WOAY – After days of speculation, Dana Holgorsen has been officially named the head football coach at the University of Houston.
He succeeds Major Applewhite, who was fired after two years and a 15-11 record with the Cougars; the Mountaineers have posted a 15-11 record in that same two-year span.
Holgorsen arrived in Morgantown in 2011 after one year as an assistant at Oklahoma State, and was originally the offensive coordinator and head coach-in-waiting under Bill Stewart. However, Holgorsen was named head coach in June 2011 after Stewart left the program.
In Holgorsen’s eight years with WVU, the Mountaineers went 61-41, winning two bowl games (including the 2012 Orange Bowl) and the 2011 Big East championship. This move is a return to Houston for Holgorsen, who was the offensive coordinator & quarterbacks coach under Kevin Sumlin in 2008-09.
In a statement released Wednesday, West Virginia athletic director Shane Lyons said, “I want to thank Coach Holgorsen for his eight years at West Virginia. We wish him and his family all the best at the University of Houston. Our national search for his replacement has already begun, and I know it will be a successful one. A proven record of competitive success, a passion for the student-athlete, emphasis on academics and a strong work ethic are among the qualities that I will be looking for in our next head coach. We will move quickly to bring him to Morgantown to continue our strong winning tradition and solidify our place in the Big 12 and on the national scene. We are looking forward to this new and exciting era of Mountaineer football.”
According to media reports, several candidates for the head coaching vacancy include Troy’s Neal Brown, who has won 10 games in each of the past three seasons, and current WVU defensive coordinator Tony Gibson, who was named associate head coach in 2016. Multiple players, both past and present, have taken to social media to voice their support for Gibson.
West Virginia opens the 2019 season August 31 against James Madison.