Like a used car salesman chasing a better opportunity from car lot to car lot, college football programs are also known for high turnover rates.
Colorado fired Mike McIntyre a couple weeks ago and Texas Tech fired Kliff Kingsbury after the Red Raiders’ second 5-7 season in Lubbock.
Both schools have had reported interest in Holgorsen’s services, but nothing has been concrete. This is not the first time Holgorsen’s name has popped up in the coaching carousel. Following a strong 2016 season in which the Mountaineers won 10 games, his name surfaced nearly everywhere. He was on the final year of his contract which opened the doors for a lot of schools to become interested in pursuing him. Oregon and Houston were two schools to have reportedly been interested in him in 2016 before he signed a contract extension with West Virginia.
Holgorsen’s current contract runs through 12/31 of 2021 with his total earnings checking in at $18.6 million. If Holgorsen does, however, take another job, he would owe West Virginia $2.5 million if he leaves before 12/31 of 2018 and would owe $1 million after that date. If he is for some reason fired this off-season, West Virginia would have a buyout of $8.1 million they would owe him. Should he be fired in the final three years of his contract his buyout would then approximately be $6.9 million.
Louisville– This isn’t happening, but it would have some intrigue to Holgorsen. Former West Virginia wide receivers coach Lonnie Galloway is the co-offensive coordinator at Louisville and is in charge of the play calling duties since the firing of Bobby Petrino. Going to Louisville would let Holgorsen be able to recruit the same areas he has recruited well in the past (Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida, Georgia, etc.)
Projection: Louisville hires Jeff Brohm (Purdue HC)
Texas Tech– Anytime a job in the state of Texas opens up, Holgorsen’s name will more than likely be mentioned and reasonably so. Texas Tech is mostly a downgrade from West Virginia. Most coaches that make a jump on their own will take a job with some prestige or make a lateral move. This job doesn’t fall in either of those categories.
Projection: Texas Tech hires Larry Fedora (Former UNC HC)
Colorado– I don’t see how there is any connection with Holgorsen and Colorado. It is purely just not a fit. He doesn’t recruit the west coast, it’s a downgrade, and Colorado is way behind in facilities. The only reason this happens is the Buffs throw out a ton of money and Dana wants a completely fresh start, but I’m willing to bet on it won’t happen.
Projection: Colorado hires Matt Wells (Utah State HC)
Holgorsen is the guy for West Virginia
Agree to disagree if you’d like, but the fact of the matter is that Holgorsen is the guy you want moving forward with this program. He’s still at a young age of 47 and will only continue to get better with more years under his belt. Of course, we all would like the 10-11 win seasons to return, but it is just not realistic at the time. Listen, 8-3 is not “mediocrity”, there are a ton of programs that would love to be in West Virginia’s position. They are one of 33 programs to win at least 7 games or more each of the last four seasons.
The Big 12 is by far more difficult and challenging than the Big East in many ways. For one, there were rarely any five star talents in that conference – now you’re competing against rosters that are littered with them. The travel is a much bigger factor than it seems. West Virginia is the only Power 5 program that has to travel to a different time zone for all of it’s conference road trips. You can say it’s an excuse, but for folks that travel that often can tell you the struggle is indeed real.
The program is headed in the right direction. This team was three points away from playing for a conference championship and is playing meaningful football in late November. Advancement in the program takes time. How much longer you ask? I don’t know exactly, but I do know that Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither was a blue blood football program. For those who want Holgorsen fired, just think about what you’re asking for. You’re asking for the administration to put themselves in a financial constraint of buying out Holgorsen’s contract and possibly some of his assistants, plus hiring a new coaching staff while putting money into improving the facilities.
The season is a disappointment, there is no question about it. You were expected to be in Dallas for the Big 12 Championship game and fell just short, but in my books it was still a successful season. You dominated nearly everyone on your schedule with a Heisman contending quarterback and essentially played a play-in game for the conference title as the regular season finale.
You can call for his head all you want, but you won’t find a better person for the job. He wants to be here and wants to continue to build this program. So although there are rumors afloat, disregard them. Holgorsen is not jumping ship to another program and no, he’s not getting fired. So, buckle up and get ready to finish this season strong at 9-3 and a transition to the Jack Allison era.