MORGANTOWN, W. Va. — Tony Gibson’s second tenure at West Virginia is coming to an end.
Athletics director Shane Lyons said the veteran defensive coordinator, who is being replaced by incoming Troy assistant Vic Koenning, will not remain with the program. Gibson interviewed for the head coaching position which ultimately went to Neal Brown.
“Tony and I have had a lot of phone conversations and I’ll help him in any way,” Lyons said. “Tony has done a great job for this university and I wish him and his family the best.”
Lyons refuted an internet report that indicated Gibson would move to an administrative position at West Virginia.
“Tony’s moving on. Tony wants to coach football,” Lyons said. “That social media, that was horrible. That was never in our talks. Tony wants to coach football. He’s very good at it and I want to help him. I don’t know how that got out there.”
Gibson has served as West Virginia’s defensive coordinator since 2014. He joined Dana Holgorsen’s coaching staff the previous year as a safeties coach before earning the promotion. Gibson, a Boone County native, previously coached defensive backs for the Mountaineers under Rich Rodriguez from 2001-07.
When Holgorsen left for Houston, several current and former players advocated on social for Gibson to be named head coach. He is still owed $950,000 for the final year of his current contract.
Lyons said Brown has full autonomy to make his own coaching staff.
“He has to make his own judgments. I wasn’t going to handcuff a coach and say ‘Here is who you have to hire, here are people you have to look at,'” Lyons said. “That’s his job. My job is to hire the head coach. His job is to hire his assistants understanding that I have veto power if character or NCAA issues may be a problem. Rarely is that used.”
Though he didn’t offer specifics as he allows Brown to announce his coaching staff, Lyons indicated that there could be a high degree of turnover. He said he is willing to help any of Holgorsen’s assistant coaches as they look to latch on elsewhere.
“This doesn’t need to be adversarial,” he said. “They’ll always be Mountaineers.”