Guest Contribution: An Outsider Coming In


EDITOR’S NOTE: From time to time, we welcome guest contributions to Today comes from Mr. Joseph Daniel.

Dana Holgorsen is not from West Virginia. He probably hasn’t seen a coal mine up close and the only game he’s experienced on Mountaineer Field is the Blue-Gold game.

I, however, was born and raised in the small southern West Virginia town of Glen Daniel. I understand the mentality of West Virginians and for the most part, in my experience, I have learned that we don’t like outsiders.

This will be the biggest issue that Dana Holgorsen faces, not his recent antics or lack of head coaching experience, but the issues that are sure to arise from the good ol’ West Virginia boys. Now, before you call for my head – I am one of you.

Rich Rodriguez was a comfortable choice for us because he was born and raised in WV. He understood the pride that we have for our beloved boys in blue and gold. And to be honest, he brought a lot of pride to our team – we enjoyed a lot of success under him, but none of us will forget the Backyard Brawl of 2007 or his press conference announcing he was leaving for Michigan. This was an act of treason!

Bill Stewart was a somewhat comfortable hire. Like Rich, he understood what the Mountaineers mean to the people of West Virginia. We don’t live in a state with multiple sports franchises – for the people of West Virginia (the smart people) is West Virginia. Yes, there are some who cheer for our weak little brother in Huntington and we should pray that God would help them to see the error of their ways. Stew understood the charge, the problem was – it was an emotional decision. We had just come off one of the biggest victories in school history, a real “us against the world” mentality game. So honestly, most of us weren’t that surprised when Stew was tabbed for the job. The first season seemed to show that Stew was not cut out for the job. Our team did not look like we had seen in past seasons. We lost to ECU and Colorado – two teams that should not even have been in the game. Yet, we all had hopes that he could turn it around, sadly, he couldn’t. Three seasons of 9-4 just don’t cut it in Morgantown.

Then Oliver Luck arrived (like a white knight in my opinion), and has quickly shown that his vision for WVU athletics is bigger than anything we could imagine. I believe he will help take WVU to new heights. His track record is filled with success. Everything he touches seems to turn to gold, and hopefully in our case, blue and gold. We weren’t shocked when it was announced that Bill Stewart was not the man for the job, but I’m not sure any of us were quite expecting his exit strategy for Stew.

That exit strategy came in the form of Dana Holgorsen, a guy whose track record is also filled with success. Every team he has coached has the most explosive offense in the country (I cannot wait for September 4th against Marshall).  Tabbed as the head coach-in-waiting, we all knew that this would make for a very interesting year in Milan Puskar Stadium. I for one did not see Bill Stewart making it through the 2011 season. He was a lame duck, more of a figure head than the actual head coach. His resignation brings to end the weeks of allegations, the months that we’ve wondered if this thing would work. Honestly, it really is for the best.  We all liked Stewart as a guy, but not as our head coach.

As a member of Mountaineer nation and a proud West Virginian, I am asking you to support Dana Holgorsen. Sure, his knowledge of WV has been from a far, but I have faith that he will quickly adapt to our way of life. He needs our support, our team needs our support. This is a time to unite, not divide. I know Holgorsen is an outsider, but maybe just maybe, this is the change we need to get to the next level. Dana Holgorsen – welcome to the head coaching position at West Virginia University. I support you and our team and believe you are the man for the job.