WVU coach Dana Holgorsen is apparently on his way to Houston to take over as head coach of the Cougars. You know what we often say when we hear that a troubled marriage ends in divorce: “I can’t believe they stayed together as long as they did.”
Holgorsen has just completed his eighth season in Morgantown. Holgorsen and Mountaineer Nation have always been an odd couple. Fans want their coach to not only win games, but also embrace the state and the University with the same passion that they have. As for Holgorsen, he wanted to, well, call plays.
Holgorsen’s disdain for the off-the-field part of the job was palpable. Consider his answer to a question during a December 19 press conference about taking over the offensive coordinator responsibilities after the departure of Jake Spavital:
“I’m enjoying it, I like doing it. Deep down inside, I can do as much of the CEO crap as I want to; I like football, and I like calling plays, and I like coaching offense.”
If you believe that being the CEO of a multi-million dollar operation is “crap” then you have no business being in charge. Perhaps Houston will be a better fit for him, and the change might be good for everybody.
For Holgorsen, it sounds like guaranteed money and a fresh start in a city he loves, while at WVU the leash was tightening again. Athletics Director Shane Lyons was reportedly balking at a contract extension. Additionally, WVU will be down next year after losing a lot of offensive power and their best defensive player, so Holgorsen was going to catch the blame for that and be on the hot seat again.
Every change is an opportunity to improve. One would hope Lyons has always kept a short list of potential candidates. This hire—if there is to be one—will be the most important decision Lyons will have made since arriving back at WVU in 2015.
I conducted an unscientific Twitter poll on Holgorsen. How would you feel if Dana Holgorsen left WVU to become the head coach of Houston? With nearly 1,500 votes in, 35 percent said “somewhat disappointed,” 26 percent said “somewhat pleased,” 23 percent said “very pleased,” and 16 percent said “very disappointed.”
That pretty well sums up how many Mountaineer fans feel about Holgorsen—ambivalent, take him or leave him.
Lyons unwillingness to give Holgorsen the extension he desires and Holgorsen’s willingness to interview for the Houston job are strong indications both sides are content to part ways. So, let’s all just move on. No hard feelings, but also no farewell parties.