Charles LeClaire-USA Today Sports

West Virginia senior quarterback Clint Trickett, still suffering concussion symptoms, was not cleared to play in the upcoming Liberty Bowl and plans to enter coaching.


MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Riddled by five concussions in the past 14 months, including two he admitted hiding from team doctors, West Virginia quarterback Clint Trickett won’t appear in the Liberty Bowl and says his playing career is finished.

Trickett talked with reporters Friday at Memphis University School field, just yards away from where his teammates practiced. “I would love to be out there and finish the season with my guys,” he said. “But it would be dangerous to be out there and I probably wouldn’t be as effective.”

The fifth-year senior, who now plans to begin his coaching career, left during the second half of a 26-20 loss to Kansas State on Nov. 30 and sat out the regular-season finale at Iowa State. That means sophomore Skyler Howard will make his second career start when West Virginia meets Texas A&M at the Liberty Bowl, though for the moment at least, questions remained about Trickett’s health and how he managed to keep at least two head injuries undetected.

“In fairness to our training staff, they didn’t know,” he said. “I didn’t tell them, so that was on me. If they would’ve known they probably would’ve been more precautions about it. But I was trying to push through it.”

Saying his family is “big on finishing what we start,” Trickett maintained hope of appearing in one last college game, at least until last week when doctors at UPMC in Pittsburgh declared him out. The quarterback visited the hospital several times this month for concussion-impact testing but said his results were “not close” to where they need to be.

Even five weeks since bumping his head while making a tackle on an interception against K-State, Trickett said he continues to endure typical post-concussion symptoms: “It’s pretty bad.”

With a father who coaches Florida State’s offensive line and a brother serving as the offensive coordinator at Samford, Trickett said he’s eager to get “into the family business.” Though not considered an NFL prospect, he previously mentioned taking his shot in the Canadian Football League.

“The more and more I think about,” he said, “what I’m getting into I probably need to have a couple brain cells left.”

Trickett’s 3,285 yards rank fourth on the West Virginia single-season passing list, behind No. 3 Marc Bulger (3,607 yards in 1998) and Geno Smith’s two mammoth years (4,205 in 2012 and 4,385 in 2011).

Mountaineers coach Dana Holgorsen called the premature ending to Trickett’s career unfortunate but projected that “he’s going to make a hell of a coach.”

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  • Alex

    I am so sorry about Clint, I remember the concussion moment he got in the TCU game. Also I remember when he got up he looked like his eyes was rolling in his head, he rocked and staggered momentarily when he got up I knew then he was hurt bad he tried to disguise it, it worked for a short period of time. I guess.

    I seen the game live and recorded it on the DVR at home, and watched it later the next day. I still have it, it's visible to see he did you get hurt and he has not played the way Clint can play to this day.

    " By the way I have every game WVU played this year recorded". Clint never played a good solid game after getting hurt in the TCU game. Not the way that he can play......" I would like to say to you Clint you were a great inspiration to everyone you was around this year on and off the football team, and good luck to you, and I hope someday you may be coaching at Mountaineer field as a Mountaineer.

  • nashville cat

    very bad judgement , on behalf of your health,,, no game is more important the health, dementia etc... sad, I really thought he was smarter than that.

  • WVU Student

    Glad to see this bum go. I wish him and Oliver Luck the worst.

    • rock solid

      @WVa student: Go get drunk and burn something. That is all you are good for anyway. Are you sure you are not a Pitt professor? You seem to act like one. Maybe you work for Metro sports? They are one group of mentally deficient amateurs who can't blame concussions for their ineptitude.

      • NORM

        rock solid people at metro news know this fact they have taken wvu sports away from the people nobodys has been this bad since al Jennings in 1894

    • Mark S

      Clint Trickett will be much more successful in life than you will ever be.

    • Magger

      You have absolutely no concept of what college football or athletics is about. You'll make a good zumzum for somebody someday

  • Mister Man

    Thank you. Sorry for what you are going through. Good luck on your coaching career.

  • Frank/Moundsville


  • TJ

    It was obvious that Clint was not the same QB in second half of the season. We all wish Clint well.

  • Frank/Moundsville

    Why would you hid concussions (or concussion like symptoms) from your own training staff who should have your well being in the forefront? Not too bright in my opinion despite the "tough it out" attitude generally taught in football circles.

  • Holgie

    Sorry to see it end this way.
    You will make one heck of a coach.
    I can see you on the sidelines someday coaching the Mountaineers.
    Best of luck to you!

  • Robert Byrd

    There will be coaches leaving and others getting hired. Give him a paid position on our staff and see where he can go with our staff. He knows the offense and the staff, let him coach QB's.

    • nashville cat

      we already have cogdell who hasn't a clue, now you want another one,,, this isn't an employment agency... get real, we need real coaches , not clingers.

      • Mister Man

        Your team is not WVU.

        • nashville cat

          and yours isn't either, go back to huntington

  • onemorevoice

    A true Mountaineer, make the coaching rounds come home in a few years. Good luck Clint.

    • norm

      I wish the little lion well

  • The flying dutchman

    Best of luck to a classy mountaineer!

  • JustaFan

    So sorry to hear this. One of my all time favorite Mountaineers. Great guy. Such heart. Wish him the best of luck.

  • WV Grad

    True grit. Clint epitomizes Mountaineer spirit.


      Well said. Clint is an awesome football player and we racked up some good wins when he played healthy. His grit puts him up there with other gritty QBs at WVU. Hostetler and Kelchner immediately come to mind.

  • MountieFan16

    Clint did a great job for WVU football this season, and deserves our thanks. I'm glad he made the decision to "retire". I didn't want to see him get hurt again. As he said, "...I'll probably need some brain cells...."

    Thank you Clint for all your efforts.

  • Grant

    Clint, thank you for your service and dedication to WVU. Perhaps Dana can give you a G.A. spot?