Why Dana Holgorsen Will Be a More Successful Coach Than Bill Stewart at WVU
In the words of the former Mountaineers' head coach, Bill Stewart did not match the mountains in his time at Morgantown.
According to many sources, Stewart has opted to resign from his post as head coach in turn making current offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen the 33rd coach in the history of the Mountaineers for the upcoming 2011 season.
While the deal is not completely hammered out, the West Virginia football program, as many fan's opinions will reveal, is in better hands as Holgorsen will assume the role of head coach a year ahead of schedule.
So ultimately, will Dana Holgorsen have the Mountaineers competing for conference titles and more like AD Oliver Luck wishes and bring the program back to that of the Rich Rodriguez era? There should be no doubt.
In the short coaching career of Holgorsen, he has made stops at some of the more well known programs in the country and made signifcant waves in his stays at those said universities.
While being coach at three different programs in the past decade, the offense that Holgorsen ran as coach or as coordinator ranked no worse than eighth nationally in total offense in addition to being the top offense in the country in 2009 with the Cougars and 2010 with the Cowboys.
You may say that Stewart really has the edge in this category as he first was an assistant in 1977. Even with a 16-year head start, Holgorsen has shown to be an offensive mastermind since the first time he started with Texas Tech back in the 2000 season.
While Stewart is just a year shy of his sixty birthday, Holgorsen is nearly two decades younger than his predecessor as he will turn just 40 years old on the 21st of this month.
This is really sign of the times in college football as some of the older guard of the sport start to retire after successful careers wearing the headset and turning over the reigns to a younger coach to help guide the football team into the future.
Style of Offense
This topic was a hot issue amongst Mountaineer fans over the past few years of the Stewart era at WVU as the team went away from the explosive running game that led the Mountaineers to BCS bowl berth on the legs of Pat White and Steve Slaton to a more balanced attack that left fans scratching their heads in the stands.
Holgorsen isn't much for running the ball during games as he is more adapted to throwing the ball for huge chunks of yardage by stretching the field in his time as an offensive coordinator in the past.
In Houston and Oklahoma State, the two teams averaged more than 500 yards of total offense in each of three combined years he was at those respective programs.
Weakened Big East Conference
While the Big East has been a victim of criticism since the raid by the ACC in 2004, the current state of the Big East is ripe for the taking as Holgorsen becomes head coach at WVU.
As Pittsburgh and Connecticut adjust to the change of head coaches this offseason, the biggest challenge in the league that stand between the Mountaineers and their first outright conference title since 2005 would be from the Louisville Cardinals or the Syracuse Orange.
Both of these rebuilding programs are on the fast track back to their winning ways under coaches Charlie Strong and Doug Marone who both enter their third season at their respective schools.
I'd hate to kick a man while he's down or in this case resigning but Stewart is a bit of an old-fashioned kind of coach as it was seen with sideline reporters during games on ESPN in his three years in Morgantown.
With the modern college football recruit, Holgorsen and his young age would be more appealing to a incoming player that visits Morgantown or on a recruiting trip than the folksy style of Stewart over the past three years.
West Virginia can go back in time to the days of the Rich Rodriguez as the team was starting to bring some top flight prospects to the Mountaineers.