Jeff Casteel
Jeff  Casteel

Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers


Norvell completes full-time coaching staff

Former Pack standout Vai Taua returns to Reno as analyst on special teams.

Veteran defensive coordinator Jeff Casteel enters his first season as a member of the Nevada coaching staff under head coach Jay Norvell. He also coaches the Wolf Pack linebackers.

Casteel runs the 3-3-5 defensive scheme, utilizing a three defensive linemen and a host of linebackers and defensive backs. He has more than 30 years of coaching experience and was Football Scoop’s 2014 Linebackers Coach of the Year, Rivals' 2007 Defensive Coordinator of the Year and the 2008 Big East Coordinator of the Year.

He has coached in 15 bowl games, including 14 straight from 2001 to 2015. While at Arizona, Casteel helped the Wildcats to four straight bowl games and tutored, among others, linebacker Scooby Wright, who became a unanimous All-American and the Pac-12’s Pat Tillman Defensive Player of the Year. Wright was among the top five nationally in total tackles, tackles for loss (29), sacks (14) and fourth in forced fumbles in 2014.

Casteel was defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at West Virginia during the 2003-11 seasons and spent the 2002 season in Morgantown as co-coordinator. He worked with the defensive line at WVU in 2001 and as defensive ends coach at UTEP in 2000.

Among some of Casteel's noteworthy defenses at WVU were units that were No. 4 nationally in turnover margin in 2003; No. 7 nationally in turnover margin and No. 15 in total defense in 2005; best in the Big East and No. 13 nationally in rushing defense and 25th in turnover margin in 2006; No. 7 in total defense, No. 8 in scoring defense, No. 9 in turnover margin and top-20 marks in sacks and rushing defense in 2007; No. 11 in scoring defense and top-20 marks in turnover margin and pass efficiency defense in 2008; and No. 3 nationally in total defense in 2010.

He was the defensive line and strength coach at Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, W. Va., in 1989 and 1990 and assistant head coach and defensive coordinator from 1991 to 1999 at Shepherd before moving to Division I football at UTEP. Shepherd teams won West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference titles six times while he was assistant head coach. He was part of a WVU staff that led the Mountaineers to an average of 10 victories per season from 2006-11, two of those under Rich Rodriguez.

He began his coaching career at California University in Pennsylvania as a graduate assistant from 1984-86, and then coached the defensive line at Palmetto High School in Miami, Fla., for a year.

Casteel has coached in 15 bowl games in his career: 2015 New Mexico Bowl, 2014 Fiesta Bowl, 2013 Independence Bowl, 2012 Gildan New Mexico Bowl, 2011 Orange Bowl, 2010 Champs Sports Bowl, 2009 Gator Bowl, 2008 Car Care Bowl, 2007 Fiesta Bowl, 2006 Gator Bowl, 2005 Sugar Bowl, 2004 Gator Bowl, 2003 Gator Bowl, 2002 Continental Tire Bowl, 2000 Humanitarian Bowl.

Casteel and his wife, Rosemary, have two children, Jacob and Sarah. He holds bachelor's and master's degrees from California University (Pa.).

Coaching Career
2017 – Nevada, defensive coordinator/linebackers
2012-15 – Arizona, defensive coordinator/linebackers
2003-11 – West Virginia, defensive coordinator/linebackers
2002 – West Virginia, co-defensive coordinator/linebackers
2001 – West Virginia, defensive line
2000 – UTEP, defensive ends
1991-99 – Shepherd University (W. Va.), assistant head coach/defensive coordinator
1988-90 – Shepherd University (W. Va.), defensive line/strength and conditioning
1987 – Palmetto High School (Miami, Fla.), defensive line
1984-86 – California University (Pa.), graduate assistant
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