The news broke late Thursday night that WVU quarterbacks coach Jake Spavital is indeed headed to Texas A&M and Heisman Winner Johnny Manziel
Reports emerged late Thursday night that, after a day of speculation, WVU quarterbacks coach Jake Spavital is indeed headed to Texas A&M and Heisman Winner Johnny Manziel
Allan Taylor of MetroNews was first out of the gates around midnight when he reported that WVU sources were confirming the departure.
A source within the WVU athletic department confirmed Spavital’s decision Thursday night. The Aggies’ previous quarterbacks coach, Kliff Kingsbury, left in December to become head coach at Texas Tech.
Bruce Feldman of CBSSports.com provided definitive confirmation with his report around 45 minutes later that contained quotes from Spavital himself.
Spavital, who has spent the past two seasons as West Virginia's quarterbacks coach, informed WVU's Dana Holgorsen of his decision late Thursday night.
"I am grateful for the opportunity that Dana has given me in my career," said Spavital. "And I'm excited to get to A&M and continue with the success that they've had."
Spavital had been a part of WVU's staff since head coach Dana Holgorsen took the reigns amid turmoil in the summer of 2011 and had worked under Holgorsen dating back to 2009 when Holgorsen served as offensive coordinator of the Houston Cougars. When Holgorsen moved on to Oklahoma State to take the coordinator position, he brought Spavital along with him. The relationship between the two was such that Spavital once joked that "I pretty much sold my soul to him." Holgorsen relied heavily on Spavital for both game planning and recruiting and the gap could be a challenging one to fill.
After a disappointing season there was expectation of staff turnover in the Puskar Center, but those expectations were focused mostly on the defensive side of the ball. The departure of Spavital would be a surprising one, but the opportunity to coach a Heisman winning quarterback with as much as three years of eligibility left isn't the type of thing one passes up.