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.

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  • cutty77

    I like all The Talk about Oliver. Under Oliver WVU Sports is in The Greatest Place it could ever be. Has it been easy,no it has not. To all WVU fans do you really think WVU was going come in and Win every game in Football,and Baskeball. Ofcourse you did,you think everybody was going to lay down for WVU. We are lucky to have Oliver Luck to have some vision for the future. We still could have EP,and MP who wanted to keep us in The Stone Age of College Sports.

    • Jon Davis

      Totally agree..... People must realize this isn't your grandfathers college sports. Coaches are millionaires and revenue from these two major sports fuel every other sport. This is big time business. Like it or not it is what it is.. First thing luck did was try to raise revenue. Beer sales pocket a easy million a year. New conference? Done deal... If we hadn't moved people would be bitching we were in that American athletic crap with ZERO chance at a national championship. So again thank you Oliver at yes keeping us up with the elite... He brings in a young visionary head coach who has assembled the best staff of recruiters I have ever seen at wvu and it's paying dividends. They players we had left from the previous coaches were not enough for this type of conference. Not the big east anymore folks.... But holgS time is coming and you will be begging him to stay in a few years just wait and see.

      • Ut Oh

        Finally I believe someone other than me and a few others see that although we thought we were big boy's in the Big Least, we are only in the middle bu moving up in the Big 12. Talet has got to be elevated to match the compitition. Yes we could win the Big East (by tie breaker usally), and could beat just about anybody with time to prepare, we still could not compete on a day to day basis with the talent we had. But soon.... Patients

    • wvrefugee

      Are you high????

      • cutty77

        @ wvrefugee,
        I've told you before and will tell you again. STAY IN HUNTINGTON,AND SHUT UP.

      • Big Larry

        He is higher than a kite...

        • Aaron

          So, no, you don't have a logical rebuttal.

          That's pretty much what I thought.

      • Aaron

        Do you have logical rebuttals to the comments?

  • jay zoom

    I don't care who coaches who, what, where or whatever - they might be good coaches but they have to prove to the Mountaineer Nation that their worthy. this will take 3 to 5 years and by then Dana will be gone. THANKS OLLIE maybe for the good of WVU you'll be gone to.

    • Aaron

      Why will it take 3-5 years to prove to Mountaineer Nation that they are worthy?

      Also, you seem to have a disdain for Athletic Director Oliver Luck. Why? Be specific if possible.

      • Steve

        not sure why you waste your time with guys who post stupid comments like are much more educated than they are

        • Aaron

          Generally one of two things happen when you ask questions like the one I did.

          They either run away or they try to retort with something that ends up making the poster looking more foolish than their original comment made them look.

    • Andy

      You're a tard tard. That is all...

    • B A Winner

      I THANK OLLIE every day for the great job he's done keeping WVU at its rightful place among college athletics elite. I'm glad to see you posting on here several times daily THANKING OLLIE for the great job he's doing too. Seems like you really get it JZ.

      • Harpers Ferry

        You must have a very, very low standard for "elite" status. I thought "elite" teams go to bowl games and NCAA tournaments.

        • cutty77

          HARPERS FERRY,
          The Crack capitol of WV.

        • Protechcpa

          Or at least have winning records.....oops, I forgot. You did say bowl games and even a .500 season will get you a bowl these days. Yes, elite teams should have at least a .500 record.

        • B A Winner

          Elite means being one of only five D-1 programs in the country to be in the top 25 for all-time total wins in both football and men's basketball. It also means 3 BCS bowl wins in three attempts. It also means final four, elite eight and sweet 16 appearances in basketball. It also means competing in probably one of the top 2 overall conferences in the country. Arguably the best. I think you'll find that WVU fits quite neatly into elite status.

          Not every team goes to the NCAA tourney or bowl games every year. WVU won its first bowl game almost 100 years ago and the recognized national championship in basketball over 70 years ago. That being said, how about providing a list of all the teams who've been to bowl games 90 times since then and the NCAA or NIT 70 straight years. It will certainly be interesting to see the names on that long list.

          I do think, however, the only low standard you'll find during your research is that of yourself for posting such a stupid comment.

        • Steve

          yeah Harpers Ferry WVU has been to many NCAA tournaments including 5 of the past 6 of which 3 of those trips were to the round of 16 and one to the Final Four

          In football, you may have heard that WVU has won 3 BCS Bowl games in the last 8 years not to mention a couple of trips to the Gator Bowl during that span.

          Just out of curiosity what team are you a fan of and when was the last time they saw an NCAA Tourney? I bet the answer will be 26 years.

  • 1olewvufan

    I am totally confused with the WVU Defensive Coaching situation.

    Why do you hire a coach like Tom Bradley, make him the Senior Assistant Head Coach, yet have Gibson run the defense?

    Why do you move Gibson to linebacker coach and have him coach linebackers with Coach Cogdell?

    Why do you then have Coach DeForest coaching both Special Teams and Safeties?

    If Gibson was a good Safeties Coach, why move him?

    And who needs help coaching linebackers, Gibson or Cogdell?

    Last, while I'm sure Bradley can coach the DL, this is something he has little experience at according to his resume. This too raises questions?

    I truly believe this is a mess, and that Bradley with his success should be running the defense.

    Also, with DeForest splitting time between Special Teams and Safeties, one or both of these groups will surely not get the coaching they need.

    I expect to see these coaches shuffled about during the season, and more defensive coaching changes between now and the 2015 season. I was hoping the defensive coaching situation would be settled and stabilized, but going by this it isn't.

    • Allan Taylor

      @1olewvufan: The decision to promote Gibson was done before Holgorsen (and Gibby) began seeking to fill Patterson's spot. Bradley, I'm told, wasn't openly politicking for a return to coaching, though he missed it the past two years. So Gibson and Holgs, I'm told, tried a couple times to convince him to join the staff. Eventually, it took.

      As for worries about DeForest splitting time between special teams and a position, that's how more than 100 FBS programs structure their staffs. Remember, DeForest mentioned how rare it was for him to focus solely on STs last season—he said only something like 12 programs had that luxury.

    • Aaron

      Gibson was promoted to Defensive Coordinator before Bradly was hired and in truth is the main reason Tom Bradly is at WVU. I would assume that if Tom Bradly wasn't comfortable working for Coach Gibson, he wouldn't have taken the job.

    • GregG

      My question is............why is Deforest on the payroll? As far as I'm concerned he can take his backward hat wearing butt down the road.

    • rlr

      Do you think that while the defensive unit is practicing so Is the special teams unit??? No! I think he can handle coaching two to three players on top of special teams. Most college teams do that anyways. He gets paid enough to handle it!!

  • Mike

    Great moves by DH. It takes time to get the coaches you need to fit the system you want to run. It takes time to find the coaches you want to make everything come together. I feel that the first few hires DH made because of friendships hoping they would come together. DH new changes had to be made,if WVU was to move forward. It takes time to get the players you want/need to make your system work. Same with a coaching staff. Slowly it is all coming together. This year is one of our best classes ever as far as quality kids. Now with the new coaches it will come together. We may not go 12-0,but we will be a much better team then last year. Just my opinion. Go eers!!! we need to support the team and not try and destroy it.