WVU defensive coordinator Patterson leaving to join Arizona State
Keith Patterson, the former Pitt defensive coordinator attempting to fix West Virginia's struggling defense, has left the Mountaineers.
“I want to thank Keith for his two years that he spent coaching in our program,” WVU coach Dana Holgorsen said in a statement. “He was a valuable member of our staff, and we wish him nothing but the best.”
Patterson is expected become Arizona State's defensive coordinator under Todd Graham, according to WV MetroNews. Patterson was Graham's defensive coordinator at Pitt in 2011, and he served as interim coach in the BBVA Compass Bowl when Graham took the Arizona State job.
Patterson and Graham worked together at Tulsa before coming to Pitt, and they also were college roommates.
Pitt ranked No. 35 in total defense in 2011.
Paul Randolph is currently listed as Arizona State's defensive coordinator. He also worked with Graham and Patterson at Pitt and Tulsa.
Patterson was the third defensive coordinator under Holgorsen since 2011. He was co-defensive coordinator with Joe DeForest in 2012, but took over when DeForest was demoted during the season.
In 2013, WVU improved from No. 108 to No. 101 in total defense, and improved from No. 114 to No. 99 in scoring defense.
With the addition of several key newcomers, the Mountaineers' defense was expected to improve next season.
At Wednesday's signing day press conference, Holgorsen praised one of those newcomers — four-star Aliquippa defensive back Dravon Henry.
“I'm really excited about our safeties. Obviously that starts with Henry,” Holgorsen said. “To be able to get a guy like Henry, who is one of the better players in Pittsburgh and the whole state of Pennsylvania, and can play a lot of different positions is great. We will be able to use him to put together what we think will be one of the greater secondaries in college football.”
Patterson was not available for comment.