MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Under head coach Neal Brown, WVU football has won with defense in a league known for its offense.
Here’s a closer look at West Virginia’s defensive coaches for the 2022 season:
Jordan Lesley – Defensive Coordinator/Outside Linebackers Coach (Fourth season at WVU)
Lesley transitioned from Troy to WVU with Brown in 2019. He’s entering his third season as the team’s defensive coordinator and his second in charge of outside linebackers. In 2020, Lesley led one of the top defenses in the nation, as West Virginia led the country in pass defense and finished the year at No. 4 in total defense. His group followed that up by finishing No. 5 in the country in red zone defense last fall, an improvement of 67 spots.
ShaDon Brown – Co-Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Backs Coach (Second season at WVU)
In 2021, Brown oversaw the defensive secondary, helping the Mountaineers rank third in the Big 12 Conference in passing defense. West Virginia allowed just 211.2 passing yards per game across 13 contests. The Mountaineers also ranked fifth in the nation in red zone defense.
Andrew Jackson – Defensive Line Coach (Second season at WVU)
Jackson joined the WVU coaching staff prior to the 2021 season. His star defensive lineman, Dante Stills, earned All-Big 12 First Team accolades in Jackson’s lone season with the program. Previously, Jackson coached defensive linemen at Old Dominion and defensive tackles at James Madison.
Jeff Koonz – Special Teams Coordinator/Inside Linebackers Coach (Third season at WVU)
Koonz joined the staff prior to the 2020 season. WVU has produced stellar play at linebacker in each of his two seasons with the program: Tony Fields II led the Big 12 with 88 total stops during the pandemic-shortened season in 2020, while Josh Chandler-Semedo led the team in tackles with 110 last season. Prior to his arrival in Morgantown, Koonz coached linebackers at Ole Miss, North Texas, Cincinnati and Louisiana Tech.
Dontae Wright – Safeties Coach (Third season at WVU)
Wright’s impact in the secondary was felt during an outstanding 2020 season for WVU, which finished in the top five in the nation in total defense in his debut season with the Old Gold and Blue. Last fall, the Mountaineers ranked fifth in the Big 12 in total defense, but finished third in passing defense. This is Wright’s first stint with a Power 5 program as an assistant coach.
Mike Joseph – Head Coach for Strength and Conditioning (15th season at WVU)
Though he isn’t a position coach, Joseph plays an influential role in West Virginia’s success and is one of the most respected coaches on the staff. During his time with the Mountaineers, Joseph has trained more than two dozen All-Americans and more than 100 athletes who were either drafted or signed free agent contracts in the NFL.
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