John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Dana Holgorsen reacts to a special-teams penalty during West Virginia’s 31-19 loss to Kansas.

 

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Claiming continuity is crucial to improving West Virginia’s football program, athletics director Oliver Luck reiterated his support for head coach Dana Holgorsen on Tuesday.

Three days after West Virginia concluded a 4-8 season with a 52-44 loss to Iowa State, Luck released a statement proclaiming the program “must get better” in 2014—expectations he said he shared with Holgorsen. The Mountaineers closed the season by losing six of their final seven games and failed to earn a bowl bid for the first time since 2001.

Holgorsen is 21-17 overall in three seasons at WVU, his first stop as a head coach. His 2011 team went 10-3 and captured the Big East crown, but two ensuing seasons have produced a 6-12 record in the Big 12.

With more than $11 million remaining on his contract, Holgorsen essentially is too expensive to fire, even if Luck had been inclined to do so. WVU’s athletic department, which was $13 million in debt during fiscal year ending 2012, netted a $4.2 million profit in 2013 but, according to Luck, projects a $50,000 shortfall in 2014.

Though they figured to be in rebuilding mode this season, the Mountaineers knocked off current league frontrunner Oklahoma State on Sept. 28. Things nose-dived the following week, however, West Virginia allowed 56 first-half points in a 72-43 loss at Baylor. Holgorsen’s job security became questionable when the Mountaineers lost at Kansas on Nov. 16, snapping the Jayhawks’ 27-game conference losing streak.

When only 33,735 attended the season finale against Iowa State, it marked the third-smallest crowd in the 34-year history of Mountaineer Field.

The full extent 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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Comments

  • wvrefugee

    So, this AD brings in an unproven coach, sets Bill Stewart up for failure, fires Bill Stewart and will NOT step up and share the blame for this mess??????????? At least Holgorsen has the nerve to take the blame!
    BTW.....what happened to all of this revenue he was bragging about having last month????? LUCK MUST GO!

    • 2019jones

      AMEN..

    • Steve

      The revenue is coming . Big article in Forbes magazine about our revenue share now through 2016. Read the article or find someone who can read it for you.

  • Billy

    I had not missed listening on the radio or watching on TV since the 1975 Peach Bowl season, until the last game. I instead watched the Auburn and Alabama game. I am sure it was much more entertaining than what I missed. I think I will start out next year watching the better teams and see if I do not like that better than to concentrate on a loser. I can not hardly believe what the over glorified luck and his minions have done to WVU sports. If Stews record was not good enough, then how can the holgy train wreck pass muster.

    • susaf1218

      Because Luck, Holgorsen, and their supporters are nothing but a bunch of hypocrites. And apparently they are satisfied w/being the doormat of the Big 12 rather than being in a "lesser" conference where they might actually win some games and have a respectable record.

      • Greg

        A lesser conference like Marshall's in.

      • Steve

        Yeah great post. Let's be part of a lesser conference so that WVU won't have access to the bcs playoff, major bowl ties, or national television exposure associated with a large revenue sharing television agreement as the Big 12 has.

        Let's just forget WVU has 3 wins in 3 BCS bowls over the past 8 years and leave for a lesser conference so that WVU can fly to Texas and play rice, north Texas, or UT- San Antonio instead of Texas, Baylor or Texas tech. Let's fly to Oklahoma and play Tulsa in a non televised game instead of playing OU on FOX.

        When we start doing that we will have a great record, and be able to beat out chests and brag about our 9-3 record against a bunch of nobody's while at the same time losing significant amout of money in travel costs and making about 29 million less in tv revenues.

        Susan you are brilliant. Somebody needs to immediately hire you for an AD position.

        • susaf1218

          Why thank you! However, one doesn't have to be brilliant to know this was an incredibly dumb move and a poor business decision. One does, however, have to be reasonably intelligent, which obviously you are not!

          • Troll is back

            That depends on what you want for your business. If you don't want to prosper, grow and achieve to be the best then your right it was a dumb move. If you want to prosper, grow and achieve it was a necessary move.

