By Bob Hertzel
For the Times West Virginian
Veteran Stanford assistant coach Ron Crook, a graduate of West Liberty who began his coaching career there, has been hired to replace Bill Bedenbaugh as West Virginia’s offensive line coach, according to published reports.
There was no confirmation from either Stanford or West Virginia on the hire that was first reported by CoachScoop.com on Thursday.
Crook spent his last two years at Stanford and coached the tight end and offensive tackles that worked with quarterback Andrew Luck, son of WVU athletic director Oliver Luck.
Bedenbaugh quit West Virginia on Sunday and joined Oklahoma’s staff, a move that had been reported to be imminent for some time, giving WVU a chance to begin its search for his replacement.
Crook is the fourth new assistant to join Coach Dana Holgorsen’s staff this off-season.
Holgorsen fired cornerbacks coach Daron Roberts and special teams coach Steve Dunlap, while quarterback coach Jake Spavital left for the same job at Texas A&M before Bedenbaugh left.
Roberts was replaced by former East Carolina defensive coordinator Brian Mitchell. Former defensive coordinator Joe DeForest was made associate head coach and will work with special teams, former WVU assistant Tony Gibson returned to coach the cornerbacks from Arizona and wide receiver coach Lonny Galloway returned to WVU from Wake Forest.
Last year’s wide receiver coach, Shannon Dawson, moves into Spavital’s job as quarterback coach on Holgorsen’s reshaped staff.
Crook brings a new dimension to the WVU coaching staff, never having worked in the Air Raid style of offense that Holgorsen runs and could bring some elements of the running games with which he was associate.
Crook spent three years at West Liberty following graduation to begin his career, then joined Rick Minter at Cincinnati as a graduate assistant for a year before spending four years coaching at Division 2 Clarion (Pa).
In 1997 he became assistant head coach/offensive line coach/special teams coordinator at Glenville State before moving to West Virginia University Tech in 1999 for a season.
Crook left coaching for two years before becoming an offensive line graduate assistant at Illinois in 2002, which led to a job at Harvard, where he coach the offensive line for eight years.
Clifton Dawson became the Ivy League’s career rushing leader running behind Crook’s offensive line.
At Stanford, in addition to Luck, Crook saw tight end Coby Fleener become a second-round selection of the Indianapolis Colts and offensive tackle Jonathan Martin go to the Miami Dolphins, also in the second round.
Email Bob Hertzel at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow on Twitter @bhertzel.