WVU Sports with Tom Bragg


It’s late and I am sleep deprived and only recently back in Charleston from a hellish route home after Wednesday’s basketball game at Kansas State, but I wanted to make note of this before getting some sleep and heading to Morgantown in the morning for more basketball.

Neal Brown is starting to fill his first staff at WVU with the recent announcements of new defensive coordinator Vic Koenning and offensive line coach Matt Moore, and some of the names that aren’t sticking around are showing up with former coach Dana Holgorsen in Houston.

UH made it official Friday evening, announcing the hiring four former Mountaineer staff members — Doug Belk, Marquel Blackwell, Ryan Dorchester and Daikiel Shorts. The Cougars also announced the hiring of former West Virginia offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson, who joins UH after a run as the offensive coordinator at Southern Miss.

Belk, who coached cornerbacks and was a heck of a recruiter for WVU, will be the co-defensive coordinator and cornerbacks coach for the Cougars. Blackwell spent one season at West Virginia coaching running backs and will be the new Houston co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.

Dorchester was Holgorsen’s director of player personnel at WVU and gets the fancy title of Assistant Athletic Director for Football Operations at UH. Shorts was a receiver at WVU and spent 2017 on the Buffalo Bills practice squad before working as a program assistant with the Mountaineers in 2018. He’ll be Holgorsen’s director of player personnel at Houston.

Dawson will have the vague title of offensive assistant coach. He had a pretty good run during his time as WVU’s offensive coordinator. From the Houston announcement:

“[Dawson] also helped build some of the nation’s most prolific offenses at West Virginia, where he spent four seasons, including his last three as offensive coordinator. In his last season in Morgantown, WVU ranked 12th in the nation in total offense, averaging 499.8 yards per game, and was ninth nationally in passing offense at 317 yards per contest. The Mountaineers averaged 33.5 points per game and set a school record by scoring at least 30 points in eight consecutive games. WVU also averaged more than 182 rushing yards per game.”

Dawson left WVU to take over the offense at Kentucky under current Wildcats coach Mark Stoops, but did not last long in Lexington. He moved on to Southern Miss after his stint at UK.