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  • Shannon Dawson leaving West Virginia for Kentucky

    West Virginia offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson is leaving to take a similar post at Kentucky, FootballScoop learned on Wednesday evening.

    An original member of Dana Holgorsen’s staff at West Virginia, Dawson served as inside receivers coach in 2011,  was promoted to offensive coordinator/receivers coach in 2012 and then transitioned to offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach over the past two seasons. The Mountaineers ranked 13th in yards per play and ninth in scoring in 2012, then fell to 69th and 79th in an injury-plagued 2013 season before improving 20 and 41 spots, respectively, this season.

    Dawson’s offenses made stars of wide receivers Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey, in 2011-12, and Kevin White this season.

    Dawson will stay on with West Virginia through the Dec. 29 Liberty Bowl against Texas A&M before reporting to Lexington.

    Moving to Kentucky gives Dawson an opportunity to run his own show on offense, an opportunity that was not available while working under Dana Holgorsen at West Virginia. Dawson replaces Neal Brown, who accepted the head job at Troy on Nov. 30. The Wildcats finished 66th in scoring and 77th in yards per play in 2014, improving from a 2-10 debut under head coach Mark Stoops to 5-7 this fall. Dawson made $251,000 in 2014, while Brown earned $550,000, according to the USA Today coaching salary database.

    Dawson served as offensive coordinator at Millsaps (D-III – MS) and Stephen F. Austin before landing at West Virginia.

    As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.

  • Steve Pederson will not return as Pittsburgh’s AD

    Steve Pederson

    At the very moment his former head coach was being introduced at Wisconsin, Steve Pederson was let go as Pittsburgh’s athletics director.

    We wrote Friday that changed remained the only constant at Pittsburgh, and now that change extends beyond the head football coach up to the athletics director’s office.

    The Panthers will hire their fourth permanent head coach in roughly as many years in the coming days and weeks, and now a new athletics director will make that hire. The school also recently hired a new chancellor as well; Patrick Gallagher took over on Aug. 1.

    Pederson served as Pitt’s AD from 1996 until he left for Nebraska in 2002, where fired Frank Solich and hired Bill Callahan, and then returned to Pitt in 2007. Pederson helped the Panthers move from the Big East to the ACC and, among other things, issued a brand initiative to change the school’s identity from Pitt to Pittsburgh.

    Pitt will have competition in searching for its new AD as its Backyard Brawl rival West Virginia saw Oliver Luck step down to take a leadership position with the NCAA today.

    As always, check The Scoop for the latest.

  • Pittsburgh’s Paul Chryst is taking over at Wisconsin


    After three seasons at Pitt, Paul Chryst has been tabbed by Barry Alvarez as the new head coach at Wisconsin. The press conference to formally introduce him is live on BTN at 7pm EST.

    Once the news broke of Gary Andersen’s departure to Oregon State after two seasons, Chryst’s name immediately emerged as the top choice to replace Andersen, and his hire a week later was the worst kept secret in college football. Alvarez had his short list, and moved as fast as state law would allow him (about a week) for this one.

    At Pitt, Chryst’s first head head coaching job, he compiled an overall record of 19-19, including a 10-13 mark in conference play and a 1-1 bowl record. In 2010 and 2011, Chryst helped lead the Badgers to back to back Rose Bowl games as the offensive coordinator. Chryst coached in Madison for a total of eight seasons, including the 2002 and 2005 seasons under former head coach turned athletic director Barry Alvarez, and spent 2005-2011 as the Badger offensive coordinator. He was also born and raised in Madison and also played quarterback for the Badgers. With Chryst, Wisconsin is getting someone as familiar with the Wisconsin football brand as it gets, and an individual who has obvious recruiting ties in the area as well. He should be able to step in and implement some new ideas he learned during his time at Pitt, while keeping things moving smoothly in the right direction for the Badgers. Chryst will take over for Gary Andersen, who left Wisconsin for Oregon State last week. With the move, Pitt joins Michigan and Colorado State among the open jobs at the FBS level.

  • Video: Take a cribs style tour of Boise State’s football facilities

    Boise State has some of the best facilities in the Mountain West, if not the very best.

    With their on the field success over the past decade or so, that’s likely something you’ve heard before, but now two players (Jay Ajayi and Donte Deayon) lead you on a first hand tour of what’s behind closed doors at the football facility.

    The two guys crash a few coaches offices (including coach Harsin’s setup) along the way, as well as the recruiting room, academic center, meeting rooms, weight room, training room, the “snack shack”/ nutrition center, players lounge, and the locker room.

    The most impressive part to me was what they called the victory tunnel, complete with graphics and blue turf on the walls to touch on the way out, underneath a “PROTECT THE BLUE” sign.

    Seems like every room they go into is a perfectly executed artistic rendering…everything looks very sharp. It’s no wonder some top notch talent chooses to take their talent to Boise.

  • Video: Clemson Football “Four Seasons – Fall”

    Clemson has started a video series entitled “Four Seasons” showcasing the life cycle of a Clemson recruit. The first video – “Fall” – shows the lifestyle around the program, the work the program puts in to develop its players away from the field.

    It’s a video that isn’t going to psyche a kid up to run through a wall, but it is going to get Mom and Dad to feel better about sending their kid to Clemson.

    That’s the plan, anyway.

    What do you think?