According to Bruce Feldman of The Athletic and sideline reporter for FoxSports, former West Virginia Mountaineers defensive coordinator Tony Gibson will be taking a co-defensive coordinator position with the N.C. State Wolfpack. Gibson will fill the position that Ted Roof filled at NC State. Roof left the team to take the head coaching job at Appalachian State.
Gibson, like all of West Virginia coaches, has a clause in his contract that limits West Virginia’s liability. When Gibson was officially released, it was on the hook for a $900,000 buyout but only if Gibson was unable to find another position. Now that he is taking a position with NC State, West Virginia will only owe Gibson the difference between 900k and whatever his new salary will be, if it is lower than $900,000.
Gibson was hired in February 2014 to help steady a leaky defensive unit during the early years of the Dana Holgorsen era. Gibson was the fourth DC in as many years following: Jeff Casteel, Joe _eForest, and Keith Patterson. Deforest and Patterson attempted to transition the Mountaineers to a 3-4 defense, since it gave Dana Holgorsen’s and many other Big 12 offenses fits. The transition resulted in two of the worst defensive units in Mountaineer history.
Gibson immediately transitioned back to the old Big East scheme of the 3-3-5 stack. The system reaped benefits of both players who had previously been recruited for such a system and allowed players to make plays in space. Gibson’s standout moment came against Baylor in his first year on the job, when his defense stifled the #4 Baylor Bears in a 41-24 win against a team that was running roughshod over teams. The loss would ultimately keep Baylor out of the playoffs (along with the Big 12’s diasterous decision to not name a champion despite running with the slogan “One True Champion”).
Gibson served four years as defensive coordinator and brought a steadying presence to the team, along with a penchant for being able to recruit the region. Gibson, who was born in West Virginia, was able to sell the school to potential recruits. The players love of Gibson was evident on social media as the coaching search to replace Dana Holgorsen took place. Player after player lobbied for Gibson to become the next head coach.
The Mountaineers and Wolfpack will play in Morgantown on September 14. Both teams will be breaking in new quarterbacks after their senior signal callers ended their college careers.