Breaking down West Virginia's offensive line job candidates
[dropcap]W[/dropcap]ith Bill Bedenbaugh’s move to Oklahoma, West Virginia head coach Dana Holgorsen is on the hunt for an offensive line coach.
The search was slowed a bit this weekend as Holgorsen traveled to Las Vegas to speak at a Nike Coach of the Year clinic, but is reportedly heating up this week.
Holgorsen’s first call was to Vanderbilt offensive line coach Herb Hand, who was West Virginia’s tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator from 2001-06. Hand informed Holgorsen that he was not interested in leaving James Franklin’s staff.
With Hand’s name off the list, below is a list of potential candidates to keep an eye on:
Current position: Louisiana Tech offensive line coach
2012 salary: $115,000
Who is he? Moore played at Valdosta State from 1991-94, starting 34 games at left guard and earning all-conference honors as a senior. He was a high school coach in Georgia and Alabama from 1996-2005, before being named offensive line coach at Troy in 2006. Moore was hired by Mike Leach as offensive line coach at Texas Tech in 2007 and remained there after Leach was fired in 2009, coaching two seasons under Tommy Tuberville. While with the Red Raiders, he recruited the Houston area. Moore spent the 2012 season at Middle Tennessee state, and the Blue Raiders finished the season second in the nation in fewest sacks allowed.
Why it could happen: Holgorsen and Moore know each other well. Holgorsen was a graduate assistant during Moore’s playing days at Valdosta State, and the two later coached together on Leach’s staff at Tech in 2007. Moore is well versed in coaching line play in the Air Raid attack, and he knows the Big 12.
Why it might not happen: Moore just joined Skip Holtz‘ staff at Louisiana Tech last month and may not be ready to tackle his fourth job since December 2011.
Current position: Concord University head coach
2012 salary: Not known
Who is he? Justice was a three-year starter at offensive tackle for West Virginia captain of the 2005 team. He was a graduate assistant at West Virginia in 2006, and then held the same position under former Mountaineer offensive line coach Rick Trickett at Florida State in 2007-08. Justice came to Division II Concord as offensive line and strength and conditioning coach in 2009, and took over as head coach in 2011. In two seasons, he’s compiled a 14-8 record and in 2012, led the Mountain Lions to their first WVIAC title since 1990.
Why it could happen: Justice is a West Virginia native and former player, and was given a positive recommendation from Hand, his college position coach.
Why it might not happen: Justice is a bit of a dark horse candidate, if only because of his age and lack of full time experience at the D-I level.
Current position: East Carolina offensive line coach
2012 salary: $95,410
Who is he? Jones, a former All-Big 12 performer at Texas Tech, has spent the last three seasons as offensive line coach under Ruffin McNeill at East Carolina. Before that, he was running backs and tight ends coach at Sam Houston State in 2009. He was an offensive graduate assistant at Texas Tech in 2007-08.
Why it could happen: Jones and Holgorsen know each other well, with Holgorsen coaching at Texas Tech during Jones’ playing days and the two working together when Jones was a GA in 2007. Also, Jones is seen as an up-and-coming assistant with knowledge of the Big 12 and experience recruiting the state of Maryland.
Why it might not happen: Holgorsen could go with someone he’s worked beside more closely or with someone that has more experience.
Current position: Duke offensive line coach
2012 salary: Not known
Who is he? Latina is a veteran assistant who spent last season with David Cutcliffe at Duke. He also coached under Cutcliffe at Ole Miss from 1999-2004 and beside him at Notre Dame in 2005. Latina was offensive coordinator at Akron in 2010-11, and before that was offensive line coach with the Fighting Irish for four seasons (2005-08).
Why it could happen: Latina is veteran offensive line coach that is very well respected in the business.
Why it might not happen: Latina’s name has come up for several jobs of late, but none of them have stuck. He’s very close to Cutcliffe, and might be hesitant to leave his longtime friend after only one season. Also, he has no formal tie to Holgorsen and might be a bit of a questionable fit for his offense.
Current position: Washington State offensive line coach
2012 salary: $201,500
Who is he? McGuire played running back at Texas Tech under Leach before becoming a video intern for the Red Raiders in 2006, and later a GA in 2007. He was hired full time in 2008 as special teams coordinator, and took over as running backs coach in 2009. He coached running backs on McNeill’s staff at East Carolina in 2010-11 before joining Leach at Washington State as offensive line coach last season.
Why it could happen: Like Jones, McGuire is seen as a fast-riser in coaching circles, and is considered an excellent recruiter. Holgorsen was Tech’s offensive coordinator during McGuire’s playing days, and the two worked together with McGuire serving as offensive GA in 2007.
Why it might not happen: Though he’s coached on the Division I level for four years, McGuire has only one season as an offensive line coach. Also, his recruiting experience has been primarily in areas not traditionally considered hotbeds for West Virginia – California, Texas, and North and South Carolina.
Current position: Purdue offensive line coach
2012 salary: $156,604
Who is he? Clark has been the offensive line coach at Purdue for the past four seasons under ex-Boilermakers head coach Danny Hope, and was retained by new coach Darrell Hazell. Before that, he spent six seasons as offensive line coach at Eastern Kentucky (2003-08), also under Hope.
Why it could happen: A native of Charleston, W.V, Clark is an experienced o-line coach with experience recruiting the state of Florida. He’s considered a very good teacher, and spent 10 years under Hope, who was one of the best line coaches in the business.
Why it might not happen: Clark has no formal connection to Holgorsen.
(Editor’s Note: Bill Bedenbaugh made $251,000 in 2012.)