MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Should West Virginia University football coach Dana Holgorsen stay or should he go?

That’s the question Mountaineers fans are weighing in the wake of WVU’s 52-44 loss to Iowa State in Morgantown on Saturday. The Mountaineers closed out the 2013 regular season with a 4-8 record.

Callers to Monday’s MetroNews “Talkline” were split on whether Holgorsen should be shown the door immediately or allowed more time to show improvements within the program.

“I say it’s time for him to go,” said one caller.  “Ax him now,” said another.  But other callers urged caution.  “It goes back to recruiting.  It’s not coaching right now.  That’s not the main thing,” said one caller. “My gut tells me we’ve got to keep him unless he is really bad next year, at least two more years,” said another caller.

Holgorsen took over WVU’s program in 2011 and led the Mountaineers to a Big East championship and win in the Orange Bowl over Clemson that season.  Since WVU has entered the Big 12 Conference, though, the program has struggled.

“He’s on the clock,” said Allan Taylor, WVU beat writer for WVMetroNews.com, on Monday’s “Talkline.” Taylor said Holgorsen “at least deserves a chance to see this young team come to fruition next year with a lot of guys back.”

“This time next year, if they’re (the Mountaineers) not in a bowl game, and I’m not talking about a 6-6, barely-got-in-with-a-win-over-Kansas type of bowl game, if there’s not drastic changes, I think it’s big trouble for Dana,” said Taylor.

As of Monday, WVU athletics director Oliver Luck had not spoken publicly or issued any kind of statement addressing the state of the Mountaineers football program.

According to Holgorsen’s contract, he’ll be owed the entire amount remaining on his contract, which is $11.3 million, if he is fired this year. After next year, that amount is $8.6 million.

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Comments

  • Troll is back

    Holgorsen should get two more years. You have to look at this with your head and not your heart. I know the knee jerk reaction is to fire him and get a real West Virginian in here but in reality that doesn't mean anything, for example Saban in Alabama that's working and he's not a true Alabamian, Fischer at FSU that's working and he's not a true Floridian, Rodriguez at Arizona that's doing ok and he's not a true Arizonian so that's the heart not the head thinking. It's been nothing but turmoil and changes since Holgorsen arrived, the staff appears to finally look like they will be together for two years in a row now and that will help, the recruiting has been pretty good and that will help. Contrary to some post he has never said he didn't want to be here, contrary to some beliefs he has made coaching changes each year to try and improve. Two more years will tell the true story, maybe both will be good, maybe one of the two will be good or maybe both will be bad but at this point you have to give him the chance to turn things around. We aren't the first team to have a bad season and won't be the last, it's not the first WVU team to have a bad season and won't be the last. At this point though to start over is not the answer, two more years is and then if it doesn't work out and you change coaches at least there will be some depth and experience to build on for a new staff. It's hard in West Virginia not to let our heart make this decision but it's how it has to be for the best.

  • HMAALLTHEWAY

    It is a shame we can't get or keep one of our own at WVU. Yes, Rich Rod left but I think he regrets it. Doc maybe would leave Marshall? What about Saban? Maybe he would like to spend his golden years at WVU? If WVU would pony up the cash!
    The posters on here are correct in saying its about keeping butts in the seats and losing records will not keep folks in the seats.

  • C.T. Lilly III

    The one reason Holgorsen will stay for another year is $11.3 million. It is all about the $money$!!!!!!!

    • shawn

      If it were about the money, he wouldn't have come here. It was about getting that first shot and he's been put in a dicey situation with a new conference and the burden of rebuilding a team to compete in the Big 12.

      • WVU86

        Shawn - It is about the money ... the money WVU does not have to buy out his contract if he is fired which is $11.3 mil. There is no speculation about it. Holgs will return barring a run-in with the law and/or university. Get ready for another year of Holgs fellow WVU followers. WVU isn't Texas, Notre Dame or a select few other colleges that have boatloads of money to burn. Whether you like him or not, get ready cause Holgs will be around in 2014.

