Former Mountaineer quarterback Pat White has some ideas.
When we first got word yesterday that WVU quarterbacks coach Jake Spavital was leaving Morgantown for College Station, Texas, to be co-offensive coordinator and Johnny Manziel's bagboy, I wondered aloud who might be on deck to replace him. Certainly, Dana Holgorsen being the offensive mastermind that he is, should have no shortage of candidates from the Hal Mumme/Mike Leach coaching tree to pluck for this vacancy. But what if we think outside the box for a minute. With the hire of former WVU assistant Tony Gibson, Holgorsen has shown that he isn't afraid to dip back into the Mountaineers' past, if not to satiate that segment of the fan base who thinks WVU should always have a WVU guy on staff (and in all honestly, it's probably a good idea to retain someone who knows the history and the fan base of such a unique program), then to tap into those people responsible for the best 5-year run in WVU football history. One of the primary cogs in that 2003-2007 machine got wind of the vacancy:
Heard WVU is looking for a QB coach…
Heard WVU is looking for a QB coach…— Pat White (@P5White) January 11, 2013
I honestly stopped to think about this for a minute. Would Pat White be a good choice to replace Jake Spavital? He'd certainly win over a significant portion of the fan base by his presence alone. He played in the NFL. He'd do wonders for recruiting and an ambassador for the program. But I'm not sure he fits into what Holgorsen is looking for. He's not familiar with the Air Raid, and he probably doesn't fit in personally with the guys we have on the staff now.
Oh. Well, that makes me feel a little better. Because the last thing I'd want is to snub Pat White. And in all honesty, he'd probably be better suited as a director of player personnel or something than an on-field QB coach, at least under the current regime.
But what about the guy he mentioned, Travis Trickett? In case the name doesn't ring a bell, Travis is the son of legendary offensive line coach Rick Trickett, who left WVU to join Jimbo Fisher at Florida State in the midst of the Rich Rodriguez era in Morgantown. Travis graduated from WVU, where he was a student assistant helping out with the quarterbacks under Rich Rod. Afterward, he took GA positions at Alabama under Nick Saban and then FSU under Fisher. Not a bad pedigree. He joined the staff at Samford in 2011, and this past season as QB coach and offensive co-coordinator, Trickett helped lead Samford to a 7-4 record, and under his tutelage, Bulldog quarterback Andy Summerlin threw for 2303 yards and 10 touchdowns with 6 interceptions on 244/365 (67%) passing. Not bad, but not Dana Holgorsen type numbers either. And given Pat's history of coaching recommendations, maybe we should proceed with caution here.
On a more serious note, another name that has surfaced is Matt Mumme, son of Air Raid guru Hal Mumme, who was the offensive coordinator at Davidson this past year. Mumme's quarterback at Davidson, J. Karkhuff, threw for 3151 yards and 16 touchdowns with 15 interceptions on 313/515 (61%) passing. Again, not bad, but not Dana Holgorsen either. But at least he has some history with the Air Raid.
The fact of the matter is, these are just two names that have been thrown around. We have no idea who Holgorsen is looking at, or what he is looking for to replace Spavital. Does recruiting matter? Familiarity with the Air Raid? Proven ability to develop quarterbacks? We'll be sure to pass along more as we hear it.