MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - The last tie to West Virginia's football coaching staff prior to Dana Holgorsen's arrival has been fired.
Holgorsen has fired special teams coordinator and associate head coach Steve Dunlap. Dunlap could not be reached for comment, but WVU athletic director Oliver Luck confirmed the move Saturday night.
"Steve Dunlap will not be coaching for us next year," Luck said.
Dunlap also served as the team's outside linebackers coach. That made him part of a staff that coached what was statistically one of the worst defenses in school history, ranking No. 109 (out of 120 FBS teams) in total defense, No. 115 in scoring defense and No. 118 in pass defense.
Cornerbacks coach Daron Roberts was fired at the end of the regular season and coordinator Joe DeForest was demoted. Linebackers coach Keith Patterson was the defensive coordinator for the team's 38-14 loss to Syracuse in the Pinstripe Bowl a week ago.
Dunlap was the only coach on the West Virginia staff with ties to the school, and they were deep ties. He is still among the school's leading tacklers from his days as a linebacker at WVU in the 1970s and spent two decades as a coach under Don Nehlen. He was the defensive coordinator in 1996 when the Mountaineers ranked first in the country in total defense.
Dunlap was not retained by Rich Rodriguez when Rodriguez replaced Nehlen in 2001, and he went on to coach at Syracuse, North Carolina State and Marshall. He was the defensive coordinator at Marshall when Bill Stewart hired him to coach safeties at WVU in 2008.
He was the only remaining member of Stewart's staff. Holgorsen replaced the entire offensive coaching staff when he arrived in 2011 and then the defensive staff this year after three coaches left that side to rejoin Rodriguez at Arizona.
Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or dphickm...@aol.com or follow him at Twitter.com/dphickman1.