Elmassian Departs

The brief stay of defensive coordinator Phil Elmassian in Morgantown isn't unprecedented, as his job history shows.

Elmassian has made 13 coaching stops in his 27 years in the profession, which started in 1974 at his alma mater, William & Mary. Part of the purpose behind his departure from WVU is apparently to take another position. Reportedly he could wind up at either Wisconsin or Georgia Tech next season.

The Mountaineer defense, which returned nine starters from last year's 7-5 club, finished 104th in the nation in rushing defense (213.2 yards a game), 41st in total defense (349.9 yards a game) and 50th in scoring defense (24.4 points a game). WVU was first in all of Division I-A in pass defense (136.7), but that wasn't enough to overcome the problems in the other areas or keep the Mountaineers from falling to 3-8 on the season.

Georgia Tech, which could be looking at Bud Foster of Virginia Tech as their new head coach, has former Tech athletic director David Braine heading their athletic department. That puts another tie in place for a possible reunion of Foster and Elmassian in Atlanta.

Back in Morgantown, the Mountaineers will now be searching for a new defensive coordinator. Fortunately for WVU, Elmassian's departure won't affect recruiting much, as the ex-coordinator did not go on the road or serve as the primary recruiter for any players.

There has been no official word from WVU on the resignation, or on possible replacements. Names to consider would include Wake Forest defensive coordinator Dean Hood and the just-fired Bob Davie, who was an outstanding defensive coach at Texas A&M.

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