MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — With his first spring football practice approaching at West Virginia, new assistant coach Damon Codgell sounds more relaxed and relieved than you’d expect.

“The biggest thing for me, I only have one position group to worry about,” said Cogdell, who spent 14 years coaching at the high school level—the past 12 in an expanding role at Miramar (Fla.) High School.

“From being the head coach to the defensive coordinator, and a positions coach and also athletic director, there was much more I had to get prepared for,” he said. “So I’m pretty excited that I only have one position to worry about.”

Of course that position group remains unofficial. Since his January hiring, Cogdell has been identified only as a defensive assistant, though sources said he is expected to coach linebackers, the position he played at West Virginia. Head coach Dana Holgorsen has yet to make official the promotion of Tony Gibson to defensive coordinator—a move MetroNews reported last week—and external candidates have interviewed for defensive line coach’s job vacated when Erik Slaughter was fired.

Cogdell, who joined the ‘Statewide Sportsline’ crew Monday night, recounted his busy first month as a college coach—a month that included recruiting his familiar territory in south Florida, where his eight-year record as head coach at Miramar was 72-19.

“It’s almost unfair because a lot of those coaches have known me for a long time and they know I’m going to take real good care of their kids if they come into Morgantown,” he said.

As West Virginia enters Year 3 in the Big 12, Cogdell said the escape from the Big East has revitalized recuriting.

“When you put the American Conference (against) the Big 12 conference, it’s like a no-brainer,” he said. “It’s a great recruiting tool. We have all of our games on television, play against some big-time teams and we’re able to compete for a national title. I think that’s very big to have that Big 12 stamp on your jersey week in and week out.”

Between Cogdell and running backs coach JaJuan Sieder, WVU has a well-known connections in Florida that could mitigate the advantage other Big 12 schools have in Texas. (Of the 187 high school recruits that were signed in the Big 12 this year, 108 of those players were from Texas.)

“(Sieder) calls us the ‘Bad Boys’ and I think it’s going to be a good challenge for us,” Cogdell said. “JaJuan and I went to college together so it’s just like a bond that we already have prior. I think him and I are going to do a great job in south Florida.”

After the Mountaineers signed five Florida players in the 2014 class, Cogdell is looking for more high-impact recruits to follow.

“I want to get a kid that’s a five-star that was wanting to go to Alabama or LSU and then all of a sudden changes their mind,” Cogdell said. “Our goal is to get these guys on campus to see how West Virginia is.”

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  • WVU_93

    I guess everyone will understand the Big 12 move when the $25 million dollar check arrives this year for the TV contract.

    • Justin

      you want a tissue?

    • GoEers

      absolutely.......and glad that WVU is sharing the pie with only 9 other teams...why add another team unless it is able to provide 35 million in value

    • Mister Man

      Heck yeh!!!!

  • Ole Sasquatch

    Well I say we should be independent and play who ever we want to play. (Penn. St., Pitt, Va. Tech. etc.) In case you all don't remember the state motto Mountaineers Always Free (that's our spirit). Stand tall or don't stand at all. I will let you all worry about the money part of things and the logic of big time football. That being said Howard Skylar will lead us in football this year.
    Now enough from me, I want to hear from that Mad Hater.

    • Jim

      Penn St. and VT are on the docket + we get the opportunity to play in the Big 12. To heck with being "independent". That's stupid in today's economy.

    • Capt Obvious

      Your football program would lose $20 mil per year and your other sports would have no place to play. Other than that, great idea Harry.

    • Alex

      @ Sasquatch always liked your post you got a real good intelligent football experience background person and I agree 99.9% of your post, would like to say one thing is West Virginia probably could survive if in football only, but for all the other sports we participate in they need a conference . For example look at how it has been for Notre Dame , They needed the Big East and now the a ACC for all the other sports program ...One more thing the TV contract that the Big 12 has with TV we would miss that being independent.

  • Charlie

    I still say that Luck jumped the gun by getting WVU into the Big 12. We don't belong there. Fans, unless you are rich, can't travel to away games. And the travel costs have to be enormous. It's not just football they have to deal with, what about all the non revenue sports such as baseball and most of the women's teams. I think if we had waited one more year we might have been invited to the ACC or Big 10. Maybe. Could have even been SEC. All of those make more sense to me. Right now we have no rivals like Pitt and others. And we can't drive to away games. Flying is the only way and that is cost prohibitive and out of reach for many WVU fans. Now we're stuck in a conference that we don't belong in.

