WVU defensive coordinator leaves program

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West Virginia defensive coordinator Keith Patterson voluntarily left the team after two years of service, the program announced Thursday. Multiple outlets report that Patterson accepted a position at Arizona State, rejoining head coach Todd Graham, whose staff he worked on at Pitt in 2011.

“I want to thank Keith for his two years that he spent coaching in our program,” West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen said in a statement. “He was a valuable member of our staff, and we wish him nothing but the best.”

Patterson joined the Mountaineers as co-defensive coordinator alongside Joe DeForest in 2012 and took over as the lone coordinator before the Pinstripe Bowl that season. With Patterson at the helm, the defense improved slightly from 114th in points allowed (38 per game) in 2012 and 99th (33 per game) in 2013.

The announcement comes one day after West Virginia secured 15 letters of intent to close the 2014 recruiting class. Ten members of the class were defensive players.

Holgorsen has not announced a replacement. DeForest, who served as special teams coordinator last season, remains an internal option.

Stephen J. Nesbitt: snesbitt@post-gazette.com, 412-290-2183 and Twitter @stephenjnesbitt.

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