          • Big Larry

            susaf,

            These Holgorsen and Luck sympathizers care nothing about winning football games...They care only for the well being of Holgorsen & Bad Luck.

          • stevewvu

            And Big Larry being the big Marshall fan that he claimed to be over the summer doesn't care that they are playing for a conference championship this weekend. He just cares about being a miserable troll.

          • Troll is back

            It is what it is, the independent league era is over, the big east era is over, the Nehlen, Rodriguez and Stewart era are over. It's a new era in WVU football, new conference, new coaches and new challenges. You ask the coaches and players to step up to the challenges yet you your selfs aren't willing to step up to the challenges of support, sounds sorta hypocritical to me. This is our direction now and just as I have in the past regardless of coaches, players or competition I choose to support this team.

          • stevewvu

            Susan...if you think a 1 million dollar share of a tv contract is better than a 30 millionshare just because of 1 bad season, then you really need to stop posting.

            Based on your reasoning, the University of Florida should leave the SEC and join the Southern Conference or Conference USA so that they can start winning games again. They are 4-8 just like WVU and even lost to Georgia Southern. I guess they should also fire their coach and AD.

            I think someone was being facetious when they called you brilliant.

          • Charleston,WV

            Well stated, Steve. Well stated.

        • Troll is back

          She probably believes in participation trophies for everyone even in college and pros.

          • susaf1218

            No, I believe in results. Holgorsen's results, or the lack thereof, speak for his ineptness.

          • Troll is back

            Would it not be just as easy to show some support for our flagship university in these times of need, people expect more of the coaches more of the players yet they lay down and whine at the first signs of adversity.

          • stevewvu

            She cried very hard when WVU won the Orange Bowl and prior to that the Sugar and Fiesta Bowls. She is not a WVU fan...maybe a Marshall fan who hasn't been able to witness a win against WVU, a big time New Year's bowl game, or an NCAA tourney in 25 years (that's really pathetic by the way.)

          • Troll is back

            Now now let's be nice to Marshall, they are playing for a conference championship, even if it is the 10th rated conference out of 11, and even if it is after SMU, UCF and Houston left

  • Dan

    Why do they not take him off the head coaching slot, he has proven he is an offence coordinator, but not a head coach, too much to digest So put him back in offence and put in a nether head coach. Should not need to pay the buyout. And if he does not like the demotion he can leave. Then he has to pay

    • Carl White

      Say what ? "put in a nether head coach " I'm a fairly well educated hillbilly but I'm afraid this one is over my head.

      • Big Larry

        And you are who again?

        • stevewvu

          We know who you are Lawrence Tomas. You post the same jealous troll garbage on other websites.

          What a loser you are! HAHAHA

    • Wow

      What the hell is a " nether head coach" ?

  • Smithers from Dennis

    I forgot to mention -- even if we don't go 6-6 next season I think Dana is with WVU through 2015 as we not only will owe him but also owe $$$$ to other coaches on staff.

    I think we have 2 more seasons with him -- hopefully these next 2 will turn around.

  • Smithers from Dennis

    Dana must go 6-6 next season AND either win a bowl game or have a few quality wins. See what we have:

    Alabama W (optimist I am)
    Towson W
    Maryland W
    Oklahoma L
    Kansas W
    Texas Tech L
    Baylor L
    Oklahoma State L
    TCU W
    Texas L
    Kansas State W
    Iowa State W

    So, if we lose to Alabama and the rest of my picks are correct we go 6-6

    • Harpers Ferry

      Wins against Maryland, K-State and some team called ALABAMA?! Please put down the crack pipe.

    • richard

      youre dreaming.

    • Rich

      I think we can go 6-6 next year, but is that progress? We have to win home games against teams we should beat and road games against Maryland and Iowa St. Maryland is not a strong program, if Trickett is ready against them this year it would have been a different game. Ollie is biding his time until he leaves for his next gig. He wasn't worried about continuity when he brought Dana in as "HC in waiting."

