Brian Mitchell leaves WVU for Virginia Tech


Brian Mitchell has spent the past three seasons as West Virginia’s cornerbacks coach.

Reports say Mitchell will not be spending the 2016 season with the Mountaineers. Instead, he will be employed by an old rival, the Virginia Tech Hokies.

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The move, in which Mitchell will become the defensive backs coach at VT, comes at a fairly odd time. Mitchell was scheduled to make $275,000 at WVU next season, accoring to WV Metronews. That report also says that Mitchell moved on because of “job security,” as only defensive coordinator Tony Gibson and new offensive coordinator Joe Wickline have contracts guaranteed through 2017.

With new head coach Justin Fuentes in charge, Mitchell could have a renewed contract with the Hokies that will be good for the next six years.

It should be noted that Mitchell’s coaching profile is still listed on the website, as of Thursday night.

Mitchell is a native of Waco, Texas and played his college ball at BYU from 1987-90. He was a seventh round draft pick of the Atlanta Falcons in 1991. Mitchell got his coaching start at his alma mater in 1995, and he stayed at BYU for 10 years.

Mitchell also coached at Texas Tech and East Carolina before coming to West Virginia in 2013.

With the Mountaineers, Mitchell coached a defense that was in the Top 25 for two years, while his unit was rated Top 25 in numerous categories.

Related Story: Matt Caponi to join WVU football staff

This is the second secondary coach the Mountaineers will have to replace. Already, WVU hired Pittsburgh native Matt Caponi to coach safeties, after Joe DeForest’s contract was not renewed.

Plus, the Mountaineers have to replace their personnel on the field.

According to WV Illustrated, of five starting defensive backs from the 2015 opener, only safety Dravon Askew-Henry returns to for 2016. Caponi will be tasked with replacing K.J. Dillon and Karl Joseph, though the Mountaineers played the majority of the season without the latter.

The new cornerbacks coach will be without both Terrell Chestnut and Daryl Worley, plus Rick Rumph, the primary back-up at either position.

Coaching turnover is a common thread in college football. West Virginia has to deal with it, just like any other program.

Together, head coach Dana Holgorsen and athletic director Shane Lyons need to make a hire that keeps the continuity within the program. The new guy needs to step in right away and get along with his players and keep up the progress the WVU defense has made over the past two seasons.