Morgantown, West Virginia – Following the dismissal (or “mutual separation”) of former West Virginia defensive coordinator Vic Koenning, Neal Brown will likely shuffle and re-configure his current staff to fill the void.
Jordan Lesley, the current defensive line assistant coach, will almost certainly replace Koenning as the new defensive coordinator for the upcoming season. Whether this is merely a temporary role or a permanent one has not yet been determined, but Lesley will have increased responsibilities this season.
With this said, the Mountaineers would be one assistant coach short following Koenning’s departure. Jeff Casteel, who served as the the linebackers coach and defensive coordinator for West Virginia from 2001-2011, was hired as a defensive analyst during the offseason. However, Casteel is now tabbed to coach the linebackers for the Mountaineers this season to fill the void left by Koenning.
Casteel, who has 33 years of defensive coaching experience (27 as a defensive coordinator) is an outstanding choice as the linebackers coach for West Virginia. According to his profile on the West Virginia University Sports website, “Casteel has helped guide teams to 14 conference championships and 15 bowl appearances and has coached numerous All-Americans and professional players. He was named the rivals defensive coordinator of the year in 2007, Big East Defensive Coordinator of the Year in 2008, a Broyles Award nominee (five times) and the Football Scoop Linebacker Coach of the Year in 2014. During his tenure at WVU, the Mountaineers experienced one of their greatest periods of success, including winning three BCS bowl wins, 2006 Sugar Bowl, 2008 Fiesta Bowl and the 2012 Orange Bowl.”
Although Casteel was long attached at the hip with former West Virginia head coach Rich Rodriguez and has the stink of Rodriguez on him, his wealth of experience will be invaluable for the Mountaineers in the coming seasons.