Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

MOUNTAIN EAST CONFERENCE ; West Virginia State Begins Search for New Football Coach

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

MOUNTAIN EAST CONFERENCE ; West Virginia State Begins Search for New Football Coach

Article excerpt

West Virginia State opened its search for a new football coach on Tuesday afternoon after Jon Anderson officially accepted the head coaching position at the University of Sioux Falls. "This is a tremendous opportunity for Jon to return to a place where he has called home before and we wish him well, WVSU athletic director Nate Burton said. "We appreciate everything he did for West Virginia State University. He helped to build a great culture for our student- athletes while he was here, and we wish him and his family success moving forward into this new chapter in their lives.

West Virginia State offensive coordinator John Pennington will serve as the team's interim coach. Pennington came to WVSU in 2015 as offensive coordinator. The Yellow Jackets led the Mountain East Conference with 282.3 passing yards per game in 2015 and were second in the MEC with 294.4 passing yards per game this past season.

The Yellow Jackets finished 3-8 in 2016, capping the season with two victories. They'll return eight starters on defense and 10 on offense next season.

Burton said he has already been in contact with interested candidates as the school prepares to launch its nationwide search. He said that the school will try to work as quickly as it can to find a qualified candidate, but will also try to ensure that they are getting the best coach they can find. Among key factors in the search are the need for a candidate who has been part of a winning program and can help bring that culture to West Virginia State, while also demonstrating strong skills in recruiting and connecting with members of the university community.

"This is an important time for our football program and we're going to work hard to find the right person for the job, Burton said. …

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