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College Football

Could Former Pitt Assistant Tony Gibson Replace Dana Holgorsen at WVU?



The week long rumor is now reality as Dana Holgorsen has left West Virginia to become the new head coach at Houston.

Familiarity with the Houston region and the fact that he received a five-year, $20 million contract were the biggest factors in him leaving Morgantown. This now makes Holgorsen the highest-paid coach in Group of 5 coaching history. That’s a biggest rise in the Cougars coaching budget as they were paying Major Applewhite “just” $1.75 million last year.

The question now is who will West Virginia athletic director Shane Lyons target to be the Mountaineers next coach?

The names that reportedly are high on the list are Cincinnati’s Luke Fickell, Troy’s Neal Brown, Memphis’ Mike Norvell, Toledo’s Jason Candle and Wake Forest’s Dave Clawson.

If you ask poll the current West Virginia players, they’ll bring up another name and that’s current defensive coordinator and associate head coach Tony Gibson.

Gibson, who worked at Pitt during the 2011 season in between stints at West Virginia, has recruited Western Pennsylvania since returning to Morgantown in 2013. He’s done a good job, too. A glance around the Mountaineers’ roster will reveal a group loaded with former WPIAL players: S Dravon Askew-Henry (Aliquippa), TE TJ Banks (East Allegheny), OL Jacob Buccigrossi (North Hills), DL James Gmiter (Bethel Park), RB TJ Kpan (Peters Twp), S Kwantel Raines, FB/TE Logan Thimons (Freeport), DL Brenon Thrift (Gateway) and S Kenny Robinson (Imani Christian Academy).

The former Pitt pass-game defensive coordinator under Todd Graham has received a ton of support on social media from former and current West Virginia players who want the job to stay in-house.

Here’s a sampling of what’s been said on Twitter about Gibson starting with former WPIAL star and current West Virginia linebacker Kenny Robinson.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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