CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Stanford tight ends and offensive line coach Ron Crook will the new offensive line coach at West Virginia University, the Gazette confirmed on Thursday.It will be a homecoming of sorts for Crook, a 1986 graduate of Parkersburg South High School. In 1991, he earned a degree in physical education from West Liberty. Later, he served as the school's offensive line coach and offensive coordinator when the Hilltoppers won the 2000 West Virginia Conference title. He also broke into the coaching ranks there, serving as a student assistant, working mostly with tight ends.Crook also worked for WVU Tech in 1999 and Glenville in 1997-98.It was his most recent work at Stanford, however, that earned Crook a name nationally.
After being hired by the Cardinal on March 28, 2011, Crook handled the tight end trio of Coby Fleener, Zach Ertz and Levine Toilolo, considered the nation's best unit that season.Fleener was drafted in the second round by the Indianapolis Colts in 2012. He caught 26 passes for 281 yards and a pair of scores from Andrew Luck, son of WVU athletic director Oliver Luck and the team's first-round pick. Ertz was a consensus All-America selection after this past season before announcing he'd skip his senior season to enter the NFL draft. He's expected to be a first- or second-round draft pick. Ertz reportedly told reporter Bruce Feldman via Twitter that WVU was "getting a hell of a coach."
Toilolo is expected to be a high draft selection next year.The Cardinal had one of the nation's top offensive lines in 2011.Prior to working at Stanford, Crook spent eight seasons at Harvard. The line there helped back Clifton Dawson set the Ivy League's all-time career rushing mark.Crook also had stints at Illinois, Clarion and Cincinnati.Reach Mitch Vingle at 304-348-4827, firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him at twitter.com/MitchVingle.