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Gillespie the latest WVU football coach to leave

MORGANTOWN -- West Virginia has lost yet another assistant football coach, the fifth since the end of the regular season.

Running backs coach Robert Gillespie is going to Tennessee to coach the same position under new Vols coach Butch Jones, yet another former West Virginia assistant coach. Gillespie interviewed for the position on Friday and was offered and accepted the spot the same day.

Jones announced the hiring via his Twitter account Friday. He replaces Jay Graham, who was hired at Florida State on Monday.

Gillespie later confirmed the news through his own tweet.

"The Gillespie family had a blast at WVU and you guys will always hold a place in our hearts,'' he said. "We'll always root for the Mountaineers.''

Gillespie follows two other assistant coaches on Dana Holgorsen's staff who have moved on to other BCS schools in the SEC and the Big 12. Quarterbacks coach Jake Spavital took the same position at Texas A&M, where he will coach Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel. Offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh took the same position at Oklahoma.

That followed Holgorsen's firing of two other coaches. Cornerbacks coach Daron Roberts was let go at the end of the regular season and outside linebackers coach Steve Dunlap was released in early January.

Holgorsen now has yet another position to fill after hiring Tony Gibson, Lonnie Galloway, Brian Mitchell and Ron Crook.

With the departure of Gillespie, all that remains of the original offensive staff hired by Holgorsen is Shannon Dawson, who is the offensive coordinator and this year will move from coaching wide receivers to quarterbacks.

Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or dphickman1@aol.com or follow him at Twitter.com/dphickman1


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