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Assessing Holgorsen's hires

Written by Jenn Menendez on .

Dana Holgorsen moved quickly to fill the vacancies on his coaching staff this offseason, which did not appear to be the case last year.

He hired former WVU coaches Tony Gibson and Lonnie Galloway and former ECU defensive coordinator Brian Mitchell, which the Post-Gazette reported over the last several days.

After DC Jeff Casteel and his staff left for Arizona after the Orange Bowl, you might recall it was well into February when the defensive staff had not yet been finalized.

These moves were all made quickly, and considering what a key period this is for recruiting with national signing day just weeks away – that is important.

While none have been formally announced, they are already going through the formal vetting process and are expected to happen relatively soon.

Gibson and Mitchell replace Daron Roberts and Steve Dunlap – both whom Holgorsen fired following the season – and Galloway replaces Jake Spavital, who joined the staff at Texas A&M late last week. Galloway is expected to coach the receivers, and OC Shannon Dawson will pick up quarterback coach duties to add to his role as OC.

Both Gibson and Galloway are reputed to be very strong recruiters, Galloway having nabbed Tavon Austin and Bruce Irvin while he was on the staff of the late Bill Stewart.

Gibson, according to area high school coaches around Pittsburgh, knows the Western Pennsylvania area well and has the right connections and demeanor.

Less is known about Brian Mitchell whose defenses at East Carolina certainly weren't great.  But his defenses at Texas Tech before that were strong and he played three seasons in the NFL as a cornerback with Atlanta and Dallas.

How will these hires fare? Time will tell of course, but it seems clear recruiting should be a strength of this group, and certainly that is a key area.

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