On Tuesday, West Virginia head coach Neal Brown brought in Kirk Ciarrocca as an offensive analyst. Ciarrocca spent his last four seasons inside the Big Ten Conference. The first three years were with Minnesota under PJ Fleck and last season at Penn State before parting ways with the program after one season.
"It’s a great addition. A guy I’ve known for a long time,” said Brown following the first day of spring practice. “He’s going to add a level of expertise for us on offense. Another set of eyes on that side of the ball for me but also program-wide. He won a lot of games and a lot of championships throughout his career, and I think it's going to be a benefit for our program.”
Brown and Ciarocca first crossed paths early in Brown’s career at the University of Delaware in 2005, where Ciarrocca, as the offensive coordinator, won a national championship in 2002. The two have remained close since.
Brown left after one season for Troy, while Ciarocca remained with Delaware until 2007. Then went to Rutgers from 2008-10, then one year stops at Richmond and back at Delaware before meeting up with Fleck at Western Michigan. The two made program history with its first bowl win and followed it with an undefeated regular season, earning a matchup against Wisconsin in the Cotton Bowl. Fleck then took his “Row the Boat” mentality to the University of Minnesota, where, in 2019, they posted the program's first 10-win season since 1905.
Last year, Ciarrocca had the Penn State offense second in total offense at 430.3 yards in an unprecedented season. Additionally, Penn State was one of three Big Ten schools to play the conference's full slate of nine games.
“I think his body of work speaks for itself,” stated Brown. “If you look at what he did at Western Michigan, at Minnesota, and they played well down the stretch last year. I think some of that got blown out of proportion at Penn State. But I think he’s as good as anybody in the country.”
The annual Gold and Blue Game is scheduled to kickoff Saturday, April 24, at 1:00 pm.
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