Jeff Casteel, the architect of the West Virginia Mountaineers' defense, is working on completing a deal with the Arizona Wildcats to join head coach Rich Rodriguez's staff, according to a tweet by Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reporter Colin Dunlap.
Jeff Casteel "finalizing deal" w/ Arizona today. Jeff is one of nation's best football coaches -- and men. Class guy, all the way around.
The news isn't surprising at all, just a long-awaited conclusion to the team's defensive coordinator hunt. The hire of a D-coordinator has been quiet, and the obvious reasoning to that was because Casteel was still trucking with the Mountaineers, who went all crazy on Clemson in the Orange Bowl on Wednesday night, winning 70-33.
Of course, with a pace fast enough to score 70 points, giving up 33 isn't all that bad. Kyle Kensing said that the Orange Bowl would be a good look into the future of the Wildcats' defense, which may use Casteel's non-traditional 3-3-5 scheme.
Whatever the defense turns out to be -- Rodriguez said when he was introducted that he wasn't set on doing any one defense -- the Wildcats will see a lot of fast-paced games in the future. Oregon will be Oregon under Chip Kelly, and the addition of Mike Leach at Wazzou will make the Pac-12 one of the most spread-heavy leagues in the nation. Todd Graham was a RichRod underling, and he'll likely have a spread offense up at Arizona State. And did you see the Baylor/Washington score?
- With Arizona staff in place, we now look forward to the recruiting front, which apparently is a mixed bag for Rodriguez so far.
- Ryan Finley of the Arizona Daily Star broke down where Casteel will fit within the monetary budget.
- Here's what Casteel had to say about his future with WVU following the victory: "You know what I think the kids have worked hard, they just won 10 games," said Casteel. "To put the emphasis on speculation...I'd rather just focus on what I think the kids deserve and that's what the focus should be on."