Dana Holgorsen reportedly leaving OSU for West Virginia
BY BILL HAISTEN World Sports Writer
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
12/15/10 at 4:03 AM
Multiple sources told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that Oklahoma State offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen has agreed to become West Virginia's offensive coordinator and head coach-designate.
Under terms of the agreement - apparently forged between Holgorsen and West Virginia athletic director Oliver Luck - Holgorsen reportedly would succeed Bill Stewart as the Mountaineers' head coach following the 2011 season.
During the weekend, the Post-Gazette had described Holgorsen as the "leading candidate" for another Big East Conference job - the University of Pittsburgh's head-coaching position. But by Monday afternoon, the Post-Gazette reported that the Holgorsen-Pitt possibility had dissolved and that Holgorsen had been contacted by a "high-ranking official" from West Virginia.
The Post-Gazette reported that Holgorsen is expected to receive a six-year contract and that the deal is expected "barring a last-minute glitch, to be finalized by the end of this week."
Reportedly, Holgorsen would make more than $500,000 in 2011 and then about $2 million per season as the head coach. Holgorsen makes $360,000 at OSU.
Attempts to contact Holgorsen were unsuccessful, and there has been no official announcement from Oklahoma State. A source in Stillwater said Holgorsen was in his office on Tuesday, game-planning for the 16th-ranked Cowboys' Dec. 29 Alamo Bowl meeting with Arizona.
While not available for comment, OSU coach Mike Gundy indicated through the university's media relations office that Holgorsen will call plays during the Alamo Bowl.
Holgorsen coached the Cowboys to national rankings of No. 1 in total offense (538 yards per game), No. 2 in passing (355-yard average) and No. 3 in scoring (44.9-point average).
From the start, Holgorsen-OSU seemed to have the potential of being a short-term relationship. During his 11 months in Stillwater, Holgorsen has resided in a hotel.
Last month, Holgorsen was asked about his goal of becoming a head coach.
"Yeah, I've got those aspirations," he replied.
At West Virginia, Stewart became the interim head coach after Rich Rodriguez accepted the Michigan job in December 2007. Following the Mountaineers' triumph over Oklahoma in the January 2008 Fiesta Bowl, the "interim" label was stripped and Stewart was given West Virginia's top job.
Through three seasons as the head coach, the 58-year-old Stewart has a 28-11 record. If the Mountaineers defeat North Carolina State in the Champs Sports Bowl, West Virginia will close the 2010 season with a 10-3 mark.
Reportedly, Luck's search for a new coach was due in part to a decline in attendance at West Virginia.
Following the 2011 season, according to the Post-Gazette, Stewart would spend the final two years of his contract in a non-coaching position within the athletic department.
Holgorsen, a 39-year-old native of Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, played small-college wide receiver at Iowa Wesleyan. Among his coaches were Hal Mumme and Mike Leach, each of whom later became nationally renowned as successful practitioners of the spread passing attack.
Recalling his launch into the coaching profession, Holgorsen said, "(Mumme and Leach) were coaching down at South Georgia. I didn't have anything else to do, so I drove down there and started coaching with those guys. ... It worked out. They didn't fire me. I kept getting jobs."
Holgorsen was on Leach's Texas Tech staff in 2000-07. Holgorsen was co-offensive coordinator in 2005-07, then became Houston's offensive coordinator for two seasons.
In his six seasons as an offensive coordinator, Holgorsen's spread attack never ranked worse than third nationally in passing yards and sixth in total offense. In 2009, as Houston led the nation in scoring, total offense and passing yards, the Cowboys slipped to 70th in total offense and 56th in scoring.
Dez Bryant's suspension and injuries to quarterback Zac Robinson and running back Kendall Hunter had weakened the OSU offense.
On Jan. 12, Gundy indicated that he would remain in control of the Cowboy offense. Three days later, he hired Holgorsen. With a first-year starter at quarterback (Brandon Weeden), four new line starters and a mostly unproven group of receivers, Holgorsen's 2010 offense broke several school records for total yards and passing.
Weeden was voted the All-Big 12 quarterback, while Hunter (1,516 rushing yards) and wide receiver Justin Blackmon became consensus All-Americans. With 102 catches for 1,665 yards and 18 touchdowns, Blackmon captured the Biletnikoff Award, given annually to the best receiver in college football.
With one game remaining, these are among the school records set by the Dana Holgorsen-coordinated Oklahoma State offense during the 2010 season:
Total yards: 6,451. (Old record was 6,340, set in 2002).
Scoring: 539 points. (Old record was 530, set in 2008).
Passing yards: 4,256. (Old record was 3,414, set in 2002).
Pass attempts: 491. (Old record was 454, set in 2002).
Pass completions: 332. (Old record was 243, set in 2002).
- QB Brandon Weeden has broken school records for pass attempts (470), completions (317), passing yards (4,037), total offense (3,969 yards) and TD passes (32). At 67.4 percent, Weeden is on track to break the single-season school record for completion rate. The record of 64.9 was set by Zac Robinson in 2008.
- In 11 games this season, receiver Justin Blackmon has 102 catches for 1,665 yards and 18 TDs. He needs six catches to break Rashaun Woods' 2002 school record of 107 receptions, 31 yards to break Woods' 2002 record of 1,695 yards, and two TD catches to break Dez Bryant's 2008 school record of 19.
Original Print Headline: Sources say Holgorsen to leave OSU
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