Charlie Strong urges coaches to lead
West Virginia offensive coordinator Joe Wickline, who spent the last two seasons at Texas, returns to Austin for Saturday’s game against the Longhorns for the first time since being fired by Texas coach Charlie Strong in December.
Wickline’s tenure in Austin was marked by a breach-of-contract lawsuit, settled Dec. 29, between Wickline and Oklahoma State about whether Wickline violated the terms of his OSU contract when he went to work for the Longhorns in 2014. Under terms of his deal with OSU, the school contended Wickline could not move to move to another school without penalty unless he accepted a coordinator position that included play-calling duties. Wickline primarily oversaw the Longhorns’ offensive line during his time at Texas.
Ironically, West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen said Wickline has made plenty of play calls this season for the Mountaineers although his primary duties involve tutoring the offensive tackles, tight ends and fullbacks.
“He calls a lot of plays,” Holgorsen said during Monday’s conference call with Big 12 coaches. “He’s upstairs with my quarterbacks coach, Mike Burchett, and those guys give me a lot of suggestions. It’s worked out good.”
But the final decision on offensive play calls rest with Holgorsen.
No. 20 West Virginia (7-1, 4-1 in Big 12) meets Texas (5-3, 3-3) Saturday in Austin (11 a.m., FS1).