MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – West Virginia head coach Neal Brown is the obvious connection between WVU and Troy, but it’s another current WVU coach that is drawing attention for the vacant Troy head coach position.
According to The Athletic‘s Bruce Feldman, WVU defensive coordinator Jordan Lesley is expected to get strong consideration for the open position. Lesley, a graduate and former football player at Troy in the 2000s, has helped turn WVU’s defense into one of the top units in the country over the past two seasons.
Texas A&M’s Tommie Robinson and WVU DC Jordan Lesley, both former Troy Trojans, headline a strong group of Power 5 assistants with deep ties to the school. What we’re hearing about the Troy head coaching search: https://t.co/iq18qpdjZ7
— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) November 22, 2021
Lesley began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Troy in 2006 and eventually found his way back to the Trojans as Brown’s defensive tackle and defensive line coach. He left Troy to follow Brown to WVU in 2019, serving as the Mountaineers’ defensive coordinator the past two seasons.
WVU’s 2020 defense ranked among the top units in not just the Big 12 but in college football. The Mountaineers limited opposing teams to just over 20 points per game, and Lesley helped guide former WVU stars Darius Stills and Tony Fields to the NFL. While WVU’s 2021 defense lost some big names to the NFL/transfer portal and fought through injuries, the unit has ranked among the best in the conference.
Lesley’s efforts have even garnered national recognition, being named to the 2021 Broyles Award watchlist — the honor awarded to college football’s top assistant coach.
Along with Lesley, Feldman mentioned Kentucky linebacker coach Jon Sumrall (former Troy coach), Texas A&M running backs coach Tommie Robinson (former Troy player and coach), Notre Dame run game coordinator/running backs coach Lance Taylor, Georgia running backs coach Dell McGee, and LA Chargers defensive backs coach Derrick Ansley (former Troy player) as names to watch.
While Lesley has shown no interest in leaving WVU, it’s not a surprise he’d be linked to a head coaching opportunity — especially at his alma mater.