        • wv4evah

          Hmmm..you raise an interesting concept: "barring a run-in with the law or the university." Sure I'm paranoid..but if I were the coach, I would watch my every move verrrrrrrrrry carefully.

        • WVU changes

          We pay him that much money. For nothing! That's all we get. WVU needs to fire who ever signed his contract!

    • appikid

      That is a big deal! Why would an AD give such a vote of confidence contract to an unproven HC? Come on 11.3 million first year, 8. something million second??? If we would have lost every game this year or lose every game next year, it will cost WVU minimum 8 million! I ask myself one question. Where is the reward for wins in this contract? Plain and simple, if we lose every game next year and we part ways, HE WINS 8 plus million! There is only one winner here, DH. Maybe the folks at Texas questioned this?????

      • Artie Smithers

        appikid. I agree with you 100%. While everyone is focusing on the performance of DH to date I think many are brushing by the larger/more important performance question. That question being: How does any AD justify signing off on a contract that effectively and literally guarantees to pay an employee $11 million.............regardless of performance. Seriously, other than "pride" what motivation does DH have to right this ship. He's going to get $11 million regardless of what happens. With that said, I really have to question the "business acumen" of Mr. Luck in binding WVU to such a one-sided contract. THAT is the performance issue I think more people should be howling about.

      • Maria

        Hmmmm--
        Maybe Dana has WV figured out. He loses games and WV fans will bash him enough to pressure ____(who is in charge now? Clements is gone and Ollie wants to go and now is radio silent) to fire him. DH runs away with the cash....and for once, has a big smile on that face. For that reason, he needs to stay. :) It is obvious he is not happy to be here--never has been. And if he wants butts in the seats next year, he better schmooze his way across the state and kiss every baby and shake every hand to win back the residents with "common" money. He better decide he LIKES the students (who are the REASON he has a University that needs a FB Coach!) He better embrace them and decide he likes the pep rally and a fall kick-off celebration with the team and the band and the kids and the food at the 'Lair--the TRADITION he cancelled. If he gets his "man trip" then our WV traditions get to stay too! He gets--he takes away. The man brings no SPIRIT or personality to the program--no magic......everything around him is flat--deflated---actually, boring! I do have to give kudos to whoever got him into public speaking class--that is the one and only improvement I have seen.

        Yeah--TX figured out what a GENIUS Ollie is. I thought the Heather Bresh scandal was a mess. The powers playing here are as good or better than Garrison dealing with RR and his threats.
        And really, Arizona Ken and gang can pay the DH buy-out money. Let's let him fix everything....again.

        Can WVU live without a soap opera or constant turmoil? It is embarrassing on a Nat'l scale! That goes all the way back to the change of concessions from Shaffer to Sodexo. TURMOIL from then on. EMBARRASSING! Get a good coach--get a good (NOT HIDING) AD. Start over from the bottom b/c you are already there!

  • Brett

    WVU is playing in a bigger conference and you have a talented coach learning to be a head coach. It takes time and it will happen. It is called growing pains. Get a new defensive coordinator while you are at it though. When you score 38 points in a game and can't pull out a win it is pitiful. Millard can't move the offense and Trickett does ok, but not great. Defense looked like it was going to be alright early on, but when put to the test they just let everybody down game after game. The coaching shuffle didn't work so if Holgerson wants to keep his job he needs a much better defense. WVU ranked 107th in passing yards allowed. 90th in rushing defense. 99th in scoring defense. 102nd in Total Defense. Same problem as last year. Doesn't matter how many points you put on the board if the defense is at the bottom of the pile and you keep getting outscored.

    • shawn

      The D is still young. I will say that we do not blitz enough though. It makes it hard on the D-Backs if we cant get to the QB.

    • Protechcpa

      Neither Millard or Childress show any potential. I love Trickett for his toughness and I truly believe he is the only QB we have that has the leadership, moxy, skill and pocket awareness to lead the team. I am so happy that he did get the opportunity to fulfill his dream. I just wish he was five inches taller and 75 pounds heavier. Granted DH seems set on a drop back passer, but in this era of football, be it high school. college or pro, the true way to out smart the ever increasing complexity of defensive schemes is with a QB that is a true running threat. Unless of course you have Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Drew Brees or an offensive line like Stanford. Not many like that around. With the weak offensive line we field year in and year out, the ability to run may be a survival necessity for our next QB.

