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Galloway Departure Leaves West Virginia Football In Offseason Purgatory

Wide receivers coach Lonnie Galloway's departure to Louisville leaves Dana Holgorsen and the Mountaineer staff searching for coaches and answers.

Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

The offseason coaching carousel is always a domino effect. Illinois fired coach Tim Beckam on allegations that he abused players and hired Lovie Smith. Lovie, in an effort to fill assistant coaches positions, hired Louisville Offensive Coordinator Garrick McGee to be his OC. This vacancy caused Bobby Petrino to first reach out to his brother, who declined the offer. Petrino then contacted Galloway about a Co-Offensive Coordinator role at Louisville. He accepted and will also coach wide receivers. Louisville promoted offensive line coach Chris Clenakis to Co-Offensive Coordinator.

The departure of Galloway comes as a shock to Mountaineer Nation as he was responsible for recruiting several high profile stars at WVU in two stints as a Mountaineer coach. The list of names Coach Galloway has recruited is quite impressive and his recruiting prowess will be missed. He was responsible for the Miramar, Florida pipeline and the Baltimore, Maryland pipeline.

Ivan McCartney Hollywood, FL
Jovon Durante Hollywood, FL
Lamar Parker Miami, FL
Jacob McCrary Miami, FL
Jacky Marcellus Immokalee, FL
Jonathan Scott Daytona Beach, FL
K.J. Myers Jacksonville, FL
Isiah Bruce Jacksonville, FL
Tavon Austin Baltimore, MD
Steven Smothers Reistertown,MD
William Crest Baltimore, MD
David Sills Elkton, MD
Jordan Adams Reistertown, MD
Jacquez Adams Reistertown, MD
Wendell Smallwood Elkton, MD
Marvin Gross Baltimore, MD
Daikel Shorts Elkton, MD
Marcus Simms Sandy Spring, MD
Bruce Irvin Walnut, CA
Donte Thomas-Williams Durham,NC
Kyzir White Scranton, PA
Ka'Raun White Scranton, PA
Mario Alford Milledgeville, GA
Daejuan Funderbunk Washington, DC
Kennedy McCoy Lexington, NC
Quantavious Leslie Hogansville, GA
Gary Jennings Stafford, VA
Jared Barber Mocksville, NC
John Young Mocksville, NC

Not only was Galloway a skilled recruiter as evident by the above list, but he was also responsible for turning WVU into #WRU with 4 wide receivers selected in the NFL draft in a three-year span, including two first round picks: Tavon Austin - #8 overall, St.Louis Rams, 2013 and Kevin White - #7 overall, Chicago Bears, 2015. Even last year showed Galloway's ability with the production of Shelton Gibson (37 catchs, 887 yards, 9 TDs), Jovon Durante (24 catches, 378 yards, 5 TDs) producing despite being first year starters.

Lonnie's departure marks the fourth assistant coach to leave the program this offseason. Special Teams coordinator Joe DeForest and Defensive Line coach Damon Cogdell were not retained after their contracts expired. Cornerbacks coach Brian Mitchell opted to leave the program in February for the same position at Virginia Tech and now Galloway's departure leaves a void in the coaching staff just as spring practice is beginning.

The Mountaineers are now desperately trying to find a new coach. This coming season, WVU looked to return 9-10 starters on offense. The main bulk of the offense is going to fall on the development of the young receivers who struggled with creating separation and catching the football in 2015. Entering a critical year for head coach Dana Holgorsen, the offense will need to carry the load while the defense catches up. The new receivers coach is going to need to acclimate himself quickly to this team and be able to get the young players to continue their development. He is also going to need to be a skilled recruiter, because WVU recruits on a national level and Galloway did an excellent job of bringing in talent.

No one can blame Coach Galloway for taking a promotion and a pay raise. It should be viewed as a sign of good hiring when your coaches are in demand. It means you have talented men trying to develop talented young men into the best players they can be. Galloway's departure comes on the heels as Athletic Director Shane Lyons recently broke protocol and granted Galloway a multi-year extension after Lyons' publicly stated that only coordinators would receive multi-year deals. You still can't help but wonder if Dana and Shane were able to get an extension worked out if one or both coaches would still be Mountaineers instead of Hokies and Cardinals.