MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - The process of addressing West Virginia's woeful pass defense before next season has begun before this one ends.
Cornerbacks coach Daron Roberts, he of the rather amazing educational resume but relatively little coaching experience, was fired Saturday by head coach Dana Holgorsen.
The school issued a release late Saturday afternoon after the news of Roberts' departure broke, inferring that Roberts left of his own accord "to pursue other opportunities.'' But the second-year assistant coach said in a text message to BlueGoldNews.com that "Dana let me go. That's the business. We've enjoyed Morgantown.''
The short release issued by the school simply said that Roberts had left and included a quote from Holgorsen.
"I want to thank Daron for his time on staff at West Virginia," Holgorsen said in the statement. "We wish him the best in his future endeavors."
Where Roberts is concerned, those endeavors could go in a lot of different directions.
The 34-year-old Texas native holds degrees from the University of Texas and Harvard Law School. He worked as an intern with Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and appeared on the fast track to a career in law or politics when he suddenly changed paths and pursued a coaching career despite not having been involved in the game since high school.
He worked for a few years as a volunteer assistant coach with two NFL teams before landing a job as an assistant with the Detroit Lions. Holgorsen then hired him as a wide receivers and special teams coach last year and moved him to cornerbacks this season.
Whether it was coaching, talent, scheme or a combination of all three, Roberts' cornerbacks and the secondary as a whole did not play well. In fact, the Mountaineers ranked dead last in the nation much of the season in pass defense, escaping the cellar at the end of the regular season only because final opponent Kansas couldn't throw the football.
Even then, West Virginia finished No. 119 out of 120 teams in both pass defense and pass efficiency defense.
Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or dphickm...@aol.com or follow him at Twitter.com/dphickman1.