  • lost pup

    you know , we got beat on all three sides of the football this year , you know ....

  • shawn

    The punting and field goal kicking looked good to me this year. just saying

  • Angela

    I understand the reasons for keeping Holgerson another year, but why hasn't Joe DeForrest been fired yet? Luck should have done that first thing Monday morning. That would do a lot to quell some of the dissatisfaction with Holgerson.

  • Harpers Ferry

    There's no doubt that this team didn't meet the on-field expectations this year, but I'm sure it won't stop Ollie No Luck from raising ticket prices, AGAIN!!!

    • Al

      Or beer prices. Seems beer sales are his priority.

      • Jim

        Maybe Ollie should take a more visible presence during the games!!!! Beer get your Beer here!!!!! He might be able to raise 11 mil?

      • stevewvu

        Beer prices were left the same. It cost $7.50 for a Michelob ultra. Same as the past 2 years.

        Do you have any factual statements to make or are you just a troll?

        • Troll is back

          These people have no concept of the landscape of today's college football, have no knowledge of facts so the just make up a bunch of irrelevant garbage to spout out.

          • Harpers Ferry

            Troll is a loser. Stay in your Momma's basement!

        • susaf1218

          Funny how anytime anyone criticizes your beloved Luck or Holgorsen, they get called a "troll". A bit over-sensitive, are you??

      • Fred

        Would you all quit with the beer sales thing! It is getting too old real fast. If you don't want it don't buy it!

    • stevewvu

      Ticket prices actually went down because the team played 6 home games instead of 7.

      • Harpers Ferry

        Not sure where your season tickets are, but I'm guessing the end zone on the Milan Puskar Center side. Mine went up, big time.

        • GoEers

          nope sections 107 and 108....i wrote less of a check this year than last year

  • Gilbert Gnarley

    Coach Orgeron, you wanna visit West Virginia?

    • Charleston,WV

      I've read that he has applied for the job at Florida Atlantic. Carl Pelini, the former HC, was fired from that school.

  • Jason

    Of course he backs him, it was his original decision and he doesn't want to admit just yet he was wrong. And he can't really afford to anyway. They just have to stay the course.

  • tw eagle

    if this recruiting class still materializes after the horrid season , Holgerson stays . . . if the
    class goes elsewhere , Holgerson could be gone next November without a winning record . . . his ego and attitude are all wrong
    for leading a WVU program . . . he might be intelligent , and his "I'm smarter than all youse people " might play well with the new
    "opera fans " , but it's a sour note for most
    bleeding gold&blue fans . . .
    fashion your game plans to fit the personnel on hand , quit crying that the players can't execute your plans . . .

    • susaf1218

      And what recruits are going to look at WVU as their first choice, given the current situation? So the brainaics that keep whining about how Coach Stewart didn't recruit enough talent better think about what Holgorsen is going to be able to bring on board - the pickings are going to be pretty slim!

      • Steve

        Susan you seem to be an expert in recruiting. Please name some of WVU's current verbal commitments. Pleas name the 4 star qb who is committed to WVU at this time.

        Do you know anything or are you just a troll?

        • susaf1218

          That would be William Crest; also Davonte James, among others. But you geniuses DO realize don't you, that a Verbal commitment is non-binding?? They aren't fully committed yet, so I wouldn't be counting my chickens just yet!

          • Troll is back

            Just because a few of you don't like Holgorsen doesn't mean the players don't. Why did Charles Sims choose WVU? Dana Holgorsen that's why. Also according to Sims no regrets and enjoyed his time here.

          • GoEers

            You asked the question of what recruits were going to be looking at WVU as their first choice. You also said that the pickings are going to be slim. And you're saying all this while the top recruit in PA commented yesterday that he had a great in home visit with WVU coach tony Gibson and will be making his decision on Monday the 9th. ESPN has him as a heavy lean towards WVU.

