Jeff Casteel was introduced at a press conference in Tucson, Ariz. this afternoon, sharing for the first time the decision making process to leave West Virginia after an 11-year run to join Rich Rodriguez at Arizona.
“It was a tough decision and I really didn’t start to focus on the job here until after the Orange Bowl,” said Casteel. “We got back to Morgantown on (Jan. 5), I sat down with my family over the weekend and that’s when we decided what we’re going to do.”
Casteel said he met with his players on Monday and Tuesday to share his plans and thank them for their effort through the years.
“I told them that they’re gonna be just fine. Change is good,” said Casteel.
There was a palpable comfort level during the press conference as Rodriguez said he had a plan-B in mind if Casteel did not take him up on his offer.
He basically said he tried to stay patient as Casteel prepared for the Orange Bowl with West Virginia, and that was the reason the hire took so long.
“I think it took a while because these guys were still involved in some very important games and we didn’t want to disrupt that,” he said.
“Some of us, even though we worked together, some of us haven’t worked together for four, five years. It was really neat to come back, tell stories, and talk about the program,” he said.
Rodriguez said Bill Kirelawich and David Lockwood were not out in Arizona yet, but would be making the move shortly.
Coaching search update: Venables deal off the table? The Tulsa World’s Dave Sittler, just reported on twitter: “Source: Venables has withdrawn from consideration at West Virginia.”
Sittler broke news yesterday that Oklahoma’s Brent Venables had been offered a job on Dana Holgorsen’s defensive staff.