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WVU sticking with Holgorsen

Dana Holgorsen AP

As has been the case more often this year than in pretty much any other in recent memory, an athletic director is standing behind an embattled head coach.

The most recent example is West Virginia’s Oliver Luck, who released a statement Tuesday confirming that Dana Holgorsen will return as the Mountaineers’ head coach in 2014.  The decision came after the athletic director and coach “met at length and reviewed this past season.”

“In my opinion, continuity is the key ingredient that will bring our football program back to the high level that Mountaineer fans expect,” Luck’s statement read, in part.

Left unmentioned by Luck was Holgorsen’s hefty buyout.

Reportedly, it would cost the university in excess of $11 million for Holgersen alone if he were fired without cause — and that doesn’t include buyouts for current assistants along with hiring an entire new staff.  While the move from the Big East to the Big 12 was made in large part for the additional conference revenue, the financial hit the athletic department would take for cleaning house is much too prohibitive — especially for an athletic department that’s still not receiving a full share of league revenue.

After going 10-3 his first season in 2011, Holgorsen has gone 7-6 and 4-8 in the Mountaineers’ first two seasons in the Big 12.

Below is the full text of Luck’s statement:

First, I want to thank all Mountaineer fans who supported our football team through a difficult and trying season.  Though there were some high points this year, including our upset victory over No. 11 Oklahoma State and the inspired play from many first year student-athletes, there were far too many disappointments.
We have high expectations at West Virginia University for success on and off the field and as Coach Holgorsen has acknowledged to me, we are not meeting those expectations on the field.  Coach Holgorsen and I met at length and reviewed this past season.  We discussed the coaching staff, recruiting, player development, strength and conditioning, academic support, facilities, in short, all the components that make up a successful program.  We are working diligently to improve our capabilities in all of these areas.
I strongly believe in our coaching staff, including the work that our strength and conditioning staff is doing.  In my opinion, continuity is the key ingredient that will bring our football program back to the high level that Mountaineer fans expect.
We had plenty of challenges this season; nonetheless, we should not and will not use those as excuses for our performance. We simply must get better.
Coach Holgorsen and his staff are on the road recruiting this week, securing the future for a successful Mountaineer football program.  We need to do our part as well by continuing to move forward with the facility improvements needed to compete at the highest level in our conference.
We have high expectations for the 2014 football team, and I have shared those with Coach Holgorsen.  He and his staff are eager to get started to prepare for our opening game against Alabama.  We are well aware that we have a lot of work to do.
We have tremendous student-athletes in our program and a very accomplished core of coaches who want to bring championships back to West Virginia University.  We will do all we can to help them in that endeavor, and I ask for your continued support as we move forward to a brighter future.

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14 Responses to “WVU sticking with Holgorsen”
  1. thegamecocker says: Dec 3, 2013 2:23 PM

    My God, his team lost to Iowa State……Rutgers’ has beaten Iowa State……maybe W Va should join the AAC and call it a day. UCONN and Cincy are still there and so is UCF and South Fla. That would be a better conference for them. They may make more money in the Big 12 but their expenses are outrageous. Why the hell do you think Ollie Luck was dying to get out of there……The way WVa is going, Ollie will have to move in with his son……

  2. dmcgrann says: Dec 3, 2013 2:26 PM

    “…continuity is the key ingredient…”

    Okay, so we can expect 1-11 next year? The continuity I noticed is that each year has three fewer wins than the previous year.

  3. ancientcougar says: Dec 3, 2013 2:31 PM

    Dana is an offensive genius; He needs to improve his recruiting.

  4. v2the4 says: Dec 3, 2013 3:04 PM

    some guys are just career assistants…if Holgerson doesnt win at least 8 to 9 games next year, he is gone.

    his constant yanking of qb’s in each game does his team no good, but you see all of these air raid type coaches like Mike Leach, Kliff Klingsbury and June Jones constantly doing this

  5. sportsguy3434 says: Dec 3, 2013 3:16 PM

    Kiss of death. Get it done or else…

  6. rolltide510 says: Dec 3, 2013 3:36 PM

    I don’t really understand why they couldn’t fire him with cause if they wanted to. Just have somebody follow him to the bar one night and the rest will take care of itself.

  7. drummerhoff says: Dec 3, 2013 4:05 PM

    does anyone remember this?

  8. wvuandsteelers says: Dec 3, 2013 4:28 PM

    Sad when the best coach you have is your strength coach.

    Does anybody know what the buyout drops to next year or is he just in a 4 year $11 million contract and next year will be in the $8 million range?

  9. thefiesty1 says: Dec 3, 2013 4:32 PM

    Unfortunately, the Little East is NOT the Big 12. I was hoping they would be more competitive.

  10. drummerhoff says: Dec 3, 2013 4:42 PM

    thefiesty1: i agree.

    its curious how wvu’s move from bigeast to big12 is bumpy BUT virginia tech and boston college’s move from the bigeast to the acc was smooth.

    i guess the big12 is a step-up competition, while the acc is a lateral move.

  11. urfinished says: Dec 3, 2013 8:11 PM

    I guess Roy Munson needs to step it up. I forgot all about WVU…that can’t be a good sign.

  12. ericdinosaur says: Dec 3, 2013 11:02 PM

    They treated Bill Stewart like shit for this scumbag. For what? The program deserves to fall off just because of karma.

  13. pinchegringo12 says: Dec 4, 2013 12:17 AM

    How are the upgrades for mizzou and a&m doing for the big 12-2-2+2?

  14. thegamecocker says: Dec 4, 2013 7:53 AM


    You must mean TCU and W Va…….I’d say the SEC got the better end of that deal. And so did Mizzou and aTm. More money and greater exposure.

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