Arizona assistant Gibson leaves program

Arizona safeties coach Tony Gibson has left the program, reportedly to take a job at West Virginia.

Gibson had spent most of the last 11 years under Rich Rodriguez at West Virginia, Michigan and Arizona, with the lone exception being Rodriguez’s year out of coaching in 2011, when Gibson coached cornerbacks at Pitt.

Various media outlets have reported that Gibson, a West Virginia native who played for Rodriguez at Glenville State, is expected to be hired as cornerbacks coach at West Virginia, where he was hired into his first major college coaching job by Rodriguez in 2001. West Virginia’s defensive coordinator is Keith Patterson, who was Pitt’s coordinator under current Arizona State coach Todd Graham when Gibson was on the staff there in 2011.

The 40-year-old Gibson coached the two in-the-box safety positions known as “bandit” and “spur” — manned by Tra’Mayne Bondurant and Jared Tevis last year — at Arizona. He also was the Wildcats’ defensive special-teams coordinator, handling punts, kickoffs and extra-point defense.

Gibson isn’t the only assistant to leave Rodriguez’s staff this offseason, as offensive line coach Robert Anae left to become offensive coordinator at BYU last week and tight ends coach Spencer Leftwich left to become offensive line coach at UTEP.