The Times West Virginian

February 29, 2012

WVU completes football staff


Times West Virginian

MORGANTOWN — West Virginia football coach Dana Holgorsen completed his staff on Tuesday by adding Erik Slaughter after Slaughter passed the school’s background check when questions were raised about an incident in his background.

The incident has never come to light, but Slaughter said in a statement released by the school:

“Some 20 years ago, as a young man, I made a serious error in judgment. It was very early in my career and that incident impacted my life and affected the lives of others. Since then, many years have passed, and I have matured personally and professionally. I've worked hard to make good decisions and to concentrate on being a good coach and a responsible husband and father.”

Athletic director Oliver Luck admitted to knowledge of the situation and said this in announcing the hire:

“As to the hiring process and personnel decisions, the University conducts thorough background checks and expects all personnel to follow the laws and policies of our state and our University. We expect no less of our coaches.”

There was another incident that raised some eyebrows in 2008 at the end of his tenure at Glen Rose. Slaughter agreed to coach at another Texas high school, Stephenville, but mysterious withdrew before taking over the team.

According to the website Somervell County Salon, it was a high paying job that his replacement was paid $83,000 a year to take. What made his withdrawal so shocking was a statement he had made about the job.

“It's a great job and a great opportunity," Slaughter was quoted as saying in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "Stephenville is an important place to me. Being part of that program was special and I went to school at Tarleton State. I have a lot of fond memories of Stephenville and look forward to get back there."

Then he suddenly withdrew.

The reason behind the withdraw was that the incident Slaughter spoke of came to attention of the school board and rather than fight it he withdrew and moved on to a college job.

That he passed the univeristy’s background check indicates they found nothing criminal in his background or no record of any immoral behavior in the interim to warrant not hiring him.

Slaughter has coached for more than 20 years, most of it below the Division I level.

He comes to West Virginia after serving as the defensive line coach at Stephen F. Austin for the past three years. During his time with the Lumberjacks, Slaughter helped lead SFA to a 25-11 record.

WVU wide receiver coach Shannon Dawson also came to WVU from that staff.

Prior to his stint at Stephen F. Austin, Slaughter was the defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at Texas A&M Commerce for one year.

Slaughter spent three years as the linebackers and strength and conditioning coach at the University of Houston from 2003-06.



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Former West Virginia University head coach Jim Carlen, who was known as much for his fine character as for his ability to coach a football team, has been nominated for the second straight year to be on the ballot for election to the National Football Foundation College Football Hall of Fame.

Carlen’s first head coaching job was at West Virginia from 1966 to 1969 before moving to Texas Tech in 1970 and then South Carolina in 1975.

He led teams to eight bowl games in 16 years in an era when playing in a bowl game had meaning and compiled 13 winning seasons. In 1973 he was named National Coach of the Year and he was a three-time Southwest Conference Coach of the Year.

At South Carolina, he coached running back George Rogers to the Heisman Trophy.

While at WVU Carlen compiled a 25-13-3 record, including an 13-10 victory over South Carolina in the Peach Bowl to cap a 9-1 season.