MORGANTOWN - It's not exactly back to square one, but Dana Holgorsen's task in filling out his coaching staff is now doubled.
Mike Smith, the New York Jets intern who agreed to join Holgorsen's staff just two weeks ago, has instead decided to return to the Jets, where he will become the full-time outside linebackers coach.
The school announced Smith's decision in a short release Thursday.
Holgorsen said Thursday there was no mystery or animosity surrounding Smith's departure.
"He's a good coach,'' Holgorsen said, "and the Jets wanted him.''
A handful of reports in New York, however, suggested that Smith's job responsibilities at West Virginia were not going to be what he expected. When Smith and former Oklahoma State assistant coach Joe DeForest were hired in January, Holgorsen said specific job titles would not be announced or even determined until the full staff was in place.
Holgorsen needed three defensive replacements after Jeff Casteel, Bill Kirelawich and David Lockwood left to coach at Arizona, and he was still one hire short.
And, indeed, the offer sheets that both DeForest and Smith signed were significantly differently. DeForest was hired as a co-defensive coordinator at a salary of $500,000 per year. Smith was hired as an assistant coach and was to be paid $250,000.
When Smith took the job at WVU on Jan. 20, reports in New York suggested that he was taking the job to become the linebackers coach and perhaps a co-defensive coordinator. But his offer sheet suggests otherwise.
Smith had earlier turned down a chance to join the Washington State staff of new coach Mike Leach as a defensive assistant. He was an unpaid intern with the Jets last season, but the team reportedly offered him a full-time spot to keep him from the Washington State job.
Smith played for Leach at Texas Tech at the same time Holgorsen was on Leach's staff there.