well, you get the gist.

        • mad hatter

          luck will drop wvu ad job like a hot potato if give a chance at say,, the texas job,,, he's still sucking his thumb cause he didn't get that one.... Luck is not a long termer at wvu

  • Independent View

    The question which begs an answer is why are so many of the poters on this subject state that it is so great and wondeful that Gibby is a native West Virginian?
    I hate to rain on your parade, but being a native adds nothing to his resume' nor speaks to his coaching ability!
    However, any ass't coach that could put up that scum bag Rich Rod for 6+ years can obviously endure Holgerson's tantrums as well.

  • cutty77

    I said all along Gibby would get this Job. He deserves it,and he isn't a Job Jumper like these other guys were. It Ain't the X's an O's its The Jimmy's and The Joe's. Great Players Make Great Coaches. Rich Rod is still living off Pat White, Steve Slanton,and Owen Schimitt. All these So Called expert DC's got their lunch handed to them. Gibby will Fool everybody. The Kids Love him. Gibby on Old Boone Country Boy.

    • mad hatter

      please, please, tell me why he deserves it. i mean, what's his qualifications,,, a recruiter? ,,,,,, does this make him qualified to be our DC... .and cogdell? what makes his a div 1 college defensive coach? please someone help me with legit answers... help me understand this

      • cutty77

        First of all Gibby has been a defense Guy for the last 10 years, So he Knows Defense,he played DB for Rich at Glenville State. He played it and Coached it. Gibby has been at Michigan,Pitt,and Zona. Thats really all you need to know CHIEF.

        • mad hatter

          hummm that doesn't persuade me,,, he made have held positions at different universites, but how did the defenses pan out.with his diligent coaching.... from what has been said on this board,,, he hasn't done so well,,, so,, the Peter principle kicks in,,, promote him,,, that should solve the problem

      • Grant

        No issues with your T.G. argument, but I have no issue hiring Cogdell. His impact on recruiting has already been felt. Besides we are talking about a position coach, not a DC, so you can take a risk.

        • mad hatter

          so we hire recruiters first, and it really doesn't matter if they can coach.... sure does make a lot of sense

  • Class of 04'

    Good hire! He is a native, well liked by the kids and will keep the same system and terminology as Patterson. Hopefully this mitigates any regression from Patterson's departure.

    Tony's worked hard to get this chance and I wish him all the luck in the world!

    Go Eers'

  • Ole Sasquatch

    Good Luck and one suggestion: Blitz more and blitz earlier instead of waiting till the second half.