Gibson's ties to the Mountain State were important in his desire to return, but so too was his association with defensive coordinator Keith Patterson, who crossed paths with Gibson at Pitt. Combined, those two factors made Gibson a strong candidate for the safeties coaching job at WVU.
“Tony certainly has built a reputation as an outstanding recruiter and is nationally known for his ability,” head coach Dana Holgorsen said in a prepared statement. “Being a native West Virginian and having already coached here at the University and successfully recruited western Pennsylvania for many years, he brings a familiarity that will be an asset to our program. He worked with Keith at Pitt two years ago, so he already is well-versed with his defensive philosophy so that should help make for a smooth transition.”
Gibson comes to West Virginia after serving as the assistant head coach, safeties coach and defensive special teams coordinator at Arizona for the past year. The Wildcats finished 8-5 overall in 2012 and won the Gildan New Mexico Bowl. He was currently responsible securing 11 of the 24 commitments for Arizona.
“Being a West Virginia native, I am happy to be back in my home state. West Virginia football means a lot to me and my family,” Gibson said. “I am looking forward to working with Coach Holgorsen and being reunited on the defensive side of the ball with Coach Patterson. I also look forward to being a part of the future of this program and advancing what I helped start years ago.”
From 2008-10, Gibson was on Rich Rodriguez' staff at Michigan. He then coached at Pitt for one year in 2011, where he served with Patterson on the Panthers' defensive staff. Last year, he rejoined Rodriguez at Arizona.
He coached defensive backs under Rodriguez from 2001 to 2007 at West Virginia, and was recruiting coordinator in his final season in Morgantown. The Mountaineers enjoyed one of their most successful periods on the gridiron during that time, posting a 58-14 record in his final six years on staff and earning a then school record six straight bowl appearances, including two BCS bowl games.
Eight of his players earned all-Big East honors and six of his players were selected in the NFL Draft. His secondary standouts at WVU included first team All-American Adam Jones, who has played with the Titans, Cowboys and Bengals during his eight-year NFL career.
The Mountaineers won or shared four Big East titles during Gibson’s time in Morgantown, capturing BCS bowl victories following the 2005 (Sugar Bowl) and 2007 (Fiesta Bowl) seasons. He recruited 32 players on the 2005 team that won the Big East Championship and Sugar Bowl, and secured 40 players who were on the 2007 Big East and Fiesta Bowl championship squad.
Gibson began his career at Glenville State under Rodriguez in 1996, coaching defensive backs and the kickoff teams.
Gibson graduated from Glenville State in 1994. He was a defensive back from 1991-94 and was a part of two WVIAC championship teams. The Van, W.Va., native began his coaching career at Gilmer County High School in Glenville, W. Va., in 1995, where he was head coach and interim athletic director.