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Rumored New Defensive Coaches At WVU: Some Background Info

With the defections of coaches Casteel, Kirelawich and Lockwood, the WVU football staff needs some replacements. The three most heavily rumored have been Joe DeForest, Brian Stewart and Zac Spavital. These are just the rumored possible coaches. Nothing is official until a release from the WVU Department of Athletics says it is. Now Brent Venables' name is also being mentioned. In the meantime, we've put together some basic info on the possible coaches to help everyone become more familiar with them. DeForest has already publicly stated he's coming (details remain to be worked out), so we'll look at him first:

Joe DeForest

  • Most recently Safeties and Special Teams/Assistant Head Coach at Oklahoma State
  • Previous stints at Duke and Rice
  • Coached 2008 Ray Guy Award winner Matt Fodge and the 2010 Lou Groza Award winner, Dan Bailey
  • OSU's special teams showed marked improvements in his first year, going from 73rd to 10th in net punting, from 67th to 12th in punt returns and from 92nd to third in kickoff returns
  • Mack Brown calls DeForest's kicking units "not good, but great"
  • Known good recruiter, especially in the talent rich Houston area

Brent Venables

  • Associate Head Coach and current DC at Oklahoma under Bob Stoops (whose brother Mike is coming back to be Co-DC)
  • Has been coaching LB's at OU since 1999
  • Coached 12 NFL draftees (so far)
  • Consistently fields one of the best defenses in the Big 12
  • Also coached at Kansas State from 1993 - 1998 (starting as a GA, then full assistant)
  • Known as a recruiting "Closer"

Brian Stewart

  • Most recently Houston Cougars Defensive Coordinator
  • Resigned from Houston last week to "pursue other opportunities"
  • Defensive Coordinator with Dallas in 2007-2008
  • Other previous stints in NFL with Philadelphia and San Diego
  • Previous college coaching stints with Syracuse, Missouri, San Jose State, Northern Arizona and Cal Poly
  • Employs a 3-4 scheme at Houston, which would be the likely switch at WVU
  • Houston's defense improved from 96th in 2010 to 40th in 2011
  • Houston's Red-Zone defense second only to Alabama in 2011 and also ranked 7th in turnover margin
  • Another highly regarded recruiter

Zac Spavital

  • Most recently Safeties coach under Brian Stewart at Houston
  • Coached cornerbacks for Houston in 2008-2009
  • Graduate assistant at Oklahoma from 2005-2007
  • Older brother of WVU QB's coach, Jake Spavital