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Football coaching changes with West Virginia ties

A FBS football program that already had plenty of West Virginia flavor on its coaching staff has gotten yet another taste.

David Lockwood, who is a former player (1985-88) and assistant coach (2000, 2008-11) at WVU, was hired last week to serve as the safeties coach at Appalachian State.

A native of Media, Pa., which is a suburb of Philadelphia, the 54-year-old Lockwood has spent over 30 years in the coaching profession. Since he began as a graduate assistant at WVU in 1989, he’s had stops at Delaware, James Madison, Memphis, Wyoming, West Virginia, Notre Dame, Minnesota, Kentucky, Arizona, UNLV and Nevada.

Lockwood now moves to an App State program that has plenty of West Virginians on the staff, starting at the top and moving down through the ranks.

The head coach, Shawn Clark, is a native of Charleston, where he graduated from George Washington High School. In his first season as the head coach of Appalachian State, which is also his alma mater, Clark led the Mountaineers to a 9-3 record, which included a 56-28 thrashing of North Texas in the Myrtle Beach Bowl.

The running back coach who helped guide ASU to 500 rushing yards in the bowl game and 264.8 rushing yards per game during the 2020 season as a whole is Brian Haines, who is a native of Williamstown.

A 2004 graduate of Marietta (Ohio) College, Haines spent the 2009 season as a graduate assistant at WVU before landing a full-time job at Ohio University. He now begins his second year at App State.

Mark DeBastiani is yet another App State coach with West Virginia ties. A native of Arthurdale and a 1988 graduate of West Preston High School, DeBastiani attended Shepherd College. He got into coaching after his graduation from Shepherd in 1994. His first stop was at Appalachian State (1995-96), and then he moved on to Bethune-Cookman, Norfolk State, Florida, Alabama A&M and Central Michigan before returning to App State last year. He coached the Mountaineers’ safeties in 2020, but with the addition of Lockwood to handle that spot, DeBastiania is going to move down and coach the ASU linebackers this coming season.

Lockwood’s daughter, Autumn, who was a soccer player at Arizona and before that at University High in Morgantown, is on the move herself.

A strength coach, she spent the past three years working with the men’s and women’s basketball teams at East Tennessee State but was recently hired at the University of Houston. She will be the director of sports performance for the Cougars’ women’s basketball and women’s soccer programs.

WVU grad Doc Holliday is no longer the head coach at Marshall, but the Thundering Herd staff assembled by new MU coach Charles Huff is still going to feature plenty of Mountaineers in Huntington.

Bill Legg, a former WVU player and assistant coach who last year served as Neil Brown’s assistant to the head coach, is going to be the assistant head coach and tight ends coach for Marshall.

Also former Mountaineer quarterback Clint Trickett, who was an assistant coach at Florida Atlantic the past four years, is now going to be the wide receiver coach and pass game coordinator for the Herd.

Mike Villagrana, who was a tight end at West Virginia from 2004-07, is reportedly going to be Marshall’s general manager, where he’ll work with MU’s football recruiting department. Villagrana had previously worked as the recruiting coordinator at Penn State and Mississippi State.

Another former WVU assistant coach is on the move.

Herb Hand was the tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator for the Mountaineers from 2001-06 before moving out to Tulsa, Vanderbilt, Penn State, Auburn and Texas.

When his three-year stint as the Longhorns’ offensive line coach came to an end this past season, he originally planned to accept a similar job at Charlotte. But then his old Auburn boss, Guz Malzahn, got a job as Central Florida’s head coach. A quick offer to Hand convinced him to change course from Charlotte to Orlando.