West Virginia’s loss will be Virginia Tech’s gain. Cornerbacks coach Brian Mitchell is reportedly leaving the Mountaineers for the Hokies, according to Mike Casazza of The Charleston Gazette-Mail.
Mitchell will join Virginia Tech head coach Justin Fuente and work under defensive coordinator Bud Foster, who is one key holdover from Tech’s former staff under Frank Beamer. This will be the first time Mitchell has worked with either Fuente or Foster. He will replace former cornerbacks coach Torrian Gray, who has moved to take on the same role at Florida after it appeared Fuente had his first Virginia Tech staff all glued together. Now it will be West Virginia head coach Dana Holgorsen looking to fill a vacancy on his staff with little time to spare before opening spring football practices in Morgantown. This is especially crucial because the Mountaineers are losing some fixtures in their defensive secondary, including safeties Karl Joseph and K.J. Dillon.
West Virginia ranked 83rd in the nation against the pass last season with 23 touchdowns allowed and an average of 237.8 yards allowed through the air, but the Mountaineers were among the leaders in total interceptions to help make up for it. West Virginia picked off 23 passes from opposing quarterbacks last season, which was good for a second-place tie with San Diego State and just three off of Arkansas State’s nation-leading 26 interceptions. It should also be kept in mind how often opposing offenses West Virginia faced tend to take to the air. Opposing quarterbacks had a 117.20 passer rating, ranking West Virginia 32nd in the nation. Virginia Tech ranked 37th. The Hokies also picked off just 10 passes last season.