MORGANTOWN, W.VA. (AP) - Oklahoma State offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen has been hired for the same position at West Virginia next season, and the Mountaineers plan to make him head coach in 2012.
The Mountaineers released a statement to announce the hiring.
“My goal is to win a national championship at West Virginia University, and I firmly believe that coach Stewart has built a solid foundation, which will allow us to compete with the very best in the country,” Holgorsen said in the statement.
Holgorsen isn’t expected to join the Mountaineers until after West Virginia (9-3) faces North Carolina State (8-4) in the Champ Sports Bowl on Dec. 28.
Athletic director Oliver Luck said Holgorsen, who also will coach quarterbacks next season, will be paid $800,000 in 2011 and that will increase to $1.4 million, plus incentives, in 2012. The statement didn’t say how many years the contract is for.
West Virginia has gone 28-11 in three seasons under Stewart, whose six-year contract runs through 2014. When reached by The Associated Press on Wednesday night, Stewart said he was in a meeting and couldn’t talk.
“I think the transition year for coach Holgorsen will be very beneficial to the football program, and the opportunity to learn from coach Bill Stewart should not be underestimated,” Luck said in the statement. “Coach Holgorsen is one of the top coaches in college football. We know that coach Holgorsen will bring a high-powered offense that will be incredibly entertaining to watch at Milan Puskar Stadium.”
Waning fan interest may have also contributed to the move. West Virginia sold out just one home game this season and there were almost 12,000 empty seats for the regular-season finale against Rutgers.
In Holgorsen’s only season at Oklahoma State, the Cowboys led the Bowl Subdivision with 537.6 yards per game while running back Kendall Hunter and wide receiver Justin Blackmon were named first-team all-Americans. His offenses at Houston also were among the most proficient in the country in 2008 and 2009 with quarterback Case Keenum.
West Virginia could use the offensive help. The Mountaineers ranked 64th in total offense at nearly 377 yards. The Mountaineers surpassed 35 points in three of their last four games and surpassed 30 points six times this season, but scored 14 points or less in all three losses and two of those were blamed on turnover problems.
Holgorsen was a finalist for the Broyles Award given annually to the nation’s top college assistant coach. Oklahoma State was picked to finish near the bottom of the Big 12 South this season.View Entire Story
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