By Cam Huffman
West Virginia once again has a full football coaching staff as it heads into the final weeks of recruiting for the class of 2013.
Head coach Dana Holgorsen completed his staff Thursday by officially announcing the hiring of Lonnie Galloway, who will rejoin the WVU staff as assistant head coach and wide receivers coach.
“We are excited to welcome Lonnie back to West Virginia,” said Holgorsen in a release. “During his three years here, our players had great respect for him, and he brings a lot of energy and enthusiasm with him to work every day. I look forward to the positive infusion his coaching and recruiting will bring to our program.”
Galloway coached wide receivers at WVU for all three seasons of Bill Stewart’s tenure as head coach and was one of the top recruiters on the staff, bringing in players like Tavon Austin and Bruce Irvin to join the program. In 2010, he was named the Big East Recruiter of the Year by ESPN.com.
Galloway was the only offensive coach retained when Holgorsen was brought to Morgantown, first as offensive coordinator and then as head coach, but after 2011 spring practice, Galloway decided to leave to take a job as the wide receivers coach and co-passing game coordinator at Wake Forest.
He spent two years in that position, tutoring players like Chris Givens and Michael Campanaro, but he couldn’t pass up the opportunity to come back to WVU.
“I enjoyed my previous three years living in Morgantown and working for West Virginia University,” said Galloway, a native of Eden, N.C. “I am pleased and excited to have the opportunity to return. This is a strong and successful program with a lot of history and tradition, and hopefully I can make a positive impact. I look forward to coaching in the Big 12 and in Coach Holgorsen’s offensive system.”
WVU’s rebuilt offensive staff will include Shannon Dawson (offensive coordinator, quarterbacks), Galloway (assistant head coach, wide receivers), Bill Benenbaugh (offensive line) and Robert Gillespie (running backs).
The WVU defensive staff will also have a new look and is made up of Keith Patterson (defensive coordinator, linebackers), Tony Gibson (safeties), Brian Mitchell (cornerbacks) and Eric Slaughter (defensive line). Associate head coach Joe DeForest, the defensive coordinator a year ago, will focus his efforts on special teams.
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Galloway will have at least one incoming blue-chip prospect with which to work after four-star wide receiver Shelton Gibson verbally committed to the Mountaineers on Wednesday.
Gibson, a 6-foot-1, 190-pound high school senior at Ohio’s Cleveland Heights High School, played in the U.S. Army All-American game. He chose WVU over Ohio State and Kentucky.