By Cam Huffman
West Virginia’s football team once again has a full coaching staff.
Head coach Dana Holgorsen officially announced the news that had been reported for almost a week Monday, making the hiring of Ron Crook as the offensive line coach official.
Crook comes to WVU from Stanford, where he spent the last two seasons working as the tight ends and offensive tackles coach, helping lead the Cardinal to a 23-4 record over that period and two straight BCS Bowl appearances.
“Ron brings many years of outstanding offensive line coaching experience to West Virginia,” said Holgorsen in a release sent out by the university Monday. “He has helped develop winners at his stops and comes highly recommended. He brings a professional and positive attitude and expects toughness from the players. He has a proven track record as a teacher, coach and recruiter. He is a West Virginia native, who wants to be here, and I look forward to his contribution to our coaching staff.”
As Holgorsen mentioned, Crook has plenty of Mountain State roots. He grew up in Parkersburg and graduated from Parkersburg South High School. He earned his degree in physical education from West Liberty State in 1991. He was the offensive line coach there for three seasons (1990-92) before spending a year as a graduate assistant for Cincinnati in 1993. He spent the 1994-96 seasons at Clarion College before returning back to West Virginia, coaching at Glenville State from 1997-98 and at West Virginia Tech in 1999.
He was back at West Liberty in 2000, serving as the offensive coordinator, and he made the jump to Division I football in 2002, joining the staff at Illinois. Crook then spent eight seasons at Harvard coaching the offensive line before joining the staff at Stanford.
Crook admitted he’s excited to return home.
“One of the main reasons I wanted to come here was because I know how important football is to the state of West Virginia, especially the Mountaineer football program,” he said. “I’m very excited about this opportunity to work at a program with the history and tradition that it has. I understand the responsibility that it involves, and I don’t take that lightly.
“I’m excited to be part of Coach Holgorsen’s offensive system. When you’re an offensive coach, you like scoring points. It was good to meet with him and see his vision for the program. I look forward to working and learning from him and the other members of the staff. I’m excited to get started.”
Crook — who has three children with his wife, Stacy — will be one of four new coaches for the Mountaineers when spring practice begins on March 10. He’ll join Lonnie Galloway (wide receivers), Tony Gibson (safeties) and Brian Mitchell (cornerbacks).
The annual Gold-Blue Spring Game is scheduled for April 20.
— E-mail: chuffman@