02 January 2012
Defensive Coordinator Jeff Casteel has informed Oliver Luck and Dana Holgorsen that he will resign from his duties as Defensive Coordinator after the Orange Bowl and accept the same position at Arizona.
Casteel received the offer from Arizona shortly after Rich Rodriguez was hired to replace Mike Stoops. WVU matched the offer by the Wildcats and it appeared that Casteel would remain with the Mountaineers, however Casteel quickly emerged as a candidate for several head coaching positions and the feedback he received during the interview process prompted him to reconsider Arizona’s offer.
Casteel believes he is typecast as a coach with deep roots to West Virginia and the WVU program and would be difficult to pry away from Morgantown. Casteel feels this perception has kept him from being considered for jobs he would otherwise be a candidate. His rationale for making a lateral move to Arizona is to break the stereotype and show his willingness to move on from West Virginia.
West Virginia continues to lobby Casteel to remain but is compiling a short-list of possible replacements that include Mark Snyder, Steve Dunlap and Dave Lockwood as well as other candidates outside the WVU coaching tree with ties to Dana Holgorsen.
Personally, I hate to see Jeff Casteel go but I understand his reasons for leaving. He wants badly to be a head coach and if his loyalty to WVU is hurting his chances of seeing his dream fulfilled, all I can do is wish him luck and thank him for 10 years of loyal service to WVU.
Casteel has assured WVU that he will not recruit any high school athlete he helped recruit for WVU.
Tommy Bowden has expressed interest in the job if Casteel leaves but it seems highly unlikely WVU would hire Bowden at this time. (Especially since, as it has been pointed out. He is an offensive guy).
Follow the Dude on Twitter at @thedudeofwv