Earlier this afternoon, Keff Ciardello of the Austin American-Statesman tweeted that Jake Spavital has been hired as Texas State’s next head coach. This has now been reported by ESPN and other major news sources. While details are still sparse, we expect those details to follow soon.
Impact on the Mountaineers’ Offense
In the meantime, what does this mean for the West Virginia Mountaineers? For some, it will be cause for celebration. As we wrote earlier this week, there has been a loud but vocal contingency of fans calling for Spavital’s termination. They made these calls despite the Mountaineers fielding a top 10 offense this season and a top 25 offense in 2017 (despite missing Will Grier for three games).
By season, the Mountaineers have finished with the following ranks (offensively and defensively, both in terms of points per game) and records since Head Coach Dana Holgorsen‘s arrival, all according to Sports Reference:
|YEAR||OFFENSE RANK||DEFENSE RANK||RECORD|
(*Spavital was the quarterbacks coach and then the offensive coordinator in these years.)
The Mountaineers’ offense has clearly benefitted from Spavital’s expertise, as has every other offense he has touched. That is the main reason we called the sentiment that Spavital should be terminated absurd. Fortunately, there is no shortage of high-powered offensive minds hovering within Holgorsen’s orbit.
Conjecture over Kliff Kingsbury
The most intriguing option, based on who has already been terminated at the end of this regular season, to replace Spavital remains Kliff Kingsbury. Kingsbury, however, is a hot commodity. Rumors have circulated that Kingsbury has received NFL interest as well.
Kingsbury’s long-time friendship with Holgorsen could help the Mountaineers here, however. Kingsbury credits Holgorsen for getting him into coaching in the first place. Kingsbury is definitely an offensive wizard. In the six years he has coached at Texas Tech, the Red Raiders have finished in the top five offensively twice and have finished in the top 25 three more times. Still, Mountaineer fans should guard any expectations they have here, as a Holgorsen-Kingsbury reunion seems highly unlikely at this juncture.
As this story is developing, we will have updates as they become available.