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Brian Mitchell’s departure surprised everyone, literally everyone

Things had just started to calm around the WVU football program. National signing day had been successful and seemingly all coaching changes had been made. DeForest and Cogdell had gone and Matt Caponi and Joe Wickline had joined the staff, all was set for 2016. So needless to say, the departure of defensive backs coach Brian Mitchell was not expected, by anyone.

As first reported by Mike Casazza, Mitchell was in Blacksburg on Wednesday and one day later he was leaving Morgantown. As the news broke, both WVU and Virginia Tech fans and media alike went searching for answers. According to media sources covering the Hokies, Mitchell was not even considered to be on a short list for the position vacated by Torrian Gray who announced his departure from Virginia Tech on national signing day.

Sources close to WVU inform BGS that Mitchell’s departure came as much of a surprise to the staff as it did the fanbase. With no clear ties to Virginia Tech or their new coaching staff why make the move? The only logical answer would be job security. Mitchell was entering the final year of his contract. And with the status of an extension for Holgorsen still unknown it may have been a move out of necessity for Mitchell who had been with the Mountaineers since 2013.

So what does Virginia Tech gain and what do the Mountaineers lose? The answer to both questions is, a lot. Mitchell is well known in the Tidewater area of Virginia, a place where new Hokies head coach Justin Fuente wants to continue to recruit heavily. The Mountaineers lose a good coach that was well respected by the players and staff. But more importantly, WVU is now potentially left looking for a new defensive assistant with spring practice only weeks away.

Featured photo courtesy


Jeremy Simon
Founder and publisher of, Jeremy is also a contributor to USA Today as well as covers the Mountaineers for Athlon Sports. Follow on Twitter @JSi07
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