    • mark

      the acc didn't want us. check your history they left us out when they left the southern confrence years ago. they think we are a bunch of hillbillies and they are to much above us socially and accademically. They could care less about our success on the field. Get real they were never going to ask us to join. Luck did the best he could do.

    • Jim

      How many away games did any of us make when WV was in the Big East?

    • Justin

      i say charlie you have no idea what youre talking about. that is why you probably work @ mcdonalds managing the fry station.. have a good day, dont get burnt!

    • Jim

      You are certainly entitiled to your opinion, but the ACC and Big Ten have made it obvious several times that they are not interested in WV...we would probably end up being independent and that would probably be a financial where we are and just be thankful that the games are televised.

      • GoEers

        Or worse, WVU cpuld have ended up in Conference USA and instead of flying to Oklahoma to play OK or OK St, they would be playing Tulsa. Instead of flying to Texas to play UT, Baylor, or Texas Tech, they would be playing UT-San Antonio, North Texas, or UTEP.

        I for one am very happy they are in the big 12 and are reaping huge financial benefits from the tv contract.

    • David Elswick

      ACC turned WVU down twice. WVU's academics was not high enough. (Note: WVU was 3-0 in BCS football bowl games, the ACC was 3-13).

      Big1G didn't want WVU because we are not a member of the research school system. Both Marykand & Rutgers are. And they both bring more tv sets when negotiating media rights deals.

      The SEC? Nick Saban, former WVU coach, lobbied for WVU. But the SEC was loking westward.

      That left either staying in the Big East or courting the Big 12. WVU paid a high price to get on the last train out of the Big East before it crumbled. For now, it was worth the price.

      If not for the snooty attitude of the ACC, I think WVU is a better fit with them and has a long playing history with teams in the conference.

      • Duane Morgantown

        The ACC can't use academics as the reason for not letting us in. Miami and Florida State proves that argument.

        • packyeers

          The real reason we are not wanted in the ACC is that Va. Tech never will want us in. They have the clout with in the ACC and they do not like WVU.

      • mad hatter

        that pretty much says it all,,, it wasn't as if conferences were beating down our door to get us,,,,thank goodness the big 12 , via some congressional pressure, ask us to come in.
        i wonder if they are now regretting not asking louisville in our place or in additon.
        Like i said, when judgement day came, we had no choice but the big 12

    • mad hatter

      you don't know that,,, the acc made it as plain as they could, they do not want us,,, they still would have taken louisville over us,,, the big `10 and the sec don't want any part of us...
      we had two choices,, stay put, or go to the big 12,,, in other words, we had no choice,,, i don't like the big 12 either ,but the aac would have been the downfall of wvu sports.

      • The bookman


      • Harold

        It sure is nice seeing TX,,OK,,,and OK State,,etc,,,than Temple Loserville Butgers
        and all the other ...

  • GoEers

    All the jealous Marshall trolls and WVU haters are out in full force on this article. Coach Cogdell was an outstanding player at WVU and a successful high school coach at a school that produced WVU players Geno and Steadman among several others.

    Coach Cogdell has secured verbal commitments for a 4 star WR and a DB from that area of Florida. Both he and Jujuan Seider are already paying dividends as WVU's 2015 class has 6 verbal commitments and a ranking of 11th in the country according to Bill King on Sirius/XM's morning show. Being in a power conference like the Big 12 certainly helps as well!

    Let's Go Mountaineers!!

    • mad hatter

      drink the kool aid you idiot,,, fans like you are the reason our program is in the drink.

      get real,,, life is real... cogdell has brought two recruits with him,, period.

      he has to recruit other than miramar,, so we really don't know do we,,, and can he coach at this level,, we really don't know yet do we/
      so why didn't we hire a defensive coach how has coached at this level and was sucessful.. We need known commodities not chance taking,,,
      Our def. sucks and has sucked, and we need immediate coaching talent now,, we don't need to be taking chances on high school coaches...i can't make it plainer.

      • Jim

        Really? You think only 2 kids have followed Gogs? Go read a paper. I wouldn't expect much knowledge from a guy surrounded by A, AA, AAA football programs. Some great players from there, but not many. The "star" ratings don't mean squat in Div 1. WVU & Marshall and all other schools can/have turned 2/3 stars into 4/5 star players. Others go the other way and can't hack it at that level. Cogs is recruiting ALL of South Florida, not just Miramar.

