Change is never easy. With the surge in message boards and social media over the last two decades, not only are coaching changes not easy, but they also have become very dramatic.
Earlier this afternoon Holgorsen made it official and informed WVU that he was leaving and released a video on social media.
It seemed like there were only two schools of thought when it come to Coach Holgorsen. There was one blue-and-gold crowd that was shouting for him to be fired (repeatedly, for years). The other very predictable side expressed a vehement desire to keep him. Unlike previous coaching changes at WVU and unlike most situations, there is a far more amicable look at Holgorsen. It’s a sort of “Thank for the memories” opinion.
We should be somewhere around the third opinion.
Holgorsen came into one of the strangest situations in college football. West Virginia native son Rich Rodriguez (who we should probably still hate) had just ripped out the hearts of Mountaineers everywhere by announcing he was going to MIchigan. We had a signature “Leave No Doubt” win which saw Bill Stewart hired in a seemingly knee-jerk reaction to Rodriguez’s departure.
Enter one of the brightest offensive minds in the nation Dana Holgorsen. He entered as the coach-in-waiting behind Bill Stewart. The situation deteriorated and the Holgorsen was thrust into the role a year ahead of schedule.
He then took the reigns and since 2011 and amassed a .598 winning percentage, which is the worst since Bobby Bowden for anyone not name Frank Cignetti. That being said, there was a lot of transition during his time, mainly entering the beast the is the Big 12.
While there were many, many frustrating times for Mountaineer fans during this time, several games where we felt that defeat was snatched from the jaws of victory, but rarely did we enter a season without hope. We had a competitive team and we always had exciting recruits. We had exciting players, several who made it to the NFL.
While it seems that WVU and Holgorsen just grew apart like many relationships do, we should be thankful he ran a clean program, provided us with some good (not great) years, and gave us some hope. He gave us a personality on the sidelines, even if it seemed to rub some people the wrong way.
While we all feel like we had a few instances over the last few years that WVU failed to live up to its expectations, in the end, I believe he left the program in better shape than he found it, for that we can be thankful.
We ought to wish Coach Holgerson the best of luck because, for the most part, he did West Virginia proud.