West Ponders Future

CLEMSON – Ron West is a man at a crossroads. Does he uproot his wife, leave his daughter and join his best friend in a strange land or does he stay at a place he loves for less money, stay close to his family, while at the same time likely hindering his career?

It took him some 18 years to get back to Clemson, where he played college football, and now he has to decide in the next couple of days whether or not he's going to join his friend and West Virginia head coach Rich Rodriguez.

CUTigers.com first reported on Jan. 4, that West was the leading candidate to become the new offensive line coach with the Mountaineers. Now, the time has come for him to make up his mind.

"I've got so many friends here," West told CUTigers.com in an interview Tuesday afternoon. "I'm only considering this because of (Rodriguez)."

As CUTigers.com first reported Monday, West will fly with his wife, Becky, to meet with Rodriguez in West Virginia Wednesday. The stay will be short as he will be back in his office Thursday.

"Everything is making this decision hard for me," West confessed. "I love Tommy Bowden. "But this is a top 10 job. If I'm going to be a head coach one day, I'm going to have to take the next step, and this is the next step."

West has never been to West Virginia, nor has his wife. The two of them will use this interview to scope the land and see whether or not they like the area and campus.

From a career standpoint, it seems like a no-brainer.

The move would get him back on offense coaching the line, which he loves, and more money.

However, his daughter, Lori, just began classes at Clemson last week. His wife also wants to be near her family, which lives in Atlanta.

West and Rodriguez coached together under Tigers head coach Tommy Bowden at Tulane, and then at Clemson, before Rodriguez left to go to West Virginia. In fact, Rodriguez offered West the same job back in the last weeks of 2000.

He knows if he turns down Rodriguez again, there may not be a third offer.

"It's a chance to be with some very good people," West said. "It's not just some other job. But my family and I love it here at Clemson. This is a very tough decision."

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