Dana Holgorsen Leads WVU to Victory over Texas; Team Needs to Keep Him in State

Tim McGheeCorrespondent IIIOctober 8, 2012

Oct 6, 2012; Austin, TX, USA; West Virginia Mountaineers head coach  Dana Holgorsen calls a play during the fourth quarter against the Texas Longhorns at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium. West Virginia beat Texas 48-45. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-US PRESSWIRE

In the 2012 football season, West Virginia head football coach and offensive shaman Dana Holgorsen stands to make around $2.3 million, according to USA Today. I reference that same article for all other facts and statistics covered in the next five paragraphs

Holgorsen’s base pay is $250,000 annually in this, the second year of a six-year contract. He will see increases $200,000 yearly in the second and third year and an increase of $100,000 per year in the fourth and fifth years. The balance of the $2.3 million is derived from supplemental pay from athletic revenue and from private sources.

If the coach is convicted of a felony or misdemeanor involving “moral turpitude,” Holgorsen can be fired.  This could be called the “Cross Lanes Mardi Gras Casino Clause.”

More importantly, Holgorsen has an attractive bonus structure. He gets $200,000 for 12 regular season wins, $200,000 for an appearance in the Bowl Championship Series national championship game and an additional $250,000 if West Virginia wins the BCS title.

If Holgorsen chooses to leave before the expiration of his contract, he will be charged $2 million.

The worries begin when you consider Dana is being paid $2.3 million this season. That may not mean as much when you think about the $5 million and over Mack Brown from Texas nails down as the highest-paid head coach in the Big 12. Second is Oklahoma’s Bob Stoops, pulling in a little over $4 million. 

Holgorsen isn't even in the top half of highest-paid football head coaches in the Big 12, according to CBS Sports.




At 41 years of age, Dana Holgorsen has a good quarter-century of high-profile coaching ahead of him.  So, it may be expecting too much to ask Holgorsen to retire in Morgantown. 

You can bet Southeastern Conference teams are looking hard at him and looking hard right now.  Arkansas is a house on fire. Georgia is overrated. LSU would eject Les Miles into the Bayou swamps in a heartbeat.  Auburn fans have completely lost their short-term memory.  Those are only four out of 14 from a conference that pays up for coaches to win the national championship pronto.

Oliver Luck cannot rest easily. Nor can we.

Holgorsen the football coach accomplished several things Saturday night as he led the Mountaineers to a 48-45 upset of Texas in Austin. Holgorsen the man did much more. Aside from winning the game, he magically confirmed what we West Virginians have always known about us and what we now know about him.

The denizens of Almost Heaven are headstrong get-it-done survivors from generations of mountaineers who lived off their hard work and wits, making the craggy hills and hollows their own.

Well, Holgorsen may be from the Great Plains, but after his coaching performance in the Lone Star State, he’s now a West Virginian. Not honorary, mind you, but a West Virginian through and through.

It’s not so much that Holgorsen did it rather than how he did it. Despite being the squadron leader of his Air Raid, he essentially grounded the fighter jets in favor of the artillery support and tank rank and file not utilized in the previous four games.



Dana Holgorsen is at times defined by his state-of-the-art passing game. But when it came time to win it, the coach did what he had to do. He took advantage of WVU’s talented and mean-spirited offensive line and asked them to blow holes in the Longhorns’ defense for West Virginia running back Andrew Buie, which of course happened. In a big way.

If you ask any offensive lineman in the high school, college or professional level, they would prefer to run block. Or, from what I understand, they salivate like the Pavlovian dog for run blocking. 

It was quite obvious, judging from the rushing numbers Holgorsen put up, that Quinton Spain, Pat Eger, Joe Madsen, Josh Jenkins and company were just as happy as if they had just discovered a mound of burnt orange-wrapped gifts underneath the Christmas tree.

You're Dana Holgorsen and you tell an offensive lineman it is fourth down, you're not coming off the field, and we're behind you.  The first time, you're gutsy.  The fifth time, it's bred into the culture.  You go five for five on fourth down, the big guys will follow you anywhere.

West Virginians are, if only one thing, resourceful. We do what we have to do; no questions asked. From mining the coal to manning the railroad locomotives and 18-wheeler trucks and delivering the coal, to the machinists forming metal, to the chemical workers, the power plant workers, to the West Virginians who are soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines laying our lives on the line, fighting for freedom overseas, we simply do what it takes. When things don’t go right, we don’t lay back and complain. We just do it, and have done it for decades and decades, long before Nike.

Saturday night, before 101,000 antagonists in a foaming-at-the-mouth football-crazed state, Dana Holgorsen showed unparalleled resourcefulness and the titanium guts it took to pull it off, not seen since the early Don Nehlen years.

Coach Holgorsen is one of us. Welcome him to the state. Let’s do what we can to keep him here where he belongs.