Saturday, March 18, 2017

West Virginia State Football Names Shehl Defensive Coordinator

INSTITUTE, West Virginia -- New WVSU Head Football Coach John Pennington has drawn on his West Virginia University background again with the hiring of George Shehl to be the Yellow Jackets' Defensive Coordinator.

"Hiring George Shehl was a no-brainer," Pennington said. "He has a passion for developing young men into leaders and wanted to be at a place where we could build something special."

The Clarksburg native played with Pennington for the Mountaineers. Shehl was a defensive back and four-year letterman from 2002-2005 under former WVU head coach Rich Rodriguez. During that time he played on three Big East champion teams and four bowl games.

"I have known George since we were at West Virginia University together and I couldn't be happier to call him my teammate once again," said Pennington. "This is a big win for the Yellow Jackets because George Shehl brings experience, passion, and pride to WVSU."

The hiring reunites them with fellow former Mountaineers Quincy Wilson and Reed Williams on the WVSU gridiron staff.

"I have wanted to coach with John ever since we were college teammates," Shehl said. "To finally have the chance to do that, in such a great situation, especially alongside Quincy and Reed, was an opportunity I couldn't pass up."

After graduating from WVU in 2005 Shehl did a stint as quality control coach for the defense and special teams at the Citadel before returning to Morgantown. There he served two years as the Defensive Graduate Assistant for WVU under Defensive Coordinator Jeff Casteel and Head Coach Bill Stewart.

After that Shehl spent one season as a defensive assistant at Marshall before moving to the University of Charleston where he was Assistant Head Coach and Defensive Coordinator in 2011 and 2012.

He was hired as the Head Coach at West Virginia Wesleyan in December of 2012 and held that position for three years. Shehl spent this past season as an analyst for the Marshall football program.

"I am very grateful for the opportunity that John Pennington has given me," Shehl said. "This is an ideal situation to be able to work for a school that is committed to a quality experience for its student-athletes, graduating student-athletes, and winning on the football field."

Coach Shehl was a four-sport star at Robert C. Byrd High School and is married to the former Ali Hewitt of Richwood.

John Ashworth will be coach the offensive line, James Groce will continue to work with the defensive line, and Ricardo Figueroa will coach the tight ends.

Reed Williams,  Linebackers Coach, Academic Counselor

Williams is another former WVU player with both strong on and off field positives.

"He came to WVU the year after I left but I knew his older brother well," Pennington said. "He used to stay with us when he would come to visit."

Like Wilson he also had strong West Virginia high school credentials winning two state titles while at Moorefield High and being named defensive captain of the All-State team.

Williams was also class valedictorian, a National Honor Society member, and served on student council.

He started at linebacker for the Mountaineers and was named Defensive Player of the Game when WVU beat Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl after the 2007 season. Williams was also a two-time ESPN All-American.
In 2010 he was awarded the Red Brown Cup at WVU which is presented to the school's most outstanding all-around student-athlete.

"He was an Academic All-American and he's very passionate about helping these young men," Pennington said. "He has that 'it factor' in that he commands attention when he is in the room."

Williams previously spent a year as a graduate assistant to Rich Rodriguez at Arizona and a year on the academic staff at WVU.

Travis Everhart, Assistant Head Coach, Co-Offensive Coordinator, Recruiting Coordinator

"Our families know each other very well," Pennington said. "He wanted to come back to Charleston and I was happy he contacted me."

Everhart previously coached wide receivers, tight ends, fullbacks, and was special teams coordinator during three seasons at the University of Charleston. He helped the Golden Eagles make their first NCAA DII playoff appearance in 2015.

He served as head coach at Unioto High School in Chillicothe, Ohio, and has had a long coaching career in the college ranks.

Everhart began as running backs coach at his alma mater, Capital University. After that came stints at California University-Pa., Tiffin, and South Dakota Tech as a position coach.

He then became Offensive Coordinator at Louisburg College, Hiram College, WVU-Tech, and Point University. After that he spent time as Assistant Offensive Line Coach at DI Kent State.

As a collegiate player at Capital in Columbus, Ohio, Everhart received the program's Crusader Award given to the player who best represented the characteristics of what makes a champion both on and off the field.

"He was offensive coordinator at another school," Pennington said. "He has coached a lot of different places and he wanted to come back to Charleston."

Everhart's wife, Jenna, has been the women's basketball coach at WVU-Tech for the last six years.

The Frankfort, Ohio, native spent last season as the offensive coordinator and assistant head coach at NCAA DII Fort Valley State University in Georgia. The Wildcats won the Southern Athletic Intercollegiate Conference title in 2016.

Brian Novak, Wide Receivers Coach, Assistant Quarterbacks Coach

The youngest of the new additions to the staff Novak completed a record setting collegiate playing career at Concord in 2016. Last fall he threw for 403 yards in a 52-45 loss to the Yellow Jackets in Institute.

A four-year starter he holds program records there for single season and career passing yards and for career touchdown passes.

Novak led the Mountain Lions to the MEC title and national semifinals in 2014 and was a first team All-MEC selection.

"He was a coach on the field," said Pennington, who was an assistant at Concord during part of Novak's career. "His dad is a high school football coach and he comes from a football family."


No comments: