New LB/ST Coach Jeff Koonz Brings Big 12 Experience to WVU Staff
West Virginia football filled both of its coaching vacancies Friday evening with the hirings of offensive coordinator/wide receivers coach Gerad Parker and linebackers coach/special teams coordinator Jeff Koonz.
My family and I are extremely proud to be a part of @WVUfootball. Ready to get to work and do our part to bring a championship HOME to West Virginia! #HailWV #TrustTheClimb https://t.co/sDSxvVtXCz
— Jeff Koonz (@CoachKoonz) January 11, 2020
Koonz comes to WVU after a season of coaching the linebackers at Ole Miss. He will also take over as the special teams coordinator, replacing departed special teams coordinator/linebackers coach Blake Seiler. In a press release head coach Neal Brown noted Koonz’s previous experience coaching in the Big 12 as a reason for his hiring.
“Jeff is an outstanding addition to our coaching staff,” Brown said. “He brings a vast amount of experience coaching linebackers to our defensive staff and a familiarity with the Big 12 Conference having coached at Texas and Iowa State. His recruiting experience in different regions of the country also will help bolster our overall efforts.”
In the same press release, Koonz said he is excited to join WVU’s coaching staff.
“I’m excited to join Neal Brown’s staff at West Virginia and become a part of a great University and football program with a lot of history and tradition,” Koonz said. “Growing up in the game of football, I watched West Virginia and admired what it was about and how much success the Mountaineers had. I have coached against Neal’s teams and also have watched him from a far and have always respected what he has done.”
In 2019 the Ole Miss defense allowed 26.5 points per game, recorded 33 sacks and forced 16 turnovers.
Before joining the Rebels, Koonz spent two seasons at North Texas as the linebackers coach. He also served as the co-defensive coordinator in 2018. The Mean Green allowed 24.2 points per game in 2018, had 34 sacks and forced 22 turnovers. Senior linebacker EJ Ejiya was named to the All-Conference USA first-team, recording 121 tackles and nine sacks.
Prior to North Texas Koons spent three seasons at Cincinnati. He coached the Bearcat linebackers in 2015-16 and safeties in 2014. Eric Wilson was named a second-team All-AAC player in 2015 and a first-team player in 2016. Wilson totaled 129 tackles as a graduate student in 2016.
Koonz went to Cincinnati after three seasons in Louisiana Tech from 2010-13. In 2011 Koonz coached the Western Athletic Conference defensive player of the year in Adrien Cole. Cole was also named first-team All-WAC and totaled 128 tackles.
Koonz’s Big 12 experience came from 2005-09. He worked on the staff at Texas in 2005-06 and in 2009, when the longhorns won the BCS National Championship, and he was the secondary and special teams coach at Iowa State from 2007-08.