Gillespie Added to Football Staff

  • By Mike Montoro
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  • January 05, 2011 01:58 PM
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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – West Virginia University has announced that Robert Gillespie has been hired as a member of the Mountaineer football coaching staff as the running game coordinator.

Gillespie rejoins Dana Holgorsen, the Mountaineers’ recently hired offensive coordinator, on the staff after spending the past two years as the running backs coach and assisting with the special teams at Oklahoma State. He also handled the breakdown of the opponents’ blitz packages and the Cowboys run game preparation. Gillespie was part of Mike Gundy’s staff at OSU, helping lead the Cowboys to an 11-2 record this past season.

Gillespie was part of Holgorsen’s Cowboy offensive staff, which led the nation in total offense, averaging 520.2 yards per game and finished No. 3 in the nation in scoring, averaging 44.2 points per game.

“West Virginia University is a program that has had a lot of history and built an outstanding tradition,” Gillespie said. “I really look forward to joining the Mountaineer staff, getting to learn from coach Bill Stewart, continue working with coach Holgorsen and helping to build on the success that the program has already had.”

This past season, one of Gillespie’s running backs, Kendall Hunter, ran for 1,548 yards and scored 16 touchdowns, earning consensus first team All-America honors and was a finalist for the Doak Walker Award, signifying the top running back in the nation. True freshman running back Joseph Randle finished with 1,160 yards of all-purpose yardage.

In 2009, OSU finished with a 9-4 overall record and made an appearance in the Cotton Bowl. Running back Keith Toston, a first team all-Big12 Conference selection, rushed for 1,218 yards, leading the conference in rushing yards per game (187.8). Fullback Bryant Ward also earned first team all-league honors. Toston is a current member of the St. Louis Rams.

Prior to his two-year stint with the Cowboys, Gillespie spent four years on Steve Spurrier’s staff at South Carolina, first as a graduate assistant in 2005 and then as the running backs coach from 2006-08.

During his time with South Carolina, the Gamecocks made bowl appearances in the 2005 Independence Bowl, the 2006 Liberty Bowl and the 2009 Outback Bowl.

In 2007, running back Cory Boyd rushed for 903 yards, the most by a South Carolina running back since 2000. In 2006, his running backs rushed for 1,876 yards, a 61 percent increase in production from the year before he was hired. South Carolina ranked No. 49 nationally in 2006, after a 108th-place finish in 2005. Boyd was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Gillespie was a former running back and team captain for Spurrier at Florida from 1998-2001, earning all-SEC freshman honors and SEC Player of the Week recognition. He finished his college career ranked No. 2 on Florida’s all-time receiving list by a running back. He helped lead the Gators to two SEC Championships and four bowl appearances, including two Orange and one Sugar Bowl appearance.

He was a two-time member of the SEC fall sports Academic Honor Roll in 2000 and 2001. He earned his bachelor’s degree in sport management from Florida in 2005.

Gillespie played for the Washington Redskins in 2002 and 2003 and was a member of the Frankfurt Galaxy of NFL Europe in 2003. He took a teaching position at his alma mater, Hattiesburg High in Hattiesburg, Miss., in 2004. He served an internship for the Hattiesburg High Athletic Department in 2005 before taking his position with South Carolina.

Gillespie, and his wife, Crystal, have a daughter, Nola.