            Really doesn't sound like slim pickings to me. Just really sounds like that you are nothing but a WVU hater. You're probably one of those typical marshall trolls that read everything that they can about WVU because their own team is irrelevant.

      • Troll is back

        So far three that are listed in ESPN top 300.

      • Troll is back

        With all due respect to the late coach Stewart, could you please let his memory rest in peace.

        • susaf1218

          With all due respect, you Holgortrolls are the ones trashing Coach Stewart's memory and legacy. I will "let it go" when Holgorsen and Luck move on and WVU starts over with a new coach and AD. And, while I'm at it - GoEers - didn't your mama ever teach you not to ASSume things?? I am not a Marshall graduate, don't have any allegiance or loyalty to Marshall. As a matter of fact, Marshall was one of my alma mater's biggest rivalries back in the day. What I DO have is respect for a program that has endured a tragedy and has been able to recover from it and build a consistently good program. See, unlike you, I don't feel the need to bash one program over another. I want to see WVU succeed - I just don't happen to believe that will happen w/the current coaching staff and AD. It is time to clean house.

          • Troll is back

            Look it's pretty simple, Holgorsen got the vote of confidence from the powers in charge for at least one more year, the past is over with and this is what we have for the future. Instead of moaning and groaning and dwelling in the past it's just as easy to get behind the team and show support as it is to whine and complain. If Holgorsen doesn't work out then that will be in the past and I'll move on. When times are tough keep pushing forward don't cower in the corner. Don't you think this team and staff need support more now than at any other time in the history of WVU football?

          • GoEers

            So basically you are saying you are a Marshall fan...and if you are a WVU fan, then you obviously forgot about WVU winning a conference championship just 2 years ago as well as the ensuing Orange Bowl against Clemson. If you don't like the AD or the coach, then don't watch the games or read the articles just so that you can be another troll that posts hate filled negative comments.

            Since you have so much adoration for Marshall, you should start posting on their articles. They have a big game this weekend in which they get a chance to play for a conference championship as well as lose a lot of money to take another trip to Texas to play the mighty Rice Owls.

  • Rick

    We don't have a choice.

  • Big Larry

    WHAT IS LEFT FOR WVU FOOTBALL FANS?

    QUESTION: Looking ahead to the future, what is left for the fans?

    ANSWER: Basically nothing. You have to ride out the storm for at least 2 more years.

    QUESTION: Is Dana Holgorsen to blame for this WVU Train Wreck?

    ANSWER: No. Of course not. This is Oliver Luck’s Train Wreck. Dana Holgorsen is only the conductor. Do not blame him but rather admire him for becoming a multi-millionaire. He never sought out Oliver Luck, Oliver Luck sought out Dana Holgorsen and offered him the job with an extended contract with an 11.6 million dollar buyout. Is Dana Holgorsen head coach material? No. Is he or will he ever be a fan favorite? No. Is he going anywhere? No. But don’t blame him. Anyone of us would have taken Oliver Luck up on his offer.

    QUESTION: Will Dana Holgorsen turn things around in 1 or 2 more years?

    ANSWER: No…Of course not. He isn’t a head coach. He cannot communicate with the players. He doesn’t even want to be here. But don’t blame him. He never asked for the job. If someone approached you and offered you a job, paid you 5 million dollars for your first 2 years and then guaranteed you to make 11.6 million dollars for the next 4 years win, lose or draw…what would you do? You take the job.

    Who would ever want to leave a job like that? And if the guy who hired you tries to get rid of you, you stick it to him. You are set for life and you never have to lift a finger again as long as you live. You get your 11.6 Million hook or crook. With the guarantee you don’t need an incentive to win. You just need an incentive to show up for work. So no, I don’t blame Dana Holgorsen even though I don’t personally like the guy. In fact I admire him. Unlike Most of us, Dana Holgorsen has it going on…plain & simple!

    QUESTION: What can the disgruntled fans do?

