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Rawlins not wavering after WVU's QB coach leaves

| Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

As if Chavas Rawlins didn't have enough on his mind these days, when he starts practice with the West Virginia University football team next week he will be working under a new quarterbacks coach.

On Friday, WVU announced that quarterbacks coach Jake Spavital was leaving to take a similar position at Texas A&M, where he will also serve as co-offensive coordinator.

Rawlins, who was recruited by WVU to play quarterback, said the departure of Spavital has no influence on his decision to go to Morgantown.

“I found out yesterday and Coach (Dana) Holgorsen called me (Friday) and told me that coach (Shannon) Dawson was going to be the new quarterbacks coach,” Rawlins said.

Dawson had been the receivers coach at WVU.

“Before he was the receivers coach he had been a quarterbacks coach before, so he knows what he is doing,” said Rawlins.

Rawlins added that he had extensive dealings with Dawson during the recruiting process and has a good relationship with the assistant coach.

“It's not a problem at all to me,” said Rawlins.

Spavital spent the last two seasons at WVU and tutored school career passing leader Geno Smith. He replaces Kliff Kingsbury, who became the new Texas Tech coach last month.

Spavital — who worked with Holgorsen at Houston as a graduate assistant under current Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin — will have the opportunity to coach Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel.

Spavital‘s departure brings the total to three assistants who have left WVU since the end of the season, joining assistant head coach and special teams coordinator Steve Dunlap and defensive backs coach Daron Roberts.

Former WVU and Pitt assistant Tony Gibson, who spent last season at Arizona under Rich Rodriguez, is expected to take over Dunlap‘s role of recruiting in Western Pennsylvania and coaching defensive backs. Former East Carolina defensive coordinator Brian Mitchell also is expected to be hired as a defensive assistant.

Rawlins, who graduated early from Monessen, is going to WVU Monday and will start practicing Tuesday.

Originally, Rawlins was supposed to graduate on Jan. 17 and go to Morgantown on Jan. 21. However, he wrapped up all of his requirements a week early and his last day at Monessen High School was Friday.

Jeff Oliver is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2666 or joliver@tribweb.com.

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