MEMPHIS, Tenn. — With Shannon Dawson leaving for Kentucky after the Liberty Bowl, will West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen elevate his next offensive coordinator from the current staff, as he did with Dawson two years ago?
“I don’t know what I’m going to do yet,” Holgorsen said Sunday, adding that after the bowl game he’ll spend two weeks evaluating the entire staff.
Because Holgorsen handles the play-calling, he’s not in the market to land a high-profile coordinator from another power 5 program. (Dawson was earning $250,000 in Morgantown, relatively low for a major-college coordinator.) Holgorsen could look outside for a quarterbacks coach with the coordinator’s title attached, as was the case with Dawson, or he could accomplish the same by shuffling his staff, which includes two former quarterbacks, Lonnie Galloway and JaJuan Seider.
Galloway has been a receivers coach for five seasons during two stints at West Virginia, sandwiched around a two-year tenure as passing game coordinator at Wake Forest. In his 19th season of college coaching, he also currently holds the title of assistant head coach. Galloway was an All-Southern Conference quarterback at I-AA Western Carolina.
Seider began his career as a quarterback at WVU before putting up huge numbers as a transfer at Florida A&M. He spent seven seasons as a high school coach in south Florida before entering college coaching in 2008, where he has overseen running backs at WVU and Marshall.
FootballScoop.com reported Sunday afternoon that Seider has agreed to a two-year contract extension at a “considerable pay increase” from his previous salary of $200,000
“I may use the (NCAA coaches) convention for figuring out who the next coach is after I decide how I’m going to shuffle things around,” Holgorsen said. “I would venture to say everything’s a possibility at this point.”
Sumlin recommended Holgorsen to Luck: The coaching ties between West Virginia and Texas A&M have been a layered storyline throughout the Liberty Bowl buildup.
Holgorsen publicly thanked Kevin Sumlin for being instrumental in his hiring at West Virginia. Sumlin, who was coach at the University of Houston when Oliver Luck was overseeing the Houston Dynamos of the MLS, leveraged the relationship when Luck became athletics director at WVU and sought to replace Bill Stewart.
“He talked to Oliver and called me and says ‘You owe me one.’ So I guess I still owe him one,” Holgorsen said.
While Holgorsen spent two seasons under Sumlin as UH’s offensive coordinator, he watched his boss provide adequate focus to various team units, along with overseeing recruiting and growing relationships with boosters.
“I learned a lot about being a head coach from working with him, especially from the CEO aspect of things,” Holgorsen said. “Kevin’s never going to spend a high percentage of the time on one side of the ball. He’s going to divvy it up.”
Happy in Memphis: With West Virginia practicing at Memphis University School, a private campus mere blocks from the team hotel, Holgorsen lauded the week’s logistics. It’s an obvious improvement over the experience at the 2012 Pinstripe Bowl, which featured New York City traffic snarls and a practice in a hotel ballroom.
“You can tell the Liberty Bowl has done this before—56 years. Any time a bowl has that much experience, you know you’re going to get things done the right way,” Holgorsen said. “Logistically, everything has been on par. Two years ago was pretty tough to get anything done.