Matt Caponi to join West Virginia football staff


On his personal Twitter account, Matt Caponi has announced he will join the West Virginia football staff.

The West Virginia-Arizona coaching connection continues as Caponi comes to the Mountaineers from the Wildcats.

Rich Rodriguez, was the former WVU head coach and Caponi coached under Rodriguez at Arizona for the past four seasons.

His connection to the Wildcats was not directly tied to Rodriguez, however, his connection is more Mountaineer-related these days. Current WVU defensive coordinator Tony Gibson coached at Arizona with Rodriguez back in 2008, his first year out west.

Then, Gibson coached at Pitt in 2011. At that time, Caponi was a graduate assistant with the Panthers.

So, likely upon the urging and approval of Gibson, Caponi joins the Mountaineers as the safeties coach, most likely. Joe DeForest, who was an assistant with Dana Holgorsen for four seasons, was not renewed last week.

It’s assumed that Caponi has a well-established relationship with Gibson already. With the success “Gibby” has had with the West Virginia defense since earning a promotion two seasons ago, hopefully Caponi steps right in and gains control of his unit.

"“When you’re around football your whole life, you end up spending more time around your coaches than you do your professors,” Caponi said. “You see them every day. I realized how much of an impact that had on my life.”"

On a personal note, this job is ideal for Caponi. He grew up about an hour away from Morgantown in Pittsburgh (Baldwin High School). He’s a born winner, too, playing his college ball at Division III powerhouse Mount Union.

While he was there from 200-2003, the Purple Raiders went 55-1 and won three national championships.

As a senior at Mount Union, Caponi recorded 68 total tackles, one forced fumble, two fumble recoveries and 11 pass break ups.

At WVU, he inherits a depleted secondary. But, at safety, he’ll get to coach one of the Mountaineers’ brightest players in Dravon Askew-Henry. A fellow native of Western Pennsylvania (Aliquippa), Askew-Henry had 49 total tackles as a sophomore with an interception.

Askew-Henry’s relationship with Gibson was a big reason he came to WVU. Now, he’ll be directly supervised by one of Gibson’s chosen coaches.