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Friday, February 21, 2014
Gibson brings continuity to WVU defense

By Brandon Chatmon

West Virginia is looking to add stability to its defense.

WVU head coach Dana Holgorsen officially announced Tony Gibson as West Virginia’s defensive coordinator on Friday, promoting Gibson from the safeties coach position he held in 2013.

"Nobody cares more about the Mountaineers or West Virginia than Tony does," Holgorsen said at a pre-spring media luncheon.

Gibson is in his second stint with the Mountaineers after being a part of the coaching staff from 2001 to 2007. He was West Virginia Tech’s defensive coordinator in 1999 and 2000, his only previous experience as a defensive coordinator.

Holgorsen’s decision to promote Gibson could bring continuity and stability to a Mountaineers defense that is set to have its fourth coordinator in four seasons under Holgorsen. The Mountaineers’ head coach clearly valued stability and familiarity in the hire, showing confidence that Gibson can get the job done despite his limited experience as a coordinator.

The Mountaineers return several talented defenders including safety Karl Joseph, cornerback Daryl Worley and linebacker Isaiah Bruce but have ranked among the Big 12’s worst defenses during WVU’s first two seasons in the conference, finishing last in points per game allowed in 2012 (33.3) and ninth in points per game allowed in 2013 (38.1).

It falls on Gibson to improve that unit, which has athleticism but has struggled to transform its talented playmakers into a consistent and productive defensive unit.