  • Joe

    This is not about wins and losses. This is about revenue and putting fans in the stands. Nothing else matters. We start out 1-2 next season, attendance will plummet. This is why I feel we need to bring in a new coach and staff who might then bring a QB with him. We simply cannot from an economic perspective have another season like this next year. We ate a the point of drastic changes to be made that will sell season tickets.

    Also, Luck's silence is absolutely unacceptable and displays a striking lack of leadership.

    • appikid

      Luck is eating crow my friend! and DH is livingLARGE

  • Jim G

    Why, no WHY, do we not have a single ESPN top 225 recruit signed? Not a one in the top 225. Why
    Michigan has 11.
    Even the lowly Virginia Cavaliers have 3.
    Where is the recruiting?
    Good players beat good coaching every day.
    If he can't get more ranked players, then he should be gone. Period.
    Let me coach. I can lose 8 games and wont cost your nearly what he's being paid. Its that simple.

    • shawn

      You're not going to get 15 Four star kids to come to WVU. Its just not going to happen. Rodriguez didn't bring many in and he found a way to win. And this is going to be his third class...and its far from signing day. A lot of 4 and 5 star kids don't make their minds up until College Football is in the books.

    • dallenfive

      Georgia Southern over Florida, not sure I believe that totally in reference to good players beat good coaching...its does help, but not exactly as you are putting it.

      • WVOMG

        We could barely win the Big East and you idiots are calling for NC and Big 12 titles...let's go to conf USA so you can all feel better about yourselves.

        • Richard L.

          WVOMG,

          I am not calling for NC and Big 12 titles every year. I expected a down year. I predicted 5-7 at best. What I did not get was to see a team that shows improvement after 12 games. That did not happen.

  • Nicholas Gainer

    WVU has made a huge mistake. Our teams are competing in a conference. Travel distance is bad, it is hard to recruit Texas and other southeast schools to one where students prefer their states and fan base is not attractive. West Virginians want to see teams who play in a place where travel and recruiting are not a constant problem. Bring WVU SPORTS HOME!! and Get A COACH THAT IS ORIENTED TO EASTERN FOOTBALL!

    • susaf1218

      I totally agree. And I think that finally more and more people are starting to see this situation as the mess that it really is. Of course, there will still be the PollyAnnas who insist that "next year will be better" and that we "need to give him more time", but those of us who live in the real world understand that there will be no improvement as long as Luck is the AD and Holgorsen is the HC.

    • juice

      Bring it home? What conference do you want to play in that would actually take us? MAC? American conference that is full of Conference USA and MAC teams?? The Big East is gone
      guys and the ACC well they passed on us now didn't they.

  • Lou

    Dana is not a head coach. Period.

    Game over.

    • juice

      No he is not! He quit on that team every game. I feel sorry for those kids that with good coaching would really be amazing. They just are not getting coached.

    • Tim A

      You are so right Low. Time to step aside and let WVU have a qualified head coach. Game over if not...

  • Brian

    There are 3 glaring issues i have with Holgs, and I strongly believe warrant his dismissal.
    1) No decent QB (and are things honestly gonna get any better next season?). You can spin, twist, apologize, excuse, bend and argue this every way from Sunday; but there is NO excuse for not having at least a servicable QB in a Dana Holgorson system - somethng HE as KNOWN about - and is completely responsible for - for a minimum of two (and I actually count three) years now! No
    Excuse for the lack of production WVU saw from that posititon!!
    2) Let's ALL just be a little honest here for a second, can we please? Holgs hates West Virginia in general, and I think he hates having to coach here even more. If you cannot see/read that from every fiber of his being everytime he has to address the media, fans or in interviews - you are BLIND! And I'm sure he knows the feeling is mutual from %85 of us back towards him.
    3) And ultimately - I think most remotely educated people KNOW how that old saying goes concerning the defination of insanity!