      • Justin

        mad hater should be your name. you are so negative. mostly every comment you write is full of hate.. relax.. take a deep breath.

      • MJ

        Don Nehlen was an unknown quantity when he became head football coach at WVU. His only connection was that he once coached under Bo Schembechler at Michigan. Admit it, you just don't like WVU having to ramp up in order to compete in the Big 12. The away games are far across the country and the trips cost lots of dough. So watch on TV and listen to Tony on the radio. I don't care what conference we're in as long as we can get another shot at a national championship. I support the Mountaineers.

      • GoEers

        He has brought in two recruits...both 4 stars from Florida. He is one of several defensive coaches on staff. Both he and Seider have great recruiting contacts in FL. Why does that make you so mad for?

        I knew that you would reply to my comments as you always do whenever I bring up jealous marshall trolls. The success in recruiting that Coach Cogdell has had in just 1 month on the job is really bothering you.

        Stop acting like you are a WVU fan as your jealous hatred act is getting old. You are the most negative person alive. I feel sorry for you.

        • mad hatter

          it now seems that we have decided that our hires will undergo , on the job training.... ex.. gibson and cogdell...

          surely there are experienced , successful defensive coaches , who can recruit, that we can hire,,, so our program will get an immediate boost rather then hoping and wishing that our underqualified coaches happen to strike it rich and all of a sudden acquire all the knowledge and experience to actually carry out their new jobs..
          People , you just don't seem to grasp the fact that the big 12 is a huge step up, and now we must step it up with trained, qualifed ,experienced coaches...
          that isn't happeing. didn't we learn our lesson with holgie.

          • Jon Davis

            Folks why does everyone say we need big time coaching?? We aren't a power program like the Alabamas the muchigans or fsu... We are a step below where type flight coaches go to cut here teeth. Only reason we have huggs is he a a West Virginian. Heck we couldn't even keep a alma mater coach in rich fraud. And if u remember don nehlen was set to go to ohio state when he was a finalist but john cooper was chosen... I love my eers but this is reality and after a couple good years holgS will move on as well....former Marshall hc mark sunder makes 700000 a ur as a coordinator at Texas am. Clemsons oc makes 1.3. We can't afford high profile coached not would I want them. HolgS has assembled a great group of te recruiters. And motivators. And as you see we are recruiting at a high level then ever the last couple years.. Yes I'm drowning in the koolaid great things are coming. So start drinking!!!

          • GoEers

            Damon Cogdell was a successfuly linebacker at WVU. He is well qualified to coach linebackers. He has also shown that he can recruit players from that area.

            He was hired as a position coach and to recruit. Mad Hatter if you ahve a problem with that then you're an idiot who has been drinking that Green Kool Aid for way too's made you green with envy!

          • NOTWORTHIT

            Mad Hatter I hate to say it but I KIND OF agree with you in a way. If we go after big time coaching you have to start from the top and that will come if things dont change. I love the hire he provides great recruiting in FL which has made this program what it is today. We need fast athletic receivers and DB's and theres a ton of them in FLORIDA and we need it now and codgell can provide that. He will have the players respect from day one because he is alumi and will relate well with the players. I guess we will see I dont consider him a risk because hes a positional coach not D-Coord.

  • JimJim

    Why not get a high school coach from Texas? That's the future, isn't it?

    • KeatonsCorner

      Masterful analysis, Jim Kinzer......

      This where you post now that the Gazette started deleting your "thoughts"?

      To all,

      Jim Kinzer is crumpled, bitter old man with nothing better in life than to attention-seek on the internet.....

      I feel bad for you, Mr. Kinzer.

      • JimJim

        Answer the question!

        • KeatonsCorner

          not an ounce of sense in your head.

          The hire comes from one of the elite prep football programs on the East Coast, and a school that has provided WVU with elite talent for years.

      • GoEers

        Very nice job. I believe he used the screen name Herd91 before the gazette did Facebook posting.

  • DP

    Josh and jay zoom-Please stay in Huntington and keep your uninformed/negative thoughts there! It's very obvious both of you are clueless about football!!!!!

    • Josh

      No, I'm stoked they're going after high school coaches rather than established college coaches.

