MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Newly promoted West Virginia defensive coordinator Tony Gibson confirmed some staff assignment shuffling Friday night, announcing assistant Damon Cogdell will focus on coaching linebackers while former Penn State coordinator Tom Bradley will work with the defensive line.
A week earlier, during the team’s Feb. 21 spring kickoff luncheon, head coach Dana Holgorsen allocated the defensive line duties to Cogdell, the former Mountaineers linebacker who spent the past 12 seasons at Miramar (Fla.) High School.
Cogdell even embraced his purported defensive line assignment that day, discussing motivational philosophies and saying he expected productive seasons from tackles such as Dontrill Hyman and Kyle Rose. “They didn’t finish strong last year on the defensive front, and that’s my job this year: to make sure each and every play they play like it’s 110 percent,” he said.
Within hours of that luncheon concluding, MetroNews broke the news of Bradley’s hiring, and staff assignments remained vague for the past week. One newspaper reported Bradley was being brought on as linebackers coach, but a source told MetroNews that Bradley would focus on the defensive front, allowing Cogdell to coach the position he previously played—and freeing Gibson “to roam a bit” in the coordinator’s role.
Gibson confirmed the assignments Friday, along with speaking to the “Statewide Sportsline” crew about the intangibles Bradley brings to the staff.
“It’s not only the experience part of it, but also the winning part,” Gibson said. “You can say a lot of guys have coached for 30-something years, but the winning percentage and the defenses he put on the field, that’s the most valuable thing.
“He wasn’t just a coach for that long—he was a coach at a very high level, won a national championship. He’s obviously going to be a big factor in what we do.”
Spring practice opens Sunday for the Mountaineers, a mere 181 days before they face Alabama in Georgia Dome.