"You know, I don't know that that's important,'' Casteel said Wednesday, again evasively. "I think what's important is that we talk about the kids in the bowl game. These kids have worked their tail off to play in a bowl game. Getting into those things, I don't think I need to answer those things. I hope to coach here at West Virginia. That's what I hope to do.''
And, truth be told, Casteel has a pretty sweet deal going at West Virginia. He's coaching in his home state, making $400,000 a year to do it and with a rare (for any assistant coach) three-year contract. His salary also goes up by $50,000 each year, which means that in the final year of the current pact he would make $500,000.
That makes him the highest-paid assistant coach in the Big East and among the elite in the country.
Can Rodriguez and Arizona match or exceed that? Perhaps. But Casteel probably has other issues besides money. He's never strayed far from home, although he did spend one year as an assistant at UTEP before returning to coach for Rodriguez at WVU in 2001. He's been here since.
Then again, while Casteel has been at West Virginia for 11 years now, he's also coaching under a guy who has been around for roughly five minutes in Dana Holgorsen. Who knows how long Holgorsen stays at WVU and what happens if he leaves? He could be here 15 years and Casteel might well retire in his current job. Or a year or two from now it might all change.
Then again, if you want stability, well, perhaps following Rodriguez isn't the answer. Casteel has kids in school - his son was a pretty good sophomore linebacker at University High this fall - and uprooting them is never easy. Rodriguez's last job lasted three years. Maybe this one works out better. Who knows?
Of course, having Casteel might help him out in that area, which is why Rodriguez in all likelihood has him first on his list.
But if Casteel is ready to jump at the opportunity to coach at Arizona, he's not saying. He maintains he's happy as can be where he is, but he also knows that by refusing to toss any Arizona speculation in the trash he's merely fanning the flames.
"I don't care what you read into it,'' Casteel said. "I'm just telling you, I'm coaching here at West Virginia.''
For how long remains to be seen.
Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or dphickm...@aol.com.