    ANSWER: Nothing. As the saying goes…“Grin & Bear it” for 2 more dismal seasons. Get accustomed to losing and being a bottom dweller in the Big 12 for years to come. Grow accustomed to mediocrity and quit complaining or talking about how bad the quarterbacks are. None of that is going to change. There is nothing you can do except stop buying tickets. But even that won help. Even if attendance levels drop to epic lows…The fans under the Oliver Luck administration are screwed thanks to the 11.6 million dollar buyout. What in Heaven’s Sweet Name was he thinking?

    What we are seeing now at WVU is the aftermath of "Ollie's Follies".

    It is what it is….

    • Larry

      Sad but true I'm afraid.

    • shawn

      Yea what you said is ridiculous.

      It takes 3 or 4 years of recruiting to get your type of players for your system. Holgs got lucky and ended up with Tavon, Geno and Sted. Most colleges out there have 50 Tavons, Genos and Steds. When a coach is fired or leaves a big time Big 12, SEC, B10 school, they usually have the talent in place for the next coach.

      Remember that we had alot of underclassmen on this team that hadnt played a snap. Until he gets 3 or 4 recruiting classes under his belt it will be a struggle. DEPTH wins ball games.

      I mean aside form Baylor and Maryland, we were in every game we played. Thats pretty daggone good considering we had 14 seniors this year.

      • Big Larry

        Shawn,

        You just keep drinking the Kool-Aid my friend...and keep believing that everything is "Sunshine & Roses".....

        • shawn

          Oh...i love the classic Big Larry reply when he's been called out. "Keep Drinking the Kool-Aid" Thats how you know he has nothing else to contribute to the conversation.

          • Carl White

            Because little larry is a douche pan rattler.

        • 2019jones

          REALLY...

      • Alex

        @ Shawn you are on it all the way... Only people on here who really understands football can see where the real problems are for any program. Most on here only see Ws and Ls after saying that they don't and can't follow nothing else except the likes of William, Big Larry, Jrizzle and their crew , and their post.... They have very little football knowledge...

        • GoEers

          Big Larry and William are self admitted Marshall fans. They read every article about WVU then post their jealous hate filled comments. They are truly the definition of trolls.

    • Maria

      Exactly. Line by line, you are right Larry. Holgs laughs all the way to the bank with a smile. Luck probably won't even be here to fire him considering that he and Clements were both outta here 2 weeks ago. A new President and AD will be cleaning up this mess.

    • Carl White

      douche pan.

      • susaf1218

        Wow. THAT'S a real intelligent remark. If you have nothing better to do than name call people, please go away. You are adding nothing to this discussion.

        • Simon

          Yea Susaf,like all these other clowns are doing any better.Grow up.What discussion ? All I see is a gaggle of people spouting off about things of which they have no clue.

          • susaf1218

            I suppose you have ALL the answers. Please share with us, o wise one!

          • Simon

            I didn't say I have all the answers young lady,but,neither do all the other couch coaches on here.

        • susaf1218

          In your dreams, pal.

        • Carl White

          More like nightmare I would imagine.

          • susaf1218

            Yeah, for me definitely would be!

    • stevewvu

      Thanks Big Larry or should I call you Lawrence Tomas. You already posted this on the Charleston newspapers website as well as on the Mountaineer Message Board on the WVU rivals site.

      You are a self proclaimed marshall fan, but you post on just about every site that has an article about WVU. Lawrence that pretty much makes you the biggest troll loser to ever live.

      LOL

      • Fred

        Big Larry secret identity is exposed. OH MY!

        • Fred

          stevewvu,

          You need to figure out who CaptainQ is next. LOL

          • The Wisetalker

            Someone is stealing my material and that is just wrong...what is this world coming to?

  • Dan

    Why do they not take him of the head coaching slot, he has proven he is an offence coordinator, but now a head coach. So put him back in offence and put in a nether head coach. Should not need to pay the buyout. And if he does not like the demotion he can leave. Then he has to pay

    • stevewvu

      Why do they not make you go back to school so that you can learn how to spell and proper sentence structure?