MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — West Virginia offensive coordinator Jake Spavital has accepted the head coaching job at Texas State, a Sun Belt Conference program that has failed to find its footing since moving up from the FCS in 2011.
At age 33, Spavital becomes the second-youngest head coach in the FBS.
West Virginia ranks ninth nationally in scoring offense at 42.3 points per game, which is on pace to be the highest-scoring offense in school history.
The Mountaineers rank sixth in the FBS in yards per play (7.19), third in passing offense (358.1 yards) and 27th in red-zone touchdown percentage (69.4 percent).
In 2017, Spavital became the first coordinator entrusted to handle play-calling under Dana Holgorsen.
Texas State originally honed in on Houston offensive coordinator Kendal Briles, but the former Baylor assistant opted to stay with the Cougars, presumably with a beefed-up contract extension.
The American-Statesman reported that a deal has been reached between Spavital and the school.
Recently fired Texas State head coach Everett Withers was paid $700,000.
Spavital earned $500,000 this season and was in line to make $550,000 at West Virginia in 2019.
West Virginia athletics director Shane Lyons addressed the possibility of Spavital departing for a head coaching job earlier in the week.
“If he has the opportunity, and wants to be a head coach, then that’s understandable. … Jake’s done a great job for us, and if the right job comes along, then I wish him the best,” Lyons told MetroNews. “If not, that’s ultimately between him and Dana, and we’ll look at the assistants’ and coordinators’ agreements come January.”
Spavital has been West Virginia’s offensive coordinator the past two years, and the Mountaineers generated one of the nation’s most productive offenses with quarterback Will Grier at the trigger.
He has strong Texas connections, having served as quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator at Texas A&M from 2013-15. Coincidentally, his first scheduled game at Texas State will be at Texas A&M next August.
Texas State has yet to reach a bowl game in eight seasons since moving up from the FCS, but possesses the second-highest athletic budget in the Sun Belt.
Hiring an offensive mind would seem to be the highest priority for the punchless Bobcats, who ranked 123rd nationally with 19.8 points per game. Texas State has also spoken to South Florida offensive coordinator Sterlin Gilbert and Ole Miss offensive coordinator Phil Longo.