Paul Chryst reached into the high school ranks for his next assistant (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Always a Mountaineer? Not so much.
While we await the decision of Paul Chryst's defensive coordinator, there's apparently another hire to report. Chryst has reached into the high school ranks to bring Mount Lebanon head coach and former West Virginia Mountaineer Chris Haering on board. If you're wondering about the link, Haering was a player at WVU while Chryst was a GA there.
There aren't any official reports just yet of what Haering's position will be, and he hasn't even told his players where he's headed yet - only that he's leaving.
Now, before you go all 'This hire sucks' on me, there are a few good things to like about it at first glance.First, though he's not a western Pennsylvania native (though this article says his father coached in Pittsburgh before), he's been around the area for a while. Not only that, but he's run a pretty successful program (if you can call a high school football team a program, anyway) at Mount Lebanon. His knowledge of the local high school landscape is bound to be, at the very least, helpful.
The other thing to keep in mind is that while Haering may be in charge of a specific position, his role isn't going to be something huge like the defensive coordinator position - if that were the case, it would have probably leaked out by now ... especially since Haering apparently has had this job for a while. I'm not familiar with Haering and since he's not coached at a major college before, it's impossible to know how he'll do. But as long as Chryst doesn't fill up his staff with high school coaches, I've got no beef with this hire.
So why leave a successful high school 'program' and head to the college ranks where there's going to be more pressure? His athletic director thinks the fact that he didn't have to uproot his family was a plus:
"You'll have to talk to him, but if you're asking my opinion, it's just the right situation for him," said Mt. Lebanon athletic director John Grogan. "I think he's had a relationship with [Chryst] for a long time. The fact that he wouldn't have to move his family I think also played a big role in this."
Oh yeah, and as a coach, Haering may have been well liked - but as a teacher? Well, the jury's still out. Man, I wish I had the internet in high school.