Quick change of topic today

Damon Cogdell in, Erik Slaughter out at WVU. Expect Cogdell, a former WVU linebacker and now the former head football coach and athletic director at Miramar High, to be named a defensive assistant. He’ll become the defensive line coach and hit the ground running recruiting South Florida. Literally.

Slaughter, the defensive line coach who’d recruited southern Ohio, will not be brought back for a third season with the Mountaineers. Word is Shannon Dawson will take over Slaughter’s recruiting territory.

Today happens to be the first day of the spring semester at WVU. Andrew Buie is back on the roster and I’m told indefinitely suspended receiver Ronald Carswell and also cornerback Avery Williams will not be back next season. (Update: Confirmed. Here’s the updated roster.)

Four junior college transfers — quarterback Skyler Howard, cornerback Keishawn Richardson, linebacker Edward Muldrow III and offensive lineman Sylvester Townes — and high school early graduates Ricky Rodgers and Davonte James are to be enrolled this semester, as well. (Update: James and Rodgers are in, but the jucos are now — yet. They have until Friday and WVU expects that to happen.) (Update: Howard, Richardson and Townes are in, as well.)

(Update: Here’s WVU’s announcement of the addition of Cogdell as an “assistant coach on the defensive side” — and that makes you wonder if all the moves have been made, doesn’t it? The annual coaches’ convention starts Monday. Cogdell, who has never coached in college, has a two-year contract for $200,000 a year. I need a new gig.

The Slaughter thing does seem interesting on some level, and let’s get this out of the way first. He was really fun to watch and to talk to and I think he was an assistant people on the outside liked. And no wonder …


If you need a Slaughter fix, this is for you.

Anyhow, I’d talked to people who’d run into WVU or WVU targets on the recruiting trail and what they’d heard was WVU wasn’t making any changes, though, sure, I might have been talking to people involved solely with offensive targets. And maybe WVU was telling people what they wanted to hear. I’d be lying if I told you I thought Slaughter would be gone.

WVU looked like it had a pretty good defensive line in 2013. I thought that group was much better this past season than it was in the one before it … but then I looked at some things that deserved more our attention, namely that the Mountaineers didn’t make many plays on the defensive line. In a results based business, you can understand this because the lack of sacks, TFLs and pressure are now two-season problems.

Slaughter also recruited southern Ohio, which had to have been a tall task for someone with his relative lack of experience. WVU wasn’t doing really well there and adding Cogdell a year after adding JaJuan Seider (and losing Robert Gillespie) gives you the idea WVU would rather double up in South Florida.)

46 Responses to “Quick change of topic today”

  1. Bobby Heenan says:

    I’m a little surprised by this. I thought Slaughter did a good job with what he had to work with.

  2. Josh24601 says:


  3. Rugger says:

    It’s about recruiting. Dana has realized that our time is better spent in FL. Seider and Damon will make some noise in FL.

  4. Sammy says:

    I thought Slaughter was OK but nothing special. Don’t know anything about Cogdell’s coaching abilities but the guy is a WVU alum and he built Miramar into a powerhouse over the last several years. Also I seem to recall Dana’s old boss Mike Leach hired a high school coach to his first staff at Texas Tech because of his recruiting connections — some guy named Art Briles.

  5. SheikYbuti says:

    Zippy pointed out on the (briefly) hijacked thread that WVU was last in the conference in sacks this past season. True dat, but as we all have come to realize, everything is connected, i.e., tighter coverage in the secondary would likely have produced additional sacks.

  6. oklahoma mountaineer says:

    Definitely think this could be of great help in FL recruiting. Two questions come to mind, 1) does being a HS coach having players recruited = being a good recruiter and 2) is Slaughter being blamed for not enough pass rush.

    I’m not an expert evaluator, but I can say one thing for certain — guys under his coaching seem to be better year over year under him and I’m not sure that he was given a fair hand to play with, particularly in year 1 in terms of depth.

  7. pknocker40 says:

    Holy crap Louisville. Really hope Tom Jurich is wearing a sleeveless NWO shirt under his suit…

  8. Rugger says:

    The ACC deserves Petrino.

    Our run defense was ranked 90th so the D line sucked at the pass and run, we’re just learning to accept mediocrity.

  9. jtmountaineer says:

    This might be a dumb question, but wouldn’t Cogdell be more valuable to WVU as a high school coach with all his players’ ears than he will be as an outsider whom future players won’t really know? Obviously an upgrade in salary and status if you’re Cogdell, but how much recruiting experience do high school coaches possess?

  10. Mack says:

    “and also cornerback Avery Williams…”

    I see what you did there.

  11. SheikYbuti says:

    It will eventually come to light that Petrino forced Strong’s departure upon incapacitating him with the “finger of doom.”

  12. Mack says:

    I know that Mike is probably right because he’s pretty much always right… but another WVU web site says that Slaughter recruited Florida. It seems strange to me that we had anyone recruiting southern Ohio (unless you mean Cincinnati… but I can’t remember any recent player being from there).

  13. Rugger says:

    His 9 targets listed in Rivals are in OH, FL, KS, NM and MS.

  14. Mike Casazza says:

    I think everyone has a little to do with Florida, but Slaughter was as I said he was.

  15. I love you, Doug! says:

    And Also Cornerback Avery Williams becomes And Without Cornerback Avery Williams.

  16. Sammy says:

    I will say I think the hiring of Cogdell, who for all we know might be a fantastic coach or a terrible one, is a decision (admission?) by Dana and Patterson that the best way to get better on defense is to get better players.

  17. Mack says:

    “the best way to get better on defense is to get better players.”

    If they are just now learning that, then we have the most incompetent coaching staff in America. I would take the worst coach in college football if you also gave me the first pick of all of the players to fill out the team. We may not win a national championship, but we’re going to always be ranked.

  18. SheikYbuti says:

    Arguably, the plight of the Fighting Irish since about 1995 tends to disprove Mack’s theory. At least that’s what Notredamus told me.

  19. JC says:

    Could the hiring of Cogdell actually hurt the Miramar recruiting pipeline? Was nice to have a mole on the inside…..

  20. Sammy says:

    What happened to Avery Williams? Not a major loss, but curious what that was about.

    If he’s gone, further highlights the cruddy recruiting at DB and cornerback in particular, with guys like Mike Dorsey, Vance Roberts and Williams out and others like Chestnut (injuries), Napoleon and others not developing into contributors.

  21. Mack says:

    Sheik, so you think that Notre Dame has had the best talent since 1995? I’m not sure how many years from then till now that WVU would have traded starting quarterbacks. We’d probably give them Brad Lewis and Clint Trickett… That’s about it.

  22. oklahoma mountaineer says:

    Louisville appears to be making a deal with the devil…..again…..has my memory played a trick on me, or does a school that nearly got probation for the junk this guy was found to be doing just hire that same guy back…….after he left them high and dry just before national signing day.

    The guy does win football games…..and the above reference does not include the incident of “I can get you a job, if I can take you for a ride…..on the back of my bike…..and don’t think it’s creepy that you dad and I could have went to high school together…..”

    Gross….and you thought King Richard, formerly of Cheat Lake, would have been a bad return hire?

  23. glibglub says:

    This business will get out of control. It will get out of control and we’ll be lucky to live through it.

    – Reverse mortgage pitch man and former presidential candidate Fred Dalton Thompson, “The Hint for Red October”

  24. SheikYbuti says:

    I can’t take a hint.

  25. glibglub says:

    Although I will always hate the iPad keypad, I do think “Hint for Red October” has a certain ring.

    P.s. It almost was “Ed October”.

  26. Mack says:

    It’s funny because Oklahoma mountaineer has criticized Petrino up and down but hasn’t really hit the points that are relevant.

    First, Petrino was married and was banging the volleyball coach (or whatever), which was a woman he’d gotten a job for (if I’m not mistaken). Otherwise, old rich guys hook up with young good looking women all the time. It’s a lot of what motivates guys to become rich guys.

    Also, Petrino left the Falcons midseason and has consistently shown that he’s moving up to the next pay check.

    Otherwise, Petrino left Louisville at the same time that every coach leaves a job… between the bowl season and signing day. Charlie Strong just left Louisville for Texas. It’s kind of the way you have to do it in order to move to the next job.

    There’s no question Petrino’s a great coach though. He’s literally as good as any coach in college football. If I’m a Louisville fan, I probably feel a little dirty but I’m happy that my football team is going to still be good. In some ways, Louisville is in a very similar position as it was when Louisville played its first season in the Big East. They are entering a “bigger” conference yet have a very good potential to be right a the top alongside Florida State.

    Part of the criticism that outsiders will give Louisville is due to the fact that people know Louisville is likely to be very good under Petrino. Sort of like how you rip your rival for firing a head coach too early when “he’s a nice guy” but deep down you know it’s because he’s a terrible coach and you’d like to see your rival keep him around.

  27. Mack says:

    As a p.s., I don’t recall Louisville ever being sanctioned by the NCAA since it joined the Big East. Did I miss something?

    I know the Kragthorpe era was so terrible that it probably felt like they had a reduction in scholarships.

  28. Karl says:

    Re: Petrino. I grew up a Yankees fan during the latter half of the Billy Martin era(s), so this doesn’t seem that crazy to me. No matter the drama, sometimes people are meant to be together. Don’t ever rule out a Rich Rod return to WVU.

