Dana Holgorsen’s tenure as WVU’s Head Coach has been rocky to say the least, and it was a messy start to begin with.
Former WVU athletic director Oliver Luck hired Holgorsen as the head coach in waiting under then Head Coach Bill Stewart. Things quickly went down hill, and I don’t want rehash that mess. The result ended with Stewart stepping down as HC, and Holgorsen with no head coaching experience being forced into the HC position a year early.
Next came questionable coaching hires by Holgorsen, and these hires had Luck’s blessing. Over the next 3-years Holgorsen and the Mountaineers struggled. Many alumni and fans wanted Holgorsen fired. Then in 2014, Holgorsen made coaching hires that began to turn the WVU football program around, and Holgorsen himself began the transition from coordinator to administrator.
Ever since Holgorsen promoted Tony Gibson to defense coordinator, we have seen a steady rise in the talent and play of the Mountaineer football team. 2014 was WVU’s worst year under Holgorsen for the team won only 4 games. In 2015, WVU had an 8 win season with a bowl victory, and this year WVU should finish the season with a 10 wins.
The key to WVU’s growing success these past two years is directly related to D.C. Tony Gibson. Gibson is one of the best D.C’s in college football. The questionable coaches on defense are gone, and WVU now has a top 10 scoring defense.
Holgorsen has always been known for putting QBs, WRs and RBs in the NFL, but with Gibson as D.C. we are seeing more WVU defensive players in the pros. Also we are seeing more offensive linemen getting in the NFL. All of this is a direct result of Holgorsen’s maturation as a Head Coach.
To lose Holgorsen now would set WVU back 5 years or more, and is something the Mountaineer Nation can not afford. If the next HC decides he wants a new DC then Gibby is gone. Not retaining Holgorsen could also mean the loss of RB Coach JaJuan Seider and the others.
My question to the Mountaineer Nation is: “Is this something WVU can afford?” I don’t believe it is, and to be honest I don’t believe Holgorsen wants to leave. Early on in this year Holgorsen stated that the coaches who jumped ship at the end of last season didn’t need to leave.
Many, including myself, questioned the 2016 team winning more than 7 or 8 games, Holgorsen nor his staff never wavered on the teams potential. The result being he and his staff proved us doubters wrong.
While Holgorsen and his staff have yet to produce a Big 12 Championship team, this new staff is heading in that direction. It would not surprise me if WVU under Holgorsen and this staff won the Big 12 next season. I initially questioned the hiring of CB coach Blue Adams, especially with talk of playing more man coverage, but he has also proven me wrong.
Tyron Carrier has also been a valuable asset, but I think the hiring of Joe Wickline as offensive coordinator may have been the best addition, not only for the team, but for Holgorsen himself. Holgorsen and Wickline have a bond that goes back many years and I’m sure Wickline does more than coach. Wickline is Holgorsen’s sounding board, and if the truth be known he is also a buffer.
My advice to the WVU administration is to give all of these coaches a raise and job security, show them all you don’t want to lose any of them. To lose just one of them when you are looking for stability in the staff could set this team back again. Open the checkbook and show Holgorsen and his staff you don’t want to lose them. If you don’t then the Mountaineers will continue to struggle and you have no one to blame but yourself.
Remember, Holgorsen was never a HC before coming to WVU and has had 6 years of on the job training on our dime. As anyone starting a new position, he has struggled and made mistakes, but to lose him and his current staff means all this meant nothing to WVU and the Mountaineer Nation. Now is the time to reap the benefits, not some other football program.
We hear WVU gets no respect from the sports media now, let Holgorsen and his staff leave and then see how much respect we get while rebuilding again.