West Virginia Football: Why Having Stewart, Holgorsen in Same Season Might Work
Fans and sports analysts have been talking about how the West Virginia football head coaching situation will play out for the 2011 season. Most of the comments and predictions coming from them has been negative as far as the head coach in waiting tag that Oliver luck has placed on Dana Holgorsen, the general feeling from the professional sports world and a large part of the WVU fan base has been that if Luck wants to get a new head coach then he should just do it now and not delay it for a year. As much as i may agree with that, there are a lot of positives from this situation that will help make this transition smooth in a way that has never happened for WVU in the past.
Dana Holgorsen has never been a head coach.
You cant hide this fact, without any prior head coaching experience you don't exactly know for sure what kind of head coach Holgorsen will be. However he has had the opportunity to learn from some very good ones, Mike Leach, Kevin Sumlin, Mike Gundy and this season hopefully learn the good things that Stewart does and ignore the others. Holgorsen will be ready when 2012 comes. And he will have the 2011 season to prepare.
Holgorsen Knows Little About West Virginia
The only exposure Holgorsen has had to WVU prior to being introduced as head coach in waiting was when Luck and Stewart met with him to talk about coming to West Virginia. A year as offensive coordinator would help Dana learn the traditions and history of West Virginia, without having to worry about the entire team just yet.
Stewart Will Still Be Head Coach!
Bill Stewart will still be the guy that does the post game press conferences, he will still have to answer for the what happens on the football field. Even though Holgorsen has free reign over the offense coach Stew will still have to answer for most of it if anything goes wrong. Holgorsen will get the praises while Stew will have to take any blame for what goes wrong. If 2011 is unsuccessful then it will be Stewart who will take the blame, if WVU does well then it will be Holgorsen and Casteel that gets most of the praises.
Jeff Casteel's Defense and Holgorsen's Offense
We all know that West Virginia's defense has lost some quality players, but if anyone can replace them it's our defensive coordinator. Jeff Casteel may not be able to match what his 2010 defense has done but we can be sure that he will field a decent defense just as he has in the past. Recruiting has gathered the talent and now it is up to Casteel to shape them up.
Holgorsen has had excellent offenses the past several years at three different schools, Texas Tech 2005-2007, Houston 2008-2009 and Oklahoma State 2010. His offense in the last 6 years has never had fewer than 5,822 yards. During that same period WVU never had more that 5,995 yards offense including offenses under Rich Rodriguez. Dana also creates excellent offensive players, in his career he has coached players such as Wes Welker, Case Keenum, Michael Crabtree, Graham Harrell, Brandon Weedon and Justin Blackmon.
Stewart and Holgorsen are both professionals.
Bill Stewart loves WVU Football and West Virginia possibly more than anyone else. When he was informed about the 2011 coaching situation i can be sure he was happy that he would still be the head coach next season, yet we all know the nature of man and realize that he was probably more than a little upset that he would not be the head coach in 2012. But there has not been a big scene caused by Stewart or anyone other than a few fans, why? Because Bill Stewart is a professional and doesn't believe in making drama for WVU.
Dana Holgorsen on the other hand has no head coaching experience, so he must have been alright with this situation otherwise he would not have accepted West Virginia's offer. Holgorsen is a professional also and has been given complete control of the Mountaineer offense. What more could he ask for as an offensive coordinator? Honestly nothing, he can do what he wants with anyone on the offensive side of the ball and if Bill Stewart interjects Holgorsen can listen and still do what he wants. But i feel we can all be rest assured that these two men are professionals and will not cause any drama for each other. In fact with less responsibilities and duties it may make Bill Stewart a better head coach.
2011 will be an interesting year for the Mountaineers, whether good or bad we have something to look forward too. If Bill, Dana and Jeff can beat PITT and LSU then the sky is the limit for 2011.