MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – West Virginia University football coach Dana Holgorsen has announced the hiring of Tony Dews as the Mountaineers’ running backs coach.
“Tony brings years of experience and has a good knowledge of the WVU football program from his previous time here,” Holgorsen said. “He is a proven recruiter who has enjoyed success at other schools and will add a lot to our coaching staff and football program. I look forward to him and his family rejoining the Mountaineer Football family.”
Dews returns to Morgantown after spending the past five years as the wide receivers coach at Arizona, as well as assisting with all phases of the special teams. He was part of the Wildcats’ coaching staff that led the program to seven or more wins in four of the past five years, including 10 in 2014 and an appearance in the Pac-12 championship game.
“I am excited about returning to Morgantown and West Virginia University,” Dews said. “This has always been a special place because of the great people associated with the school, the football program and the state. This is a new challenge and an outstanding opportunity for my coaching career. Coach Dana Holgorsen has WVU football playing at a high level, and I look forward to working with him and coach Jake Spavital and learning their brand of offensive football and making a contribution to the Mountaineer football program.
“I would like to thank coach Don Nehlen, coach Rich Rodriguez and coach Calvin Magee for introducing me to Mountaineer football years ago, giving me the opportunity to learn and helping me advance my coaching career. My family and I look forward to being closer to home and once again being a part of the Mountaineer football family.”
In 2016, three of his receivers averaged more than 15 yards per catch, four had 20 or more receptions and five scored multiple touchdowns.
Cayleb Jones led the 2015 receiving corps with 904 yards on 55 receptions, averaging 16.4 yards per catch. He was one of five receivers who each finished with at least 30 catches for a passing attack that averaged 272.6 yards per game.
Dews coached Austin Hill his final two seasons at Arizona. He finished with 130 receptions, 15 touchdowns and almost 2,000 yards. He hauled in a pass reception in 31 straight games.
Seven of his receivers in 2014 ended the season with 20+ receptions and six of them had multiple touchdowns. Jones, a newcomer, paced the group with 1,019 yards and nine scores.
In 2013, Arizona’s receiving crops was led by two true freshmen, including Nate Phillips who was named a Freshman All-America by the Football Writers’ Association of America and earned All-Pac-12 Honorable Mention honors. He led the receivers with 51 catches for 696 yards and seven touchdowns, while averaging 13.6 yards per catch.
Hill totaled 81 catches for 1,364 yards and 11 touchdowns to lead the Wildcat receivers in 2012. He was named a Biletnikoff Award semifinalist, second-team All-Pac-12 and fourth-team All-America by Phil Steele. He ranked No. 2 in the Pac-12 in total receiving yards and yards per game (104.9).
Dews spent the 2011 season as tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator at Pitt. He coached at Michigan for three years (2008-10) and West Virginia for one season (2007), and has coached at six other schools in his career.
While at West Virginia, he was a member of the Mountaineer staff that guided the program to 11 wins, the Big East championship and a win against Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl. Darius Reynaud led WVU with 64 catches for 733 yards and 12 touchdowns. He earned All-Big East Second Team receiving honors on the coaches’ postseason team and first team all-purpose accolades from Rivals.
Prior to WVU, he served as linebackers coach and associate special teams coordinator at UNLV in 2006. He was tight ends coach at Central Michigan from 2004-05, and coached the defensive line at Holy Cross in 2003.
From March 1999 – April 2002, Dews was a graduate assistant coach at West Virginia, working with the offensive line and the secondary. His coaching resume also includes stops at California, Pa. (OL/2002), Millersville (DL/1998) and Bainbridge (Ga.) High School (OL/1997).
A native of Clifton, Virginia, Dews is a 1996 graduate of Liberty University, where he led
the Flames in receptions two seasons as an All-Virginia tight end. He earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and received his master’s degree in athletic coaching education from WVU in 2001.
He and his wife, Tamika, have four daughters, Savannah, Sierra, Sydney and Sienna.