NORMAN — Bill Bedenbaugh met with West Virginia’s offensive linemen in early 2011, shortly after he became their position coach.
“He told us, ‘Every job’s open,’” former Mountaineers guard Tyler Rader said in a telephone interview with The Oklahoman.
“He’s big on technique, but he also likes tough, gritty guys. ... Right away, he shook things up.”
Oklahoma hopes Bedenbaugh can yield similar results in Norman; he accepted an offer Thursday to join Bob Stoops’ staff, West Virginia athletic director Oliver Luck told the Charleston Gazette.
Bedenbaugh, who has spent the last two seasons at West Virginia, has been rumored as Stoops’ top choice since Monday, when James Patton accepted a position with Indiana.
Patton, who coached interior linemen, and Bruce Kittle, who coached tackles and tight ends, were each let go this week, along with longtime defensive line coach Jackie Shipp.
In Wednesday’s statement confirming the departures of Shipp and Kittle, Bob Stoops said he hadn’t interviewed any potential candidates to fill his staff openings.
“I anticipate speaking with several candidates that I have identified for our coaching staff, but I have yet to interview any of those individuals,” Stoops said in the statement. “I will continue to evaluate all of our options.”
When Bedenbaugh arrived in Morgantown two years ago, Rader was entering his senior season. He’d started his college career at offensive guard, then became a tight end/fullback before shifting back to the line.
Rader appeared in only three games as a junior.
As a senior under Bedenbaugh, though, Rader started 12 games for the Orange Bowl-champion Mountaineers.
“He saw my toughness and that I wanted to get better,” Rader said. “And the way he coached, he built my confidence up.”
Bedenbaugh, 40, spent seven seasons under Mike Leach at Texas Tech, then did a four-year stint at Arizona under current OU defensive coordinator Mike Stoops before arriving in West Virginia.