The coaching carousel is starting to ramp up with top coordinators leaving for new jobs throughout the country looking for an opportunity to lead. Today, one of those top coordinators is West Virginia offensive coordinator, Jake Spavital.
Spavital had reportedly interviewed for the Texas State head coaching position along with Phil Longo (Ole Miss OC) and Kendal Briles (Houston OC). Shortly after seeing the reports of him interviewing, the news broke that Spavital had agreed to terms with Texas State to become the new head coach of the Bobcats.
After the 2012 season Spavital left Morgantown to become the co-offensive coordinator at Texas A&M. He returned to the Mountaineers last season as the play caller and helped guide the Mountaineers as one of the nations best offenses in the nation. This season, West Virginia finished the regular season nationally ranked 8th in total offense, 3rd in passing offense and 9th in point per game.
So, the question arises- Does Holgorsen take back control of the play calling, or does he find a replacement for Spavital?
I firmly believe Holgorsen wants to find another coordinator as long as it is the perfect guy for the job. The role that he now plays as the “CEO” of the team has helped him oversee all sides of the ball and not worry about just one side. It alleviates a lot of pressure off his shoulders.
Who are the best candidates out there? Well, let’s take a quick look.
Kliff Kingsbury- Former Texas Tech HC
This has been the immediate person that comes to mind at least to the fan base. Although anything is possible, it is very unlikely Kliff will be roaming the sidelines in Morgantown next year. His contract at Texas Tech was worth just a tick under what Dana Holgorsen makes at West Virginia. He will have other programs calling him to be a head coach that will pay more than he will make if he were to become the OC in Morgantown. Also, it has been reported that some NFL organizations have reached out to him as well, so the competition will be stiff. The connection is clearly there between Holgorsen/Kingsbury, but unless he is willing to take a huge discount, I don’t see it coming to fruition.
Lonnie Galloway- Lousiville Co-Offensive Coordinator
Galloway has already spent two stints at West Virginia (2008-10, 2013-15) and helped coach and develop some of the best wide receivers the school has seen its history. Tavon Austin, Stedman Bailey and Kevin White were all coached by Galloway so that should tell you the success he has with developing talent. Galloway left to take the co-offenisve coordinator position at Louisville in 2016 which produced Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson. Galloway is an elite recruiter and would be the perfect fit for the job. He understands the culture at WVU and has already previously worked with Holgorsen.
JaJuan Seider- Penn State Running Backs Coach
Seider is another former staffer at WVU, who has also spent two stints in Morgantown (2008-10, 2013-16). Seider left to coach tight ends and running backs at Florida for a year before leaving to take the same position at Penn State. Seider is widely regarded at West Virginia’s best recruiter over the last decade or so. This makes a lot of sense, Seider and his family love the state of West Virginia, but will it be enough to make a return back to the Mountain State?
Matt Mumme- Nevada OC
Interesting name here and many may not know who he is, but Matt’s father Hal, established the “Air Raid” attack at Kentucky which Holgorsen stems from. These two come from the same coaching tree, but it is unknown if they have any real connection. Nevada finished 36th in total offense under Mumme while averaging 32.3 points per game.
Calvin Magee- New Mexico OC
This may be a familiar name to some as Magee served as the Mountaineers offensive coordinator from 2005-07 and prior to that, was the running backs coach from 2001-06. Since leaving West Virginia, Magee has made stops at Michigan, Pitt and Arizona. The New Mexico offense struggled this year ranking 84th in total offense, but maybe coming back to Morgantown would get him back on track. Everywhere he has gone, he has brought success on the offensive side. His name surfaced a couple of years ago before Holgorsen decided to hire Spavital.
Graham Harrell- N. Texas OC
Harrell has become one of the most popular names in the coaching carousel for group of five schools looking for a young head coach and power five schools who are searching for that young brilliant offensive mind. Harrell played quarterback under Holgorsen while at Texas Tech from 2005-07. He accounted for over 15,000 passing yards and 134 touchdowns in his career. I see him taking a head coaching position somewhere, but I won’t count out the possibility.