  • DP

    Welcome back to WV Coach Codgell! You were a great player and I'm sure you will be a great coach! Lets goooooooooooooooooooo

  • Independent View

    Do some of the posters blasting high school coaches moving to the college level have ever given a thought to where most of the college coaches bagan their coaching careers? As high school football coaches! A great example is Jim Tressel, former head coach at OSU, he came directly from high school coach to head coach of OSU.

    • Jim

      Yeah. The coaching staff at Baylor comes to mind. Art Briles and his entire staff came from the H.S. ranks.
      The players need consistency, not some new guy changing the scheme. Gibson not only provides that but he has the respect of the players as well. Look at the success Kingsbury had at Texas Tech!

      • mad hatter

        u maybe the dumbest poster on this site, no , you are the dumbest.

    • mad hatter

      i think the problem is, he made a huge jump right off the bat... he should have spent some time at lower divs. and not been handed a div 1 job immediately, just because he can bring one or two fla. kids into the picture..
      we don't know if he can recruit,and we don't know his abilities on this level.. personally, let him be a GA or coach a fairmont first.
      for me, too much risk , hiring him at this level, and a couple of yrs. yes.. but we're in trouble and we need known commodities...NOW

    • Jamie In Nitro

      Wow, I knew that Youngstown State wasn't FCS, but I didn't realize they were a high school team. I didn't realize that high school teams could compete for the former Division I-AA national championship.

      • PC in CLE

        Jaime - disregard last post. Misread. Too long in Ohio.

      • PC in CLE

        My bad - forgot 12 yr olds were reading this too. Prior to 2006 FBS and FCS were known as Div1-A and Div 1-AA, respectively (which when Tressel coached YSU they were still referred).

        Now go to bed Jr.

      • Hailey

        Jamie, there are a lot of things you do not realize, don't act so suprised....we are not

    • PC in CLE

      Your point is a good one, but Tressel spent a good bit of time as head coach of Div. 1AA Yougstown State prior to coaching at OSU.

  • mad hatter

    Lord knows , we need a lot better recruiting,,this yr was pretty much so so, i think 39th and that's just good enough to keep us as one of the bottom feeders in the conf.
    Luck has not realized the fact that we need to step the program up about ten notches..
    We're not going to beat texas and okla if we can't recruit,,, i think Strong will do a great job at texas... it really makes it harder for us.
    but if cogdell and get some great recruits, and dana will just shut up and stay on the sidelines, we could become a midpack team and that would be about all we can expect.

    • Jim

      RIP Bill Stewart

      He couldn't recruit worth a damn. Taken the last two years to flush the classes out and start to rebuild. Even with our mediocre team play, WV has given folks a run for their money. 5 of the 8 losses last year happened in the 4th qtr (Texas, Oklahoma part of that group). We had no depth. WV has it this year and is bringing back 17 starters. Will admit: another season like last two might see DH packing.

  • WVU fan in Boston

    Too much negativity on this board about WVU.
    The BIG 12 is the fifth football power conference, behind SEC, B1G, Pac12, and now the ACC. BIG 12 needs better leadership with a vision, they let Rutgers slip to the B1G, and they should have scouted Maryland, also now to the B1G. TV $ dollars and more recruiting base away from WVU. Missouri to SEC, and Colo to Pac 12, and Neb to B1G.
    No visionary leadership in the Big12, or I mean Big 10. They could have had Pitt, Rutgers, Louisville, Cincy, and Maryland and Conn. Think of the TV revenue and exposure, add a FLA team, UCF and now you have a power league with TV $ and recruiting base. Now it is stuck with only 10 schools.

    The negativity should be focus'd on the Big12 lack of leadership. IMHO

    • mad hatter

      THE BIG 12 consulted with tv networks , and it was determined that only ND would generate additional revenue for the big 12 unless you could rob other power conf...Yes , letting maryland get away was not good,, and rutgers, now all we can get are the leftovers... Luck tried to tell the head man of the big 12 we needed to expand to no avail.

  • Ut Oh

    Josh and JZ grow up, do you think coaches are just born at your prefered level of competition. They all have gone through the "learning curve" to get where they are now, Saben, Reicht, Spurrier, Carroll. And JZ the one position he speaks of is most likely going to be linebackers coach and not Texas, Oklahoma Kansas and the like. What position is that? Your kinky sounding!

