Arizona hires WVU's Casteel as D coordinator
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) Longtime West Virginia defensive coordinator Jeff Casteel is reuniting with old boss Rich Rodriguez at Arizona.
Rodriguez announced the hiring of Casteel and three other coaches Wednesday to complete the staff in his new job with the Wildcats.
Casteel had been defensive coordinator and linebackers coach for the Mountaineers since 2003 and was co-coordinator the season before that.
"I have enjoyed my time at West Virginia University, and it's been 11 great years," Casteel said in a statement released by West Virginia. "I have coached some outstanding young men, and I would like to thank them for their hard work and dedication."
Rodriguez, the head coach at West Virginia from 2001-07, is bringing in two others from the Mountaineers' staff: David Lockwood as defensive backs coach and Bill Kirelawich as defensive line coach.
In addition, Spencer Leftwich was hired by Rodriguez as tight ends coach. Leftwich had been the offensive line coach at Pittsburgh, whose coach, Todd Graham, left to become head coach at Arizona State.
Rodriguez rose to prominence at West Virginia, going 60-26 from 2001-07, including 31-5 in his final three years. Casteel, named Big East coordinator of the year in 2008, was a big part of that success but did not accompany Rodriguez to his new job at Michigan, where defense was a major problem for the Wolverines in three seasons under Rodriguez before he was fired following the 2010 campaign.
Casteel came to West Virginia in 2001, Rodriguez's first year there, as defensive line coach, a position he held the previous season at UTEP.
Under Casteel, West Virginia finished third nationally in 2010 in total defense, second in rushing defense, third in scoring defense and seconds in sacks per game.
Kiralawich also served on Rodriguez's staff at West Virginia, coaching with the Mountaineers since joining as a part-time assistant in1979. Lockwood began his career as a graduate assistant at West Virginia in 1989. His most recent jobs were at Kentucky and Minnesota before returning to Morgantown to join the West Virginia staff four years ago.
Leftwich was at Pittsburgh for only one season and brings experience at Oklahoma, Texas and New Mexico to Rodriguez's staff. He was the offensive line coach on Graham's staff at Tulsa in 2010 and had stints at North Texas, New Mexico State and Stephen F. Austin before that.
Updated January 11, 2012