What National Signing Day Showed Us About West Virginia Mountaineers’ Tony Gibson

By Mike Atkinson
Rob Christy-USA TODAY Sports

When the West Virginia Mountaineers announced they would be hiring Tony Gibson to coach the defensive backs and safeties for the 2013 football season, it seemed as though everyone in Morgantown gasped, grumbled and groaned.

See, the problem everyone has with Gibson, is that not only did Gibson coach at WVU in the past and fail, but he also had rough outings with the Michigan Wolverines, the Pittsburgh Panthers and the Arizona Wildcats.

Particularly frightening to WVU fans, was the fact that WVU ended 2012 with the 112th passing defense in the country, and Gibson, with the Wildcats, led the 111th pass defense in the country.

Also, Gibson’s discipline came into question throughout his career. Ellis Lankster, cornerback for the New York Jets, played for Gibson at WVU from 2008-09.

He said Gibson “really didn’t care what you did, but he still wanted you to make plays.”

Enough said. So everything about Gibson seemed to be a terrible hire. Why would anyone want him to coach at WVU again?

Well see, while there are a ton of not-so-bright spots on Coach Gibson, there is one feature Gibson has to offer that may have been overlooked. See, we all knew Gibson could recruit, but national signing day showed us just how well he recruited.

The signing of Mario Alford, the No. 1 ranked junior college athlete in the nation, can be directly credited to Gibson.

See, Alford was planning on heading out to Arizona to play for the Wildcats. We can assume he was recruited by Tony Gibson, considering once Gibson announced he was heading to WVU, Alford was more than eager to give up his verbal commit to Arizona and head to West Virginia.

Gibson must be doing something right. Not only did he convince Alford to stick with him and join the Mountaineers, but he also persuaded Brandon Golson, another top recruit to bail on the Wildcats and join him as well.

While Gibson may not be the most favorable hire in some folks eyes, you simply can’t overlook what he did for the Mountaineers last Wednesday.

Follow Mike on Twitter at @MikeAtkinsonRS or visit his Rant Sports Author Page.


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