CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -Recruiting has taken on a different meaning for new West Virginia football coach Bill Stewart, who needs a few good assistant coaches.
Several assistants have defected to former coach Rich Rodriguez at Michigan. Defensive coordinator Jeff Casteel and defensive line coach Bill Kirelawich are the only members of Rodriguez's staff who have said they will remain, WVU athletic director Ed Pastilong said Tuesday.
``Coach Stewart is familiar with many coaches throughout the country and I'm very confident that with the help of coach Casteel and coach Kirelawich, Billy will put together a very, very strong staff,'' Pastilong said.
Rodriguez took the Wolverines' head coach job on Dec. 16. Stewart became interim coach and was chosen head coach on Thursday, a day after West Virginia beat Oklahoma 48-28 in the Fiesta Bowl.
Joining Rodriguez are ex-WVU offensive coordinator Calvin Magee, defensive backs coach and recruiting coordinator Tony Gibson, and West Virginia's entire strength and conditioning staff.
Pastilong said other members of Rodriguez's staff who have resigned are safeties coach Bruce Tall, wide receivers coach Tony Dews, offensive line coach Greg Frey and quarterbacks coach Rod Smith. Pastilong said he didn't know if those four coaches had joined Rodriguez at Michigan, and a Wolverines spokesman has declined comment.
Frey and Smith had served one season at WVU after coaching at South Florida.
When Rodriguez became West Virginia's coach after the 2000 season, he rehired two of retired coach Don Nehlen's assistants, including Stewart.
Stewart, who didn't immediately return a telephone message Tuesday, must act swiftly. Coaches can resume face-to-face contact with prospective players on Sunday. The national signing day is Feb. 6.
``He IS recruiting - assistant coaches,'' said WVU football spokesman Mike Montoro.
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