Dana Holgorsen

Report: WVU head coach-in-waiting booted from casino


Gotta be honest with y’all.  When my phone started blowing up with a link to a story about West Virginia’s offensive coordinator/head coach-in-waiting getting “escorted” from a casino at three or so in the morning a week or so ago, my initial reaction was — and I’m paraphrasing myself here — (chuckle).

I mean, it’s Dana Holgorsen we’re talking about here; hell, the fact that naked bongos being played on a blackjack table apparently wasn’t involved may have been, at least initially, the most startling part of the “situation”.

The thing is, though, this story involves the future head coach — we think — of a football program that’s a member of a BcS conference — technically, and for now — so it might be worth at least taking note of.  With that said…

Citing multiple unnamed sources, the Charleston Daily Mail is reporting, and we’ll quote them verbatim here, “Holgorsen was removed from Mardi Gras Casino & Resort after 3 a.m. May 18.”.  The paper further expounds on the alleged situation involving the future head coach of the Mountaineers:

Holgorsen’s behavior allegedly reached a point that necessitated involvement from on-site security, sources said. Holgorsen was escorted out of the casino with the episode caught on surveillance. University representatives who were with Holgorsen were said to have then intervened. No arrest was made.

Police records indicate Metro 911 received a call from the casino at 3:13 a.m. that night. A “white male” was said to be “refusing to cooperate with the casino’s management.” Casino supervisors had the male detained at the time.

While my pretend sources would like to pretend that the lack of Busch Tall Boys cold or otherwise was somehow involved, it’s unclear at this point in time what “necessitated involvement from on-site security”.  I’ll guarantee, though, that I’d pay good money for that surveillance “episode”.  And would bet the same good money that it involves a tank-topped, cargo-shorted Holgorsen and the words “dude” or “duuude” a lot if audio is available.

Regardless, the university is aware of the alleged episode, and issued a statement to the paper that broke the story.

“Athletic director Oliver Luck and head coach Bill Stewart have been made aware of the alleged incident. Once they have all the facts, they will deal with it appropriately,” Michael Fragale, the assistant athletic director for communications, told the Daily Mail.

For some reason, I think there’ll be more to report on this situation in the next day or two…

Dabo Swinney wins ACC Coach of the Year award

Dabo Swinney
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When you go undefeated, people tend to give you awards.

In the wake of Clemson’s first perfect regular season, its first since 1981, head coach and pizza party patron Dabo Swinney was named the ACC’s top coach on Tuesday.

Swinney received 27 of the 50 available votes, edging North Carolina’s Larry Fedora (21). Florida State’s Jimbo Fisher and Pittsburgh’s Pat Narduzzi each gobbled up one of the two remaining votes.

Aaron Brenner of the Charleston (S.C.) Post and Courier notes Swinney is due a $25,000 bonus for winning the award.

Win or lose, Dabo Swinney throwing pizza party for Clemson on Sunday

Dabo Swinney, Jim Brown
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Clemson’s 12-0 regular season will be celebrated Sunday, whether or not the Tigers win Saturday night’s ACC Championship.

“We’re gonna have a pizza party on Sunday. That’s gonna happen,” Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney pledged Tuesday to the Charleston (S.C.) Post and Courier, following through on an off-hand comment made a few weeks back. “It’s kind of hard to plan for a pizza party when you don’t know the outcome. We’re not going to know that until midnight — that’s a lot of dough.”

It’s unclear if Swinney’s last statement was meant literally or figuratively or both.

Either way, Clemson said it will provide at least 2,500 Papa John’s pizzas, which will be distributed for free upon admittance to Memorial Stadium. Assuming a Tigers win over North Carolina, gates will open at 11 a.m. in advance of the noon ET College Football Playoff selection show.

But the party will go on regardless of Saturday night’s result.

“Regardless of whether we win or lose the game Saturday night, this team deserves to be celebrated.”

Report: Temple’s Matt Rhule stops talking to Missouri

Matt Rhule

The search for a new coach at Missouri continues, and apparently one candidate has backed away from the pursuit. The Philadelphia Inquirer reports Temple head coach Matt Rhule has turned taken himself out of the mix for the job at Missouri, which likely means Rhule will stay put in South Philly during this coaching carousel cycle.

According to the report, Temple is also in the process of negotiating a new contract for Rhule. Rhule has already signed a contract extension with Temple that runs through 2021. Rhule’s Owls are also preparing to take on Houston in this week’s American Athletic Conference championship game. Rhule does not believe this will serve as a distraction to his team as they prepare for the Cougars.

“I think our team is way too strong to be distracted about anything with me,” Rhule said. “I am honest with our players and tell them everything.”

Ironically, Houston also received some encouraging news this week when head coach Tom Herman said he has an agreement in principle to stay at Houston. Not only is that good news for Houston and Temple, but that is outstanding news for the conference as a whole, although Memphis did lose Justin Fuente to Virginia Tech.

For Temple, this should be encouraging news as a program. The two coaches before Rhule took the job each left to take on power conference opportunities once they came along. Al Golden took an offer to coach Miami (that, uh, didn’t exactly pan out nicely) and Steve Addazio bolted for Boston College. Who knows if Rhule will stick around for the long haul, but it would seem just being able to get him to return in 2016 would be a major step in the right direction for Temple.

Texas Tech fires three defensive assistants

Kliff Kingsbury

Texas Tech may be getting ready for a bowl game, but they will do so without three defensive assistant coaches. Co-defensive coordinator and defensive line coach Mike Smith, cornerbacks coach Kevin Curtis and outside linebackers coach Trey Haverty have been cut from the coaching staff, head coach Kliff Kingsbury announced today.

“We appreciate all that Mike, Kevin and Trey have done at Texas Tech over the last three seasons,” Kingsbury said in a released statement. “All three are great Red Raiders and we wish them the very best.”

Texas Tech had the Big 12’s ninth-ranked total defense after allowing 540.2 yards per game. That was nearly 100 yards more per game than Iowa State’s eighth-ranked defense. Only Kansas had a worst defense, allowing 560.8 yards per game. Texas Tech’s defense ranked 126th in the nation out of 128 schools. The Red Raiders were torched through the air, allowing 268.3 yards per game through the air, which was ranked 113th in the nation.

Offense appears to be the key to success in the Big 12 and defense has tended to be a hurdle for the Red Raider program. This much appears to be clear though. Kingsbury is making moves with his roster to find a way to improve defensively and become a more well-rounded threat in the Big 12.