Rumors were flying around on Twitter and various message boards yesterday, but now it seems official:
BREAKING: OU will hire WVU's Bill Bedenbaugh to replace James Patton as offensive line coach. ($) oklahoma.rivals.com/showmsg.asp?fi…— SoonerScoop.com (@SoonerScoop) February 12, 2013
This is a big blow to the Mountaineer coaching staff. Not only did Bedenbaugh turn a much maligned offensive line unit into something much more serviceable and successful, Bedenbaugh was also a key recruiter, largely responsible for the likes of Shelton Gibson (Bedenbaugh covered Ohio for WVU).
With the loss of Bedenbaugh, the total number of coaches from the 2012 team being replaced for 2013 now makes four. Jake Spavital left for Texas A&M after Daron Roberts and Steve Dunlap were let go (Dunlap remains with WVU on the athletic staff) from the coaching staff. Tony Gibson, Brian Mitchell and Lonnie Galloway were previously named as their replacements.
Replacing Bedenbaugh in time for Spring Drills now becomes priority number one with signing day in the books (and we're thankful this happened after that, at the very least). Two names frequently mentioned as wishes for offensive line coaches have always been Herb Hand of Vanderbilt and Rick Trickett at Florida State. I'm not saying never, but don't get your hopes too high on those two, kids.