STILLWATER — Oklahoma State veteran assistant coach Joe DeForest is leaving Stillwater to take a defensive coaching position at West Virginia, according to a report by the Tulsa World.
A source close to the situation told The Oklahoman on Tuesday night that WVU was pursuing DeForest, likely for its defensive coordinator position. WVU's interest in DeForest was first reported in the Tulsa World on Tuesday.
Three WVU defensive coaches — defensive coordinator Jeff Casteel, cornerbacks coach David Lockwood and defensive line coach Bill Kirelawich — officially left the Mountaineers on Wednesday to take the same positions at Arizona under former WVU head coach Rich Rodriguez. Arizona announced those hires Wednesday afternoon.
The move reunites DeForest with former OSU offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen, who spent the 2010 season in Stillwater before leaving to become WVU's head coach. Holgorsen guided the Mountaineers to the Big East championship and a dominating 70-33 victory over Clemson in the Orange Bowl in his first season.
DeForest has been a member of the OSU coaching staff since 2001, most recently as the Cowboys' associate head coach, special teams coordinator and safeties coach. He has also been one of the program's top recruiters, particularly in Houston area.
DeForest coached the 2008 Ray Guy award winner in Matt Fodge, the 2010 Lou Groza award winner Dan Bailey and three Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Year Award winners in Dez Bryant (2008), Bailey (2010) and Quinn Sharp (2011). Other prominent pupils during his time at OSU include Markelle Martin, Perrish Cox, Darrent Williams and Justin Gilbert.
DeForest, who has been a popular target of other schools during his time at OSU, interviewed for the head-coaching position at Houston last month.