    For every one of you Danapologists that point to for "turn-over" in staff issues and how changing now would but us further behind; I promise I can name programs that flurished with first and second year head coaches this year. Every coin has two sides.
    Buy him out now - we can afford the 2.5 - 2.6 million (the 11.3 is for 4 years - NOT due immediately - and can be lawyered down I'm sure!).

    • Michael

      Relax Brian. Sure our situation sucks and has gone terrible. Put yourself in the shoes of the Florida Gator fans or Tennessee fans or even Auburn and Missouri last year. Some teams are down while others have turned bad situations into positive ones....and Florida is a winner...of it all recently. It's all about the ebbs and flows. Right now its just intramurals for us. We will soon be playing Big 12 Football again brother!!!

      • Brian

        You are absolutely correct Michael - but I'm just not seeing improvement next year either.
        I hoestly hope I am as wrong as a person can be and we win 8 games next year, I reAlly do; but I'd also be willing to bet we go 5-7 next year tops.
        Again - I sincwerly hope I'm dead wrong!!

        • Don Jr.

          I would not take that bet, you're probably right about a sub 5-7 season next. This is the way I see it, give him one more year.
          If 7-5 or better then he is learning to be a coach and is probably a keeper until someone else offers him a job.
          If 6-6 then the bowl game is a must win.
          If 5-7 or less, pull the plug.

          • Don Jr.

            We did know going into the Big-12 that we did not have the depth to compete for the entire season didn't we?
            My surprise is at the QB position. I did have higher expectations at that position.

          • Richard L.

            Don Jr.

            You are on target.

        • Richard L.

          Brian, this is my post earlier in the thread. I think it falls in line with your post.

          WVOMG,

          I am not calling for NC and Big 12 titles every year. I expected a down year. I predicted 5-7 at best. What I did not get was to see a team that shows improvement after 12 games. That did not happen.

    • WVU MOM

      I can name a fourth good reason to get rid of him. He is an embarassment on the sidelines. I like to see stoic and/or in control coaches on the sidelines. Holgs is a blow hard acting upset when things don't go his players' way. If he cared he'd start calling the games for real.

      • Duane from Morgantown

        I guess Huggs has to go as well.

    • wvu09

      I really don't think Holgerson hates WV and I don't get what your sources are for saying that. If there is one thing he deserves credit for it is trying to learn about the state and its people. He even brings in speakers and what not throughout the summer to talk to the players about the West Virginia way. I think he really is trying to be accepted.

      • Brian

        wvu09 - my "sources" are obviously apparent in his behavior, his nature, his actions and his way of addressing EVERYONE he deems beneath him (which, I might add, seems to be every media member, fan and even player not part of his buddy-pack).
        What are YOUR sources that dictate those "tactics" he uses/used are his idea to begin with?
        Don't think for a second that Ollie, Clements and others aren't in his ear about his behavior.
        In fact, I'd bet a bundle most of the stuff you think is HIS idea actually comes from other "sources" !!

        • wvu09

          I guess sources may not have been the word I was looking for. You may very well be correct those things are other peoples ideas, I don't have proof either way. I also do not disagree with you that he has a habit of throwing his players under the bus rather than take accountability when he should.

    • Richard

      Amen! Very we'll said.

  • shawn

    "You come to a crossroads and the expectations get so great, people get spoiled by success and there gets to be a lack of appreciation,” Terry Saban told the Journal. “We’re kind of there now.”

    This also applies to the current situation at WVU.

    • Linda Hickman

      Shawn -What is there to appreciate about Holgorsen? He appears to view his situation in WV with contempt - always has. His actions clearly indicate that he doesn't care about anyone but himself. WV should have been in the top tier of the Big 12 last year with Geno, Tavon, et. al - but coaching let that team slide to the pits - even losing to Syracuse in the Pin Stripe Bowl.

