Dana Holgorsen still has his best years ahead of him.
He certainly hopes so, as does all of the West Virginia football fans. Still relatively young within the coaching fraternity, Holgorsen recently celebrated his 45th birthday.
Holgoren’s 45th year might just be his biggest with the Mountaineers. It might be a make-or-break year within the confines of Mountaineer Field.
If the team doesn’t win, Holgorsen could be shown the door.
On a more positive note, there’s no doubt Holgorsen will be fired up for this season. It’s a chance for him to work on his offensive expertise and tinker with the reigns of the Mountaineers a little bit. He has long been high on quarterback Skylar Howard and with this being Howard’s senior season, good things are expected to come.
Also, the passing game had some time to develop this offseason and the Mountaineers ran the ball a lot more in the 2015 season that they did in the previous four years under Holgorsen.
A good birthday present for Holgorsen might just be a young receiver stepping up, wanting to be a part of the mix.
At West Virginia, Holgorsen does have a winning record, standing at 36-28 overall. So, it could be worse. He had just one losing season where the team missed out on a bowl game, but he has been able to keep the program stable over his tenure.
What is a little deflating about the aura of Dana Holgorsen is that he was brought in as a can’t miss prospect. It was his first Division I head coaching job, but he was certainly an up-and-comer within the coaching ranks. Plus, his knowledge and experience in the Big 12 was supposed to make for an easy transition into the team’s new conference.
With the Mountaineers’ 70-point win over Baylor in their first Big 12 Conference game, the plan was settling into place. A handful of losses later, things weren’t going as smoothly.
Holgorsen’s time in West Virginia has been a curious case of where the Mountaineers are heading. He took over at a time when things were down, but the program has pretty much remained stagnant over the last five seasons.
If Holgorsen and the Mountaineers catch fire early in the 2016 season, he may be able to sign an extension and fully become part of the WVU football legacy.
That would be the best way to celebrate a new year. Then, come age 46, he’ll be set for another successful campaign in the old gold and blue.