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WVU makes it official: Holgorsen in as coach-in-waiting

Dana Holgorsen

The rumors from the past 24 hours have come to fruition.

Dana Holgorsen will become West Virginia’s next head coach.  Eventually.

According to a press release issued by the school, Holgorsen will join the Mountaineer football coaching staff as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for the 2011 season, before becoming WVU’s 33rd head football coach in 2012.

“I think the transition year for coach Holgorsen will be very beneficial to the football program, and the opportunity to learn from coach Bill Stewart should not be underestimated,” athletic director Oliver Luck said in a statement. “Coach Holgorsen is one of the top coaches in college football. His success at Texas Tech, Houston and Oklahoma State speaks for itself. We know that coach Holgorsen will bring a high-powered offense that will be incredibly entertaining to watch at Milan Puskar Stadium.

“He will also provide a lot of energy and enthusiasm to our team as well as a wealth of experience. He has served under some fantastic mentors over the years, guys such as Hal Mumme, Mike Leach and Kevin Sumlin. I look forward to coach Holgorsen joining us. I cannot imagine a better combination of offensive and defensive coordinators in Dana Holgorsen and Jeff Casteel working for coach Stewart. Mountaineer football is in the best of hands.”

Holgorsen spent one season at Oklahoma State, and directed one of the most explosive offenses in the nation.  The Cowboys led the nation in total offense in 2010, averaging 537.6 yards per game, were No. 2 in passing offense, averaging 354.7 yards per game, and No. 3 in scoring offense, averaging 44.9 points per game.  The year prior to Holgorsen’s arrival, OSU was 61st in total offense.

“I look forward to the opportunity to join West Virginia University as offensive coordinator for the 2011 season,” Holgorsen said. “It will be a privilege to work alongside two great football coaches in Bill Stewart and Jeff Casteel.

“Naturally, I am excited about succeeding coach Stewart in 2012 and becoming the head coach of the Mountaineers and leading the West Virginia football program to even greater heights.

“My goal is to win a national championship at West Virginia University, and I firmly believe that coach Stewart has built a solid foundation, which will allow us to compete with the very best in the country.”

Current head coach Bill Stewart will remain the head coach in 2011, and then transition into an administrative role in 2012.  Perhaps in an effort to smooth over any hard feelings on the part of the current coach, Luck lavished praised on Stewart in the release.

“The entire Mountaineer community greatly appreciates the work that coach Bill Stewart has done for West Virginia University and the entire state,” Luck said in a continuation of the statement. “Going back to his first year on the football staff in 2000, which was the final season for Hall of Fame coach Don Nehlen, coach Stewart has been a tremendous representative of our football program.

“We are indeed fortunate to have enjoyed his steady leadership and infectious personality. His dedication and love for his home state, as well as his passion for Mountaineer football, are unparalleled, and we look forward with great anticipation to a successful 2011 season with coach Stewart in charge.”

The release went on to state that Holgorsen, who will replace current offensive coordinator Jeff Mullen, will start at West Virginia after the bowl game and his compensation will be $800,000 in 2011 and will increase to $1.4 million in 2012, plus incentives. All current West Virginia football coaches will remain in place through the bowl game.

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11 Responses to “WVU makes it official: Holgorsen in as coach-in-waiting”
  1. mchelfrich says: Dec 15, 2010 6:53 PM

    Bottom line, one more reason the hillbillies are classless. Hire a coach before before you fire your coach. They should just bring idiot Rod back, they deserve each other! Hail to PITT!

  2. noaxetogrind says: Dec 15, 2010 7:10 PM

    I am not going to take a shot at WVU fans. I would bet most of them are as embarrassed by this as the rest of the nation is. Luck maybe all he has because he certainly has no integrity. I must say though that the President doesn’t get a free pass for allowing this and Holgorsen has some culpability here as well. As people in the coaching profession will tell you, the WVU staff is highly regarded as great guys. I am making no commentary as to their coaching expertise, just to their class. To be done like this is ridiculous. I like the way the AD says he was tutored by some great mentors, Mumme-NCAA violations-drummed out of the sport for a while, Leach-Pompous, Arrogant-drummed out of the sport for a while. If Dana can follow in their footsteps I am sure Mr. Luck will have done WVU proud.

