'Kirlav' Returns To the Field

Bill Kirelawich, a veteran member of the Mountaineer football staff, will return to the field as assistant coach for the West Virginia defensive line, Coach Rich Rodriguez announced today. Bruce Tall will move over to coach the Mountaineer spur and bandit safeties.

Kirelawich has been administrative assistant for player development for Rodriguez for the past two years, after 22 seasons as a defensive assistant coach, the longest ever on-the-field tenure in WVU history. In 1996, when Kirelawich helped the Mountaineer defense rank first in the nation in total defense (217.5 ypg). The Mountaineers committed the fewest turnovers of any team nationally (10); WVU's +1.27 turnover margin was second in the country.

After spending one season as a part time coach, Kirelawich became a full time member of the West Virginia staff in 1980. As defensive line coach during his first eight seasons in Morgantown, he developed WVU's front four into a force to be reckoned with. Prior to the 1988 campaign, Kirelawich took over the WVU outside linebackers, a position he coached for three seasons before returning to the line.

"Bill has been an integral part of our staff and Mountaineer football for 20+ years and we're fortunate to have the right opportunity to get him back on the field," Rodriguez says, noting that Kirelawich will return to recruiting eastern Pennsylvania. "The timing and fit are perfect. He will bring so much experience and knowledge to our youthful defensive line. We are all excited about this transition."

Kirelawich began in the high school ranks where he spent nine years as head coach at Cardinal Brennan (Pa.) High School, developing a losing program into one of Pennsylvania's finest. A native of Frackville, Pa., Kirelawich was a standout defensive lineman at Salem College under Donnie Young. He was captain during his senior season, leading the Tigers to an 8 1 record and a Top 20 NAIA national ranking. His 89 yard interception return still stands as a school record.

Kirelawich received his bachelor's degree in education from Salem in 1969. He and his wife, Maggie, have three children Miki, Billy and Jake.

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