According to a WVU statement:
West Virginia University defensive coordinator Keith Patterson has voluntarily left the football program and is no longer a member of the coaching staff.
“I want to thank Keith for his two years that he spent coaching in our program,” head coach Dana Holgorsen said. “He was a valuable member of our staff, and we wish him nothing but the best.”
The school has no further comment at this time.
Patterson is bound for Arizona State, where he’ll work with Todd Graham. The two have known one another for a long, long time … but the Sun Devils have a defensive coordinator in one-time WVU assistant Paul Randolph.
But the 2014 season will be Dana Holgorsen’s fourth season. Patterson’s replacement will be Holgorsen’s fourth defensive coordinator. Unless it’s second.
I’ve heard Holgorsen is hanging onto the idea of continuity, obviously, and would like an internal replacement. That internal replacement, I’ve heard very early in this, is probably not going to be Brian Mitchell.
If it is an internal replacement, it most likely won’t be Damon Cogdell. Tony Gibson has never been a coordinator at the Division I level. That leaves Joe DeForest, though Holgorsen could go outside for a replacement. And he’s going to have to go outside to at least fill the spot on the staff.
My money is on Gibby. Patterson was integral in bringing him back based on how they worked together and got along when they were on the staff at Pitt. They speak the same language defensively. It causes the fewest ripples. And, to be honest, it keeps Gibby here in the future.
(Update: Sounds like Gibby is the first choice, whatever that means. DeForest won’t get the gig.)
Here’s what’s weird: I talked to Gibson and Mitchell yesterday for that story I did on the defensive backs, and to frame the conversation I used Patterson’s suggestions about reconfiguring the secondary (Bell to safety, Worley to safety, Joseph to nickel back, etc). Both Gibson and Mitchell answered my questions to suggest they different ideas — and that never resonated with me until today.
Also, Yodney Cajuste told me Cogdell would be the defensive line coach. WVU has only called Cogdell a defensive assistant. Cogdell played linebacker in college. This may have been in motion for a while.