  • Dave

    send him and Ollie on an express flight out of here now....remember when 9 -4 wasn't good enough...why should 4 -8 be acceptable

  • Bobby M

    He's NOT good head coaching materal! Examine the decline AND look at PRE-ORANGE BOWL games! Lost to Louseville, blocked kicked saved us at Cincy, squeaked by Pitt by ONE point, and almost HALF our points against terrible USF team were Tavon kick return and Pat Miller INT for TD!

    Meaning WHAT? Meaning his Offense HAS BEEN struggling for LONG LONG LONG LONG LONG time now! Its not a fluke! Its not "depth" or "players"! Others have evolved the spread offense but he's running SAME spread he ran 5 years ago! He's NOT Spread Genius!

  • thornton

    Keep him...and send Trickett to the weight room and a good all-you-can-eat buffet.

    • shawn

      I'm sure if he didn't suffer from a disease he would like to gain weight.

      • Charleston,WV

        ????

        • shawn

          Celiac Disease keeps him from gaining weight. The way I worded it was confusing. All i'm saying is the kid would like to be bigger but it keeps him from gaining weight.

          • thornton

            Tough deal...tough decisions need made with reality in mind.
            Fragility, apart from Will or Toughness, is not a good thing in a Quarterback in the big 12.....will Leadership trump all else? Hope so but I also hope this down year is looked at in it's entirety. Some of these comments here make a feller wonder about agendas.

      • Charleston,WV

        Nevermind.

        • Ben Dover

          Just get the man a sandwich.. Jimmy Johns will hustle it right to ya.

  • Allan

    I for one say keep Dana for at least one year more if not two, but I have much less confidence in Patterson, DeForest and especially Dawson. But this season clearly defines the role the QB plays in the offensive success or failure and I don't see any improvement in this area for next year, but I sure would like to be surprised.

    • appikid

      Allan, who do the assistant coaches work for? That is why he is the HC! Darn it, when things are not going well he walks off by himself! He doesn't coach his assistants or his players!

  • shawn

    You've got to hold on to Dana for at least 2 more years. He's only had 2 recruiting years and honestly that's not enough when it comes to competing in the Big 12. Look at TCU and Patterson. He's got to go back and start getting some different types of players to compete week in and out in the Big 12. It takes time and patience, and most WVU fans don't show a lot of patience.

    • Jim G

      see above

      This, his third recruiting class, has no one ranked in the ESPN top 225.

      • Duane from Morgantown

        Sorry Jim but you're wrong on him having three recruiting classes. This year’s class will make three. We will not know the outcome of this class until February. The 2011 class had most of its players well before Holgorsen came in. I counted six players that committed after he was hired as coach in waiting. Also, the recruiting process took place while Stew was still head man. Everyone needs to relax, we will be much better next year. Let me be the first to say nine or more wins next year. We don’t reload…we rebuild.

        • jeepster

          this was supposed to be a rebuilding year. We didn't improve as the year went along,we got worse. That goes back to coaching. Coaching is teaching,not pouting and stomping. He can't manage the clock,terrible game preparation,terrible public relations,etc. How do you think he is going to attract top recruits?? What is your basis for "we will be better next year? 9 wins? lol wv needs to negotiate a settlement and cut ties to him

        • WVreject

          LOL!!!!......WVU 9 wins next year....that's sooo funny Duane from Motown!!!! Please "Don't drink and drive"!!!!

    • Mickey

      So true...wonder how all those Florida fans are feeling right now...He has to have another year..

      • Todd parsons

        I'm tired of hearing everybody crying ,The fact of the matter is we ALL! got spoiled from past years of winning my self included I live in North Carolina now and not a day goes by that I don't miss the great state of West Virginia and haven't missed a WV game in 22 years' I Played quarterback at Sissonville with poor coaching . But I believe Holgerson is a good coach 'I don't agree with a lot of his play calls but ,the more he gets familiar with new players and their talent the better he will understand what they can do ,so hang in there everyone I think there is a lot of talent here ,give these boys a chance to grow and improve .LETS GOOOO MOUNTIANEEEEEEEERS!