Morgantown, W.Va. – The theme of returning home has rang true for all three of West Virginia’s non-conference games thus far in the 2019 season. The season opener against James Madison brought home head coach Curt Cignetti to Morgantown. The first road trip, against the Missouri Tigers, allowed Chase Behrndt the chance to play a game in his home state. Now, the Wolfpack comes to Morgantown bringing along one of West Virginia’s own.
Tony Gibson is coming back to Morgantown, albeit just for one game. Gibson is a the co-defensive coordinator for the ACC’s N.C. State Wolfpack, who come to Morgantown undefeated rounding out West Virginia’s non-conference schedule.
Saturday afternoon Coach Gibson will be coaching across from the Mountaineers after coaching at West Virginia consistently since the 2013 season. At the end of the 2018 season, amidst the coaching changes in Morgantown, Gibson accepted the co-defensive coordinator position and traded in his Old Gold and Blue for red, black and white.
While he will no longer be one of the home team guys, this will not be his first time coaching on the visitor’s side of Milan Puskar. Coach Gibson once spent time coaching at Pitt, and was well aware of life on the visitor’s side of the stadium from that 2011 season.
Coach Gibson’s return to Morgantown will be one welcomed by all, although most will hope he leaves with their first loss of the season. Head Coach Neal Brown and several of his coaches addressed the coach’s homecoming, with Brown speaking highly of Gibson.
“I think Tony’s a really good coach and did a really good job recruiting,” Brown said. “That’s been well documented . . . I know this game will mean a lot to him.”
Coach Gibson was an integral part of the Mountaineer football program for years; coaching, guiding and recruiting many of the players that will be on the field Saturday. Many of the players that are on the field, and many that have graduated and moved on from West Virginia, were advocates for Gibson getting the head coaching job at the end of last season. While it’s obvious how that wound up, the overarching feeling going into this week’s game is that first, it’s a game. Second, Gibson is welcomed back with open arms.
Players, fans, coaches and administration alike all want nothing but the best for Coach Gibson and are happy to welcome him back to Morgantown this weekend, but are likely hoping he leaves Morgantown with his team’s first loss of the season.