The WVU football team will have a familiar face roaming the sidelines this season. Ryan Nehlen is returning to the Mountaineers.
The former WVU football player has a new job as offensive analyst, according to the Dominion Post. Nehlen will assume the role vacated by Dan Gerberry, who was promoted in the offseason.
Nehlen is the grandson of longtime WVU football coach Don Nehlen. Ryan’s father has more than 30 years experience as the Mountaineers’ equipment manager.
Nehlen was most recently a graduate assistant at Michigan, where Don was an assistant before his head coaching roles at WVU and Bowling Green. He is a Morgantown native and knows the land well. Plus, as a former player, he knows the ins and outs of the operation.
Nehlen played under former coach, the late Bill Stewart but also briefly under Holgorsen. Some players, most notably Pat White, have been outspoken on how Holgorsen is perceived to treat former WVU football players. In the case of Nehlen, there is clearly no angst or other ill tidings.
Nehlen’s role as an offensive analyst is a complicated task. He’ll have to use his book smarts combined with his experience actually playing the game. He is almost like the braintrust behind the offense to figure out what the best players are in the best situations.
The goal of the offense is pretty simple, but there are so many factors that weight into the decision making of a play call. With West Virginia’s dynamic offense, there is always a lot to think about. The West Virginia offense is a mix of the air-raid style from Holgorsen’s days as an assistant and the current age of being more balanced.
Nehlen should fit this role perfectly. It is a nice jumpstart to his coaching career, but he is a smart enough person to succeed at any career path. According to the Times West Virginian, he was considering medical school. For now, he will be focused on working on the football field.