  3. edgy says: Dec 15, 2010 7:30 PM

    noaxetogrind says:


    I guess that you’ll be getting a lump of coal from Dana and his supporters. :)

  4. inconsonance says: Dec 15, 2010 8:18 PM

    mchelfrich, by resorting to petty, infantile name calling, you’re at least equally, if not more, classless than the “hillbillies” you’re attempting to defame. If, in the future, you decide to publicly express yourself, try not to come across as a petulant toddler from bad breeding stock. It would really strengthen your argument and build credibility.

    As for how this all went down, well, I can understand both sides. Stewart knew that the natives are restless and that his promise to step down if he wasn’t getting toe job done would never be kept. He has been in way over his head since day one, as has a large portion of his staff. Luck knows what our expectations are and that they’re definitely not being met, so he had to be proactive. Should he have been more tactful? Yes. Will this all blow over once Holgorsen takes over and starts winning? Yes.

  5. noaxetogrind says: Dec 15, 2010 9:29 PM

    “Should he have been more tactful”, now there is a euphemism for you if I ever heard one. I don’t mind you being fine with the tactics, that is your right. However don’t write Luck’s actions off as just a matter of tact. It was flat out classless. My question for you is what if Dana doesn’t win? Its not like, he did it at OSU, he can do it at WVU. May not get the same athletes. I can assure you that Mr. Luck (what an appropriate name for a guy with no clue) will not be able to hire a GA next time if he is still the AD. Of course if he doesn’t win I doubt if Mr. Luck will still be employed by WVU.

  6. mchelfrich says: Dec 15, 2010 9:34 PM

    inconsonance,if you have ever been to Back yard Brawl in either Pittsburgh or Morgantown, you would realize that my rant, albeit a bit harsh, is not very far from the truth. Also, after all the petty rodriguez years, the Dana years don’t seem like they are going to be any different.

  7. smokehouse56 says: Dec 15, 2010 9:58 PM

    If he learned so much from Mike Leach, why not hire Leach. He would put on a much better show at WV. Probably even beat Pitt.

  8. inconsonance says: Dec 15, 2010 10:15 PM

    I wasn’t being euphemistic. He should be more tactful in delicate situations. Period. “Class” is a term bandied about by people who’ve watched ‘Anchorman’ too many times.

  9. wvuandsteelers says: Dec 16, 2010 7:09 AM

    1) Pitt sucks
    2) Bill Stewart sucks as a coach and Jeff Mullen is even worse
    3) Stewart is getting paid his full contract and will make more money in the next few years not being the coach than he probably made in his previous career, so don’t feel too sad for him
    4) Luck most likely had to jump the gun because Pitt was looking very hard at him. I think Luck knew he was the guy he wanted and was forced to act quickly to get him. So, IMO, he did his job and did it well. I guess if he had just fired Stewart first, then you would have been happier. Here, Stewart gets to ride the gravy train into retirement.
    5) Notice there is not one program with an opening that has expressed any desire to hire Stewart, nor will there ever be one.
    6) Pitt still and will always suck

  10. edgy says: Dec 16, 2010 12:27 PM

    wvuandsteelers says:


    1. Number of NC for WV vs Pitt. Don’t take too long.

    2. Stewart is under contract for a good deal of money and all the programs that have openings would all represent a drop in pay. You mentioned his contract in #3 and then talked about him not getting offers in #5. Of course, it’s also not like he was on the market two weeks ago, is it?

    3. Stewart probably rides the gravy train into retirement, whether he’s fired or not. Hell, the contract that Petrino signed is a mutual buyout so he pays the school that amount if he leaves OR they pay him that amount if they fire him. My guess is that it’s too expensive to get rid of him this year or they were hoping that he’d get mad enough to leave and they wouldn’t have to worry about paying him.

  11. phillyb6 says: Dec 16, 2010 12:31 PM

    smokehouse… WVU has beaten Pitt two years in a row now. I get your Leach point, but the last comment was stupid.

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