West Virginia hires former Pitt coach Patterson

February 23, 2012 12:00 am

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West Virginia moved a step closer to completing its football staff by hiring former Pitt defensive coordinator Keith Patterson as an assistant coach Wednesday.

Patterson also coached the linebackers and was interim head coach at Pitt last season after Todd Graham resigned in December. Patterson had accepted a job at Arkansas State last month but resigned last week.

He will coach defense at West Virginia, although his specific role was not disclosed Wednesday.

Patterson spent eight years at Tulsa with Graham before joining him at Pitt and was a high school coach in Oklahoma and Texas for 16 years before that.

Head coach Dana Holgorsen will announce the titles and roles of his defensive staff March 5 at the team's spring football luncheon.

"Keith has had a lot of successful years coaching at some great programs, both at the college and high school levels," Holgorsen said in a statement released by the university. "His years of experience in developing players and defenses will be an invaluable resource to our program, while his background in Texas and Oklahoma will only add to our recruiting efforts."

Patterson used a 3-4 defense at Pitt that was ranked No. 3 nationally in sacks in 2011 with 3.31 per game and was tied for No. 12 in tackles for loss with 98.

"Working at a place like West Virginia University with all of its history and tradition is a great opportunity for me," Patterson said in the release. "Coming off a conference championship and the Orange Bowl win, it's an exciting time here, and now we have an even greater opportunity as we head into our first year in the Big 12 Conference."

Pitt's defense also was No. 14 in third-down efficiency (32.98), No. 21 in rushing defense (116.9), No. 35 in total defense (350.62) and No. 38 in scoring defense (22.4).

Five Pitt players were named to the Big East All-Conference first- and second-team defenses.


First Published 2012-02-22 23:05:12

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