  • Josh

    High school coaches. That's where we're at now. I heard Georgia has some fantastic Pop Warner coaches we could get too.

    • ut oh

      Saban had not intended to enter coaching until Don James, his coach at Kent State, made him a graduate assistant while Saban waited for his wife to graduate.[13] He later served as an assistant coach at Syracuse, West Virginia, Ohio State, Navy and Michigan State in NCAA Division I-A, and with the Houston Oilers and Cleveland Browns in the National Football League.[14] Saban is considered part of the Bill Belichick coaching tree, having worked under him in Cleveland.

  • jay zoom

    if you are only concerned about one position group go back to Florida. You need to focus your recruiting in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and the like as well as Florida. Getting a recruit to pick WVU over Alabama or LSU would have as much chance as finding a bebee in a box car full of saw dust. The big 12 is and always will be out of our league. THANKS OLLIE

    • Kevin F.

      ever hear of Dravon Henry you fool???!!?? He is a 4 star commit from this class that had offers from Bama, FSU, Ohio St, many others. Or maybe Donte Thomas-Williams who had offers from FSU, Ohio St, ND, etc....What about Jacob McCrary, offers from LSU, Bama, FSU? Jaylon Myers, offers from LSU, Florida, FSU..........i could go on........but i hate to taint your opinion with facts any further

      • WVWHo

        Those big schools that offered those you mentioned also already had plenty of 4/5 stars committed leaving little hope of early P/T. If you were a decent star recruit still undecided with a month to go there is a reason for that. the big schools already had who they wanted/needed. that's why the other schools get the 3 and 4 star "scraps" Each school will offer 200+scholarships a year, just because a kid has an offer doesn't mean he would be accepted if he took them up on it.

        • Kevin F.

          To add to that WVWho, If you are an SEC fan, why are you on here reading this butt kissing drivel. No one here is twisting your arm to come read it, much less post about it. You have options you know, this is the internet afterall..........

          • WVWHo

            I admit I read this site mainly for the local news as it pertains to day to day, the WVU boards and posters are the comic section of this site. Enjoy being a bottom feeder for life!

        • Kevin F.


          Do you mean commits like Jacob McCrary? Who commited early in the process to WVU, but still had open offers (AND VISITS TO) from other schools such as Bama/LSU? LSU only had 7 commits when he commited to us and only one was a WR, so there was plenty of room for him there, he just chose WVU instead. Face the facts man, WVU is starting to get a few (I SAID A FEW, NOT A CLASS FULL) of solid talent that other, bigger named schools are after. Will it translate to the field?? Who knows, but the proof is there........

        • SamWvu304

          Wvwho.. got to look at our posts and complain about our team. says he's SEC man. .then why are u commenting about Wv? Oh thats right your SEC team sucks so bad you don't want to even review the posts. Or your still sore about Auburn game..worrying Wvu gonna do it next season. Great hire in Damon Wv...Lets Gooo!!!

        • GoEers

          yep...another jealous marshall fan troll...welcome to the party pal?

          what else about WVU do you hate?

          • wvWho

            Who said I was a marshall fan? I'm an SEC man hopelessly stuck in morgantown listening to WVu butt kissing drivel.

    • graywv

      Do you ever hear what they are saying-of course you don't when you say we don' t belong in the big 12, you are really a fan from down-under(Marshal). Once we get our defensive system in place and our young players understanding the scheme we will do great, our offense will be very good because Holgerson will force it to happen!

      • mad hatter

        i seriously don't think we will ever do great in the big 12, every third or fourth yr , we may do well, but it's back to the old days, and win then rebuild, not reload,, we just can't and won't be able to recruit like those texas teams.
        and no , forget mostly , recruiting in texas,,maybe some JC's from the midwest but that's about it.

    • jfk

      all you need is a magnet,,,lol@jz

      • Mister Man


  • Mike Hardesty

    Welcome back coach!

  • Alex

    I think it's a good place for coach Cogdell to land as his presence will be good in more ways than one. 14 years experience, Florida connections, West Virginia man, Great personality, well-liked. Coaching in college is teaching like the same thing in high school, The young men are just a little bit older in college. Being around football as long as I have, I think it's a good place for coach Cogdell... Best coaches in the country can't do a good job and win games unless they got good assistance, also good players. Good fit ...

    • Mister Man

      Good call, Alex.