MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (January 7, 2015) – West Virginia University football coach Dana Holgorsen has announced the hiring of Bruce Tall as defensive line coach. Holgorsen will announce his staff re-organization at a later time.
“We are excited to welcome Bruce back to West Virginia University,” said Holgorsen. “He brings more than 30 years of defensive experience to the staff, including many years of overseeing the defensive line, which will greatly benefit our program. Having spent several years at WVU already, he understands what it takes to be successful here, on and off the field, and I am looking forward to him and his wife, Karmen, and their children re-joining the Mountaineer family.”
Tall comes to WVU after serving on the coaching staff at Charlotte for the past four years as defensive coordinator, including developing the defensive line. He helped to establish the 49ers program in 2011 and helped build the foundation for the first two years of actual play in 2013 and 2014.
“When you leave a place like West Virginia, you understand, and even more importantly, appreciate how great of a place it is, how great the people are and how outstanding its fan base is,” Tall said. “It is one of the most exciting atmospheres in college football, and I am excited for the opportunity to return to WVU. I have watched and followed Coach Holgorsen and the program from where I have been and now I look forward to being on Coach Gibson’s defensive staff and contributing to the Mountaineers’ future success.”
This past season, his defense forced 22 turnovers and broke single-season records for sacks (19) and tackles for loss (77). Three newcomers led the 49ers in tackles and his linebacker broke the career record for tackles and his nose tackle broke the season record for sacks (5) and tackles for loss (11.5).
During the inaugural season in 2013, he oversaw a defense that ranked ninth in the FCS in takeaways (31), fifth in fumbles recovered (16), 25th in interceptions (15) and 29th in tackles for loss (6.9/gm).
Prior to his arrival at Charlotte in 2011, Tall served as the defensive line coach at Michigan for three years from 2008-10.
Tall spent five bowl seasons as the safeties coach at West Virginia from 2003-07. While at West Virginia, he helped the Mountaineers to four Big East titles, as well as the Fiesta Bowl in 2007, the Gator Bowl in 2003, 2004 and 2006 and the Sugar Bowl in 2005.
Tall came to WVU from Western Michigan, where he served as defensive line coach in 2002, as the Broncos led the MAC in total defense (330.7 yards per game). From 1998-2001, Tall was defensive coordinator and linebacker coach at Harvard; two of those years, the Crimson had the Ivy League’s top rushing defense.
Tall worked five seasons (1993-97) as the defensive coordinator and linebacker coach at Northeastern. His 1997 team ranked second in Division I-AA rushing defense at 60.5 yards per game. He started his coaching career as a graduate assistant at his alma mater, Ohio Wesleyan, and then became the full-time linebacker coach for the 1983 and 1984 seasons. He was the linebacker, special teams and tight end coach at Cornell from 1985-86, before returning to Ohio Wesleyan (1987-92) in a variety of roles: defensive line coach, linebacker coach, special teams coordinator and later defensive coordinator.
A 1982 graduate of Ohio Wesleyan with a bachelor’s degree in health and physical education, he earned three letters in football and one in wrestling. He received the 2001 Assistant Coach of the Year Award from the Gridiron Club of Greater Boston and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the All-American Football Foundation.
Tall has completed NFL internships with the Green Bay Packers, Detroit Lions, Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
A native of Shaker Heights, Ohio, where he was named to the high school’s all-time football team, Tall and his wife, Karmen have three children: Braythan, Karsyn and Kallyn.
Release via – WVU Sports Information