After replacing their Defensive Coordinator, the NC State football team wasn’t done making changes to the defensive staff. New DC, Tony Gibson, has brought in a couple of his former West Virginia guys to coach the secondary. Brian Mitchell will coach the cornerbacks and Joe DeForest will coach the safeties.
Brian Mitchell is making his way to Raleigh after spending 2016-19 as Virginia Tech’s defensive backs coach. Prior to his time with the Hokies, Mitchell was West Virginia’s cornerback coach on a defense run by Tony Gibson. Mitchell has also spent time coaching in North Carolina. He was Eastern Carolina’s defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach from 2010-12 under Ruffin McNeill.
Joe DeForest joins the staff after spending the last two seasons out west with USC where he was coaching the outside linebackers. Like Mitchell, DeForest was an assistant for the Tony Gibson-led West Virginia defense from 2013-15 as their safeties coach. He also spent several years in North Carolina as the linebacker coach and special teams coordinator at Duke (1994-2000). What really stands out about DeForest’s coaching resume is his work with special teams. In the press release, Doeren said DeForest will add some of his expertise to assist Special Teams Coordinator Todd Goebbel.
You may be thinking to yourself, “Wait a minute. I thought the Safeties coach was the only position that was open.” Well, you may notice tucked waaaay down at the bottom of the press release that, “George Barlow, who has coached the NC State cornerbacks for the past six seasons, will not return to the staff in 2020.”
For most of Doeren’s time in Raleigh, the defensive secondary has been a weak spot. Will replacing long time defensive assistants Dave Huxtable and George Barlow led to some improvement?