Southern Ties

New West Virginia offensive line coach Greg Frey's ties with current Mountaineer assistant Calvin Magee helped pave the way for the USF coach to join the WVU staff.

"Coach Magee and I both started at the USF program together," Frey told in an exclusive interview. I was a graduate assistant on the offensive line, and he was coaching the tight ends, I think.

"I have a history working with Coach Magee, and I got to know Coach Rodriguez through that," Frey continued. "It's one of those things where there's a little bit of years between us, but we have similar values, morals and ethics, and we have stayed close over the years."

Once Rodriguez made the offer, it didn't take Frey, who is single, long to make the decision.

"This morning I got the call saying they were interested, and I took a few hours to think about it," said Frey. "About three o'clock I made the decision to come to West Virginia. I didn't anticipate the offer, but I hadn't thought a lot about it. I've been here since the beginning of the program, and I really appreciate what Coach Leavitt has done for me. I just thought that it might be time for a change of venue."

Frey was highly complimentary of the USF program and thankful for the opportunities he received there. He was instrumental in helping build the program from the ground up, and saw the payoff in the form of several big wins, including the Bulls' road triumph over West Virginia this year.

Frey's move will likely set off some strong emotions, as coaches typically don't move directly from one team to another in the same conference. However, he has been so busy since the announcement that he hasn't had time to consider it.

"I imagine it will be strange, but I haven't put a lot of thought into it yet. I'm sure it will add a spark to the USF-WVU game next year. But in college football and in this business, every game is important. You get 12 opportunities to win, and how you do dictates what you can achieve. And you want to win every time. But other than the personal ties that you have, every Big East game is important."

Frey, who was a Parade All-American selection out of Clearwater, Fla., and a starting tackle on Florida State's 1993 championship team, obviously knows what it takes to be successful on the field as a player. He has been able to make the often-tough transition into coaching, which many star players find difficult. However, he isn't able to single out any key items that he brought with him from the field.

"You'd probably have to ask my players about that," he said with a laugh. "That's a tough question to answer. But I can say that I think it's my core values that have helped me in coaching. I am up front and honest with people. I can give them a hug when they do well, and correct them with they don't. I just try to represent my family well and reflect the way I was raised. I just love the game and love to help teach it."

The teaching part of the game will be of great interest to West Virginia fans, who are anxious to learn what sort of style Frey is comfortable with.

"We run a very similar offense and scheme, and as a matter of fact before we joined the Big East we all came up there and had clinics with them," Frey said of his familiarity with the West Virginia offense and the zone system. "What we do up there will be up to Coach Magee, but I am comfortable with the zone. I will come in and get acclimated, and try to learn the way things get done, and then hopefully I will be able to add a few wrinkles. I am excited about that."

Since Frey is single, he doesn't have to worry about moving a family, so it will be a bit simpler for him to make the move than assistants with wives and children. He hasn't set his plans yet, but joked that, "As soon as they send me a ticket, I will be there."

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