Holgorsen Mentioned In Connection For Texas Tech, Other Head Coaching Jobs
Let the carousel, and the rumor mill, begin.
West Virginia head football coach Dana Holgorsen has been mentioned prominently in connection with the open position at Texas Tech, which became vacant when Kliff Kingsbury was fired on Sunday after six seasons at the helm.
“We’ve had one of the most prolific offenses in the nation,” Texas Tech Athletic Director Kirby Hocutt said according to the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, “and we still sit here today with a losing record over the past six years. You’ve got to have three phases in this game, and they’ve got to be able to complement one another. When you have challenges on one side of the football during a given Saturday, you’ve got to be able to (make up for) that on the opposite side and your special teams. We’ve got to be a well-rounded football team. You cannot be one-dimensional and have success in this league.”
That would not seem, at first blush, to be something that Holgorsen or Mike Leach, another prominent candidate, would be suited to fix off the bat. Both, like Tech, earned their way to head coaching spots on the strength of their offensive acumen. Still, both are remembered fondly for their time in Lubbock. Holgorsen spent eight years with the Red Raiders as an assistant, serving from 2000-04 as inside receivers coach before moving up to a co-offensive coordinator spot from 2005-07. Leach was the Tech head coach from 2000-09, when he was fired after allegations of mistreatment of a player suffering from concussion-like symptoms. Ugly court battles ensued, but apparently donors remembering the success of the decade are making a push for Leach.
Holgorsen is currently under contract at West Virginia through 2021, with a total compensation package rising from $3.7 million to $4 million over that span. Were he to choose to leave, he would owe West Virginia $2.5 million if he departed before the end of the 2018 calendar year, or $1 million thereafter. (Were WVU to fire Holgorsen, it would owe him a prorated percentage of $3 million if fired in 2018, plus 60% of his remaining scheduled compensation, minus any money he earned for football related duties. If fired in 2019, only the 60% payout applies. Thus, in either instance, the dollar amounts involved would not appear to be a serious stumbling block.)
Kingsbury will reportedly receive a $4 million buyout.
Holgorsen has also been mentioned in connection with other open coaching spots around the country, but the interest appears to be less serious than that emanating from Texas Tech. In some instances, representