Gibson still preferred, as well as another return

Cell phone went bonkers when I landed — and that’s why I live in fear or losing that thing or having it fall in the wrong hands.

Anyhow, one simple text got this started: “Bruce Tall. You’re welcome.”

Well, we’re not that far down the road, but what I can tell you is WVU is strongly considering bring Bruce Tall back as probably the defensive line coach and perhaps the linebackers coach. You know him as WVU’s former safeties coach, but he’s worked more with the defensive line and linebackers in his career.

I can’t get anyone to tell me more than that, but that’s definite.  WVU, perhaps appropriately, is unreachable. Tall or any new hire — and WVU is talking to at least one other person, I’m told … and I’m working on that identity — would not be the DC. That appears to be Tony Gibson’s gig for the reasons we’ve been over previously.

14 Responses to “Gibson still preferred, as well as another return”

  1. Mack says:

    I’ll be honest … I’ve never heard of Bruce Tall.

  2. smeer says:

    no more “Speculation”

    game over

    looks like a good fit

    hoping Gibson grows up fast – quite a leap from safeties coach to DC – game planning and more specifically – in game adjustments; from offering ideas to the DC to being the DC decision maker. Can he remain calm and decisive on the sidelines? the staff needs somebody like that with patterson’s absence.

    there’s enough brainpower on staff to game plan, but in the heat of the game . . . ?

    and to be baptized by Alabama (at least they’ll be breaking in a new QB)

    question for Mike – who’s been up in the booth for the D last year?

    Patterson was on the sideline – no?

  3. Parks says:

    Mack- research the RR years. You’ll learn a lot about him real quick. I’m still deciding if I like this or not but I’ll say this– this is HCDH’s team and he knows what he needs to do to keep his job (which I hope he does keep). If this is what he feels is the best decision then I’m willing to support it and see where it goes. I just hope this works out.

  4. JC says:

    I see this as a bad move all around. Maybe I’m wrong – I hope I’m wrong – but why would a coach on the hot seat hitch his defensive wagon to a first time coordinator? Does the extra month or so lost by not having this take place after the season make THAT much of a difference? Is terminology THAT big of a deal that the players couldn’t learn it anew before spring ball? Is it even worth sticking with the status quo given that it wasn’t ultra successful last season, albeit slightly (and I mean slightly) improved? Why wouldn’t HCDH look for a proven D Coordinator? Or even an up and coming D Coordinator from a smaller school?

    The guess from here: This has been brewing for a little while and WVU has already reached out to potentially better candidates but the writing on the wall for this staff has scared some away from taking it. Why would anyone sign on if they could be out of work in less than a year?

    Result: Gibby takes the DC. Tall slides into his vacant spot. The defense performs slightly better, though mostly due to better depth and experience, and we see an entirely new staff come January.

    And while I’m at it…..what the he!! has Dawson done to be above scrutiny in all this, aside from being buddies with Dana? Wasn’t he supposed to take over play calling, or at least a bigger role in it? And if he has (which I didn’t see), why are we not looking to replace him? Continuity only works when when what’s being continued is good. We let a hot coaching commodity slide right out of town (Spavital) without even giving him a shot? Seriously?

    OK, I’m done. Let’s go beat the Jayhawks!!

  5. Mack says:

    JC, my understanding was that Dawson did take over play calling last year but that Dana still signaled the plays in. Holgorsen, I believe, said he would always signal the plays in. I’m really not sure if any of this is true, and I’ve had my questions about the same thing… but I think this is supposed to be true.

  6. Shoot4show says:

    I wonder if HCDH’s seat is as toasty as some might hope it to be. Is he under pressure to win? Sure. However, the AD can find plenty of extenuating circumstances — the move to a new conference, a less than full cupboard of recruits, and so on — to justify a reluctance to admit what some deem a hiring mistake. I bet Luck really wants HCDH to work out so he avoids another blemish on his record as well as for the good of the program. He’s got reasons — and depending on your perspective either excuses or justifications — to give Dana a lot of grace. We might be overstating Dana’s job security as a limiting factor in the search for a new DC.

  7. Mack says:

    Looking back, Bill Stewart did a good job of not having turnover among his assistants. How? If memory serves, WVU hired some old “Don Nehlen” guys who weren’t exactly setting the coaching world on fire, and it paid those guys very well. In addition, you had the following:

    Jeff Mullen – He was fired.
    Doc Holliday – He left for a head coaching job that paid a little more.
    Jeff Casteel and the defensive staff – Did not follow RichRod to Michigan but, if memory serves, the impression was that Michigan messed around with them during a negotiation. Even if Stew stayed, I think there’s a good chance Casteel and company would’ve left for Arizona and RichRod, but who knows?

    The point is … It’s virtually impossible to hold onto good coaches. You fire bad coaches. The easiest coaches to hold onto appear to be old coaches who have already “been around” and have settled down into being an assistant for the rest of their careers. Holgorsen has lost good assistants (Spavital, Patterson) and fired bad ones (several). He’s hiring young coaches who are probably ambitious and probably don’t want to be an assistant coach at WVU for their entire careers.

  8. JC,

    What if improvement on defense, regardless of the coordinator, had more to do with having depth and capable players like you said?

    That’s where I stand when it comes to the coaching aspect. I’m not sure how much terminology and continuity comes into play, but with a group that is in need of some semblance of stability after turnover in personnel on and off the field over the past few years, it couldn’t hurt to have a familiar face running the show.

    That said, I liked Patterson but wasn’t in love with his scheme. His blitzes were ill-advised at times…although that can be said for many a coordinator, I’m sure. Again, I think it has less to do with scheme and who’s running it as it has to do with competent players executing it.

  9. I swear I’ve ordered a “Bruce Tall” in a bar.

  10. MontanaEer says:

    What’s in a Bruce Tall? Gin, grapefruit juice, grenadine, and a spruce pine spring. On ice.

  11. smeer says:


    what D coordinator in their right mind would want to coach in the B12? This conference chews up and spits out DCs.

    The best the B12 had in 2013 was TCU coming in at 16, after that it drops off Texas Tech – at 38th best in the nation. Kansas State was 45. OU – 64, UT – 67, OSU 80, Iowa State – 94 WVU – 108, Kansas – 113, Baylor – 119.

    (Did anyone else realize that at 108, we were still better than Kansas and Baylor?!?)

    If you were a young DC in a lesser league and you wanted to climb up the career ladder, would you ever consider adding a B12 coaching stint to your resume?

    Only if you were delusional or so cock sure of yourself or you needed the money real bad . . .

    We (or the B12) ran off two decent DCs

    The Os in this league – IN A DOWN YEAR – make DC’s look silly.

    Stoops was lucky enough to have a brother willing to coach for him.
    Texas fired their young gun and then brought in Greg Robinson as a stop gap.

    This aint the Big lEast.

    now add to this – the how-long-is-DH-gonna-coach-at-WVU? pink elephant

    Luck’s between a rock and a hard place on this – sign DH to a longer contract and make public assurances to potential coaches and players and risk having DH not produce or staying the course and potentially scaring off some potential coaches.

    But we might as well get used to this brave new world – you just better outscore your opponent.

    disclaimer – the rankings were for total yardage – turnovers, red-zone scoring (bend but don’t break) may turn up some differences

  12. Foul Shot says:

    Tired of the DC of the Month.
    Two straight years of disastrous defenses and now they are looking to stick another OJT candidate in there.
    Seems like another 4-8 is headed our way.
    How empty is Milan Puskar looking next year?

  13. lowercase jeff says:

    parks – a looooong while back i got into a debate on “trust” with a fellow poster on here, and your description of trust is the version i subscribe to. i accused someone of trusting DH until he did something they didn’t like, which, to me, is not trust at all. the other poster disagreed.

    anyway, i share your thoughts.