Has West Virginia University given up on Dana Holgorsen?


The contract talks have ended, but has WVU completely given up on Dana Holgorsen?

With breaking news late Saturday evening that WVU and Dana Holgerson have stopped talks about a potential extension, could this be the beginning of the end? Certainly Athletic Director Shane Lyons hasn’t given up after one season with Holgorsen has he?

When an athletic director takes over a program you typically see one of two coaches fired. Either the basketball coach gets the cut, or the football coach. We all know basketball coach Bob Huggins is secure, he is one of the all-time greats after all. Holgorsen on the other hand has struggled year in and year out.

Holgorsen has two years remaining on his contract that will see him through 2016 and the 2017 season a contract in which Holgorsen has all the leverage. If WVU wanted to fire him, they would have to pay Holgorsen his salary regardless. That’s a big indicator of why a contract extension wasn’t met. Why would Holgerson give up so much security and leverage to WVU? Apparently he won’t, and no one can blame him for that.

Recruiting is something to keep an eye on. Most student-athletes who are heading to play college ball like to see three to four years remaining on the coaches contract to ensure so sort of security. That may not be what the recruits are thinking but their parents will have a say as well. Every other program in the country who is competing will absolutely point out to recruits that West Virginia football has no talks going on to lock Holgorsen in any long.

The Mountaineers have gone 36-28 with two bowl wins under Holgorsen. Ten of this wins came in a saturated Big East conference, which the Mountaineers need help to win the conference. They have also been extremely inconsistent, and an average to below average Big 12 Conference team. When the offense is clicking, the defense isn’t. Neither offense or defense has been on the same page in the same year. That’s been an issue for a while, the offense could score 50 points a game, but the defense will give up 51 and vice versa.

Holgorsen has had multiple coaches come in and out of the program, while most leave for other jobs then ultimately get fired after a year or two. Most recently, cornerbacks coach Brian Mitchell who made a lateral move going to Virginia Tech. Mitchell leaving may be writing on the wall for a staff that is falling apart. Coordinators seem to be safe, as they all have contracts through 2017. Assistants on the other hand, are now going to be year-to-year.

This could be the end of one phase, which I see as a two phase scene. If Holgorsen and his staff are not competitive in games, making stupid mistake, losing to teams you shouldn’t, that would spell trouble. The schedule is going to be tough this year with the likes of Missouri and Brigham Young on the schedule. This year will be the year a lot of fans have been waiting for. A year that they could have their real chance at seeing Dana Holgorsen unemployed.

It appears Dana and has staff are entering a make or break year this time around. With no negotiations taking place, and an athletic department itching for a change, it’s time for Holgorsen and his staff to win, and win now. He was brought here to win championships and the natives in West Virginia still can’t catch a sniff of one. Holgorsen is going into his 6th season as coach, there are no more excuses, you either have the talent and staff to win and be competitive or you don’t. There should be no more waiting after this year, if he doesn’t prevaile then you cut ties and move forward. Hopefully moving forward takes you somewhere SouthWest in the country, where it’s really hot and feel like you’re in a desert.