MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Outgoing West Virginia receivers coach Lonnie Galloway said the chance to gain experience as an offensive coordinator, even one who doesn’t call plays, enticed him to join Bobby Petrino’s staff at Louisville.
At age 45, Galloway told Metronews “Sportsline” he harbors aspirations of becoming a head coach, for which serving as a coordinator typically is a prerequisite.
Galloway coached the Mountaineers’ receivers from 2008-2010 as a member of Bill Stewart’s staff. After a stint at Wake Forest he returned to WVU for another three-year run under Dana Holgorsen.
“I thanked Dana dearly because he made me a better coach,” Galloway said. “Obviously Coach Petrino, like Dana, is calling the plays but I’ll be hands-on with some of the stuff and the ins and outs of game-planning. We’ll see where it goes.”
No financial terms were released at Louisville, but Galloway is sure to earn substantially more than the $375,000 he was drawing as a position coach at West Virginia next season.
Before the 2009 season, Petrino asked Galloway to interview for a position at Arkansas, but the North Carolina native said he felt compelled to stay closer to home after his mother died. Seven years later, after Petrino was fired at Arkansas and rehabbed his career during a season at Western Kentucky, the timing was right.
“He’s a great offensive mind,” Galloway said. “It’s an opportunity to go learn a different style of offense. It’s more of a pro-style offense. They’ve got more tight ends involved. He’s been in the NFL and it’s a different passing game and different concepts of how to attack defenses.”
Saying goodbye Sunday to his young group of West Virginia receivers was difficult, Galloway said.
“Sitting down and talking to my guys, that was hard. I cried and they teared up a little bit,” he said. “I’m looking forward to watching them and seeing great things out of them.”
Following Jake Spavital and Shannon Dawson, Galloway becomes the third Holgorsen assistant to leave WVU for a coordinator’s position. Spavital was fired after three seasons at Texas A&M but immediately surfaced as the coordinator at Cal. Dawson was dismissed after one season at Kentucky before landing the coordinator’s role at Southern Miss.