There will be no one assistant coach rising to the position of West Virginia University defensive coordinator in the wake of Vic Koenning’s departure. One familiar name will move to an on-field role.
WVU football coach Neal Brown announced Monday that the defense will be coordinated by committee in 2020. That decision came after the university and Koenning came to a separation agreement following an investigation into claims of multiple insensitive comments made by Koenning during his tenure.
In a June tweet, defensive back Kerry Martin Jr. wrote that Koenning had made remarks insensitive toward people of different religions, races and those with special needs.
Koenning was placed on administrative leave until last Wednesday. Koenning will get $591,451 paid in installments over the next 19 months.
With Koenning gone, defensive line coach Jordan Lesley will oversee the front of the defense while defensive backs coach Jahmile Addae will oversee the back of the defense. Lesley has defensive coordinator experience on the junior college level, while Addae, a former All-Big East defensive back for WVU, has coached secondaries at Arizona, Minnesota and WVU.
Also among the moves, former WVU defensive coordinator Jeff Casteel now will coach outside linebackers. Casteel ran WVU’s defense for nine seasons and also spent time as defensive coordinator at Arizona and Nevada. Dontae Wright will move from outside linebackers coach to safeties coach and Jeff Koonz will continue to coach inside linebackers and coordinate special teams.
“Given the timing and unique circumstances surrounding the pandemic, we are going to divide responsibilities and use a committee approach,” Brown said in a university release. “We are promoting Jeff Casteel to an on-the-field position and know he will be a great contributor.”