  29. Rugger says:

    Amen Karl.

  30. The 25314 says:

    It’s easy to sit here and say Petrino is the devil because he interviewed with Auburn, left Louisville for the NFL, the NFL for Arkansas, and cheated on his wife with an employee. But besides getting caught cheating (as did Rick Pitino), how is that resume any different than Nick Saban or any other dozen coaches? And what about WVU coaches?

    Rich Rod flirted with different schools every year, tried to hold the university hostage with a list of demands, was rumored to be unfaithful in his marriage and left the school high and dry. Bill Stewart was fired for a racial slur, broke NCAA rules, disparaged recruits by name, and attempted to conduct a smear campaign to get Holgorsen fired. Holgorsen got kicked out of a casino, is divorced, and rumors continually swirl about his personal life. Bob Huggins has previously broken NCAA rules, had a 0% graduation rate and was fired for a DUI. Randy Mazey was fired from ECU for still unknown reasons.

  31. The Artist Formerly Known as EER96 says:

    1. Cogdell is the best hire of Dana’s tenure.

    2. Is there any significance to the length of his contract (2 years) in relation to the length of Dana’s rope?

    3. Bobby Pentrino returning to Louisville…I bet Pitino is happy to have a worthy running mate with him.

    4. If you think Rich isn’t the next football coach at WVU, I think you are thinking with your heart and not your head. I was not a fan of how he exited, but there were two sides to that fiasco.

  32. The Artist Formerly Known as EER96 says:

    Petrino…darn phone!

  33. avb31 says:

    Joe DeForest is still employed by WVU. That’s disappointing.

    Cogdell should help us in Florida.

  34. Sammy,

    Brandon Napoleon will be a RS-Sophomore this coming season.

    Writing him off a little early, aren’t we?

  35. I believe that WVU’s recruiting, overall, really isn’t going to change much one way or the other.

    Morgantown will always be a tough sell to blue-chip players. WVU has always gotten by on developing its players rather than being able to recruit game-ready, plug-and-play types who usually pick more prestigious schools.

  36. Mack says:

    Artist, I believe from Mike’s prior blogs that all WVU assistant coaches have two-year deals.

    The more south Florida recruiters that WVU has, the better. It’s been better for WVU than anywhere else.

  37. The Artist Formerly Known as EER96 says:


    That is what I thought, thanks for confirming that about the 2 year contracts. I think it is a huge hire. Is it possible more changes (Joe D.) are one way? I know many people will be happy if it happens.

  38. Speaking of recruiting, I like how a piece written by a WVU recruiting site operator was passed off as a legitimate column in the Charleston Gazette…

  39. Shoot4show says:

    Petrino and Pitino at Louisville? You have to wonder what the recruits’ moms are thinking when one of those guys is sitting in your living room pitching UL as the place for her son to begin his journey into manhood.

    I get it’s about W’s and dollars, but how does an AD look anyone in the eye with both those characters on board. One I get, but they better have a heckuva PR department with both on campus. It’s not a matter of if but when.

  40. Shoot4show,

    People have short memories and are willing to look past character flaws.

    We’ve all done it at one point or another, and will continue to do it.

  41. philip says:

    winning absolves all sins.

  42. philip says:

    but back to cogdell: wvu head coach 2024?

  43. Dann White says:

    Dear Phillip,

    Stranger things have happened.

    Gus Malzahn

  44. Down South says:

    Petrino’s list of sins is longer than we are listing here and the guy is an absolute slug, but I’ve never seen anybody better at calling plays.

  45. Mack says:

    Offhand, I recall Petrino had very good-to-great quarterbacks at Louisville (Brian Brohm) and Arkansas (Ryan Mallet). Petrino is a great coach, but I’m starting to become a believer in the idea that in college football if you have a great quarterback you’re probably going to be a great coach. Obviously, you “coach ’em up” as best you can, but raw ability plays a big part. WVU’s chips are all in on Ford Childress for 2014.

    It kind of reminds me of 2002 under RichRod. Rasheed Marshall got hurt in the first game and was out for the year, so we dealt with another year of Brad Lewis and some other guys that no one can remember. Then, Rasheed came back in 2003 and, while not great, was good enough to bring the program back. It’s amazing how much better of a coach RichRod was when he had a better quarterback. (I’m not claiming that’s the only thing that made WVU a better team, but it was probably the biggest thing). If Ford is good, WVU will be good. Given the injuries that Tricket played through, I’m not quite ready to say he sucks… but I hope Ford is the man.

  46. Charles Hales says:

    DON’T you . . . da da da-da-da . . . forGET about meeeee.