The Times West Virginian

Bob Herzel

January 12, 2013

QB coach Spavital bolts for Texas A&M

MORGANTOWN — West Virginia University needs a quarterback to replace Geno Smith.

And now the Mountaineers need someone to coach him.

Early Thursday morning, WVU quarterback coach Jake Spavital confirmed to CBSSports.com in Dallas that he had accepted the job of quarterback coach and co-offensive coordinator at Texas A&M.

He is the third coach to depart WVU coach Dana Holgorsen’s staff this year, following cornerbacks coach Daron Roberts and outside linebacker Steve Dunlap, both of whom were asked to leave.

It’s expected that very shortly the school will make it official that former WVU assistant Tony Gibson is returning from Rich Rodriguez’s staff in Arizona to coach the safeties and former East Carolina defensive coordinator and NFL cornerback Brian Mitchell will be named to coach the cornerbacks.

Those moves reportedly are just being held up in human resources and that everything has been agreed upon.

Spavital, 27, is one of the most highly regarded young quarterback coaches in the country, and this is further evidence of it.

He spent the last two years working with Smith, who became the all-time passing leader at West Virginia in every important category and even helped him work through a mid-season slump — during which one of his top receivers, Stedman Bailey, was hobbled with an ankle injury — and come on to have a huge season.

Before coming to WVU he worked under Holgorsen at Oklahoma State as a graduate assistant preparing Brandon Weeden for the NFL.

In two seasons with Spavital, Smith threw 73 touchdowns against 13 interceptions while completing over 68 percent of his passes for over 8,500 yards.

Now he moves on to take over as the quarterback coach of last year’s Heisman Trophy winner, then-freshman Johnny Manziel.

“It was a fun couple years,” Spavital told the Charleston Daily Mail. “I wasn’t looking for a job and I was happy with where I was at, but I believe it’s the right career move to do.”

Spavital replaces Kliff Kingsbury, who was named the head coach at Texas Tech last month. Spavital also worked under Kingsbury when he was on the Houston Cougars staff.

Texas A&M running backs coach Clarence McKinney is expected to be promoted to offensive coordinator. He called plays for the Aggies in their 41-13 victory over Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl, a game in which they set a Cotton Bowl record with 633 yards of total offense, 513 of them accounted for by Manziel.

Holgorsen will begin a search immediately for a replacement for Spavital, although the timing is not opportune with recruiting in its final phases for the year.

Email Bob Hertzel at bhertzel@hotmail.com or follow him on Twitter@bhertzel.

1
Text Only
Bob Herzel
  • HERTZEL COLUMN: Must WVU defense carry offense in ’14?

    The other day the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette ran a story under the following headline:
    “In a year of change, must the Steelers’ offense carry the defense this year?”
    Reading that turned on a light.

    July 31, 2014

  • WVU takes first step today

    Perhaps the most used — and least factual — cliché in sports is as follows:
    “There’s no tomorrow.”
    Around these parts, however, tomorrow is what they are clinging to, while putting a new twist on the cliché, turning it to, “There’s no yesterday.”

    July 31, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: Big 12 provides plenty of optimism

    This past week the Big 12 held its annual media gathering in Dallas and served up a heaping portion of optimism for the 2014 season that is now upon us, West Virginia University opening its preseason practices on Thursday.
    This is a time of year when no one has lost a game, not even Charlie Weis at Kansas, and it’s a time of year when opinions are more plentiful than tattoos in an NFL locker room.

    July 27, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: WVU needs White to follow in former receivers’ footsteps

    A year ago Clint Trickett took a lot of grief as the once potent West Virginia offense came unraveled, but there is more that than meets the eye.
    The criticism was not unfounded, of course, although behind each incomplete pass there was the pain Trickett was suffering through to throw it, his rotator cuff in need of surgery.

    July 26, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: O’Toole joins long list of eccentric WVU kickers, punters

    The star of the Big 12’s annual football media day wasn’t a star at all.
    He intrigued the media far more than Bob Stoops, the coach of preseason favorite Oklahoma, and more than Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty, the preseason player of the year.

    July 25, 2014

  • WVU, N.C. State to meet in football

    Following a trend of creating non-conference games against regional opponents, West Virginia University has reached agreement with North Carolina State to play a home-and-home football series in 2018 and 2019.
    The Mountaineers are scheduled to play N.C. State in Raleigh on Sept. 15, 2018, and then play host to the Wolfpack on Sept. 14, 2019.

    July 24, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: ‘Cheating pays’ remark should draw attention

    When Bob Bowlsby, the outspoken commissioner of the Big 12, presented his opening-day picture of the future of college sports in Dallas for the annual media day gathering, his bleak comments were not unexpected.

    July 24, 2014

  • Holgorsen’s program hits turning point

    You can almost sense, as you watch West Virginia University football coach Dana Holgorsen sit before the gathered Big 12 media contingent answering questions in the Omni Hotel in Arlington, Texas, that he senses his program has reached a turning point.

    July 23, 2014

  • Big 12 Media Days Foo_time(1).jpg Trickett’s play key factor for Mountaineers’ success

     In the end, it comes down to the quarterback.
    Always has with Dana Holgorsen, always will.
    Quarterback is the offense with the West Virginia University coach. When he does well, the team wins – almost always.
    When he does poorly, the team doesn’t stand much of a chance.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Saban, family happy at Alabama

    Alabama football coach Nick Saban, whose team opens the season against West Virginia in Atlanta on Aug. 30, denied receiving or turning down this offseason an offer of $100 million to coach Texas, indicating he planned to finish his career as coach of the Crimson Tide.

    July 18, 2014

House Ads
Featured Ads