Dana Holgorsen and Joe DeForest have been good friends for a while. They had a chance to work together on several occasions, even with the WVU football team.
From 2012-15, DeForest coached the WVU football team in a variety of ways. He was reunited with Holgorsen, as the two previously coached together at Oklahoma State.
Hiring DeForest seemed to be a win for the Mountaineers and Holgorsen but DeForest’s units never panned out to their full potential. The contract for DeForest’s services at West Virginia were up in 2016, so he services were not retained for the following season.
The parting of ways couldn’t have come sooner for some WVU football fans. DeForest was the scapegoat for a lot of the team’s struggles on special teams and defense, according to WVMetronews.
Now, DeForest is in his first year with the Kansas Jayhawks. He is an assistant coach whose listed responsibilities include serving as the special teams coordinator. On the official Kansas Jayhawks athletic website, DeForest is referred to as having nationally known special teams expertise.
That should give many WVU football fans a big laugh. He is still continuously mocked on social media for his shortcomings when with the Mountaineers. The Mountaineers still make mistakes and DeForest is still blamed for certain things.
Much of the criticism was unwarranted. There’s only so much a coach can do when the players are underperforming. Muffed punt returns and breakdowns in some coverages are solely on the players.
But there is still a correlation when the two weakest parts of the WVU football team in those four years were the areas that DeForest almost was exclusively responsible for. Kansas is still at one of its lowest points in recent memory, so it’s hard to gauge if DeForest has brought them back up to any semblance of respectability.
DeForest could be using this position as an audition for a head coaching job. If he’s able to turn the Kansas special teams into one of the most cohesive units in the Big 12, it’s a huge accomplishment, considering where Kansas falls in the conference hierarchy.
Still, it’ll be an interesting match up for Hologorsen to reunite with one of his old buddies. DeForest probably has some key ties with current WVU football players.
Some fans are already predicted botched punt returns for the Jayhawks, so if the Mountaineers take advantage of that, it will be easy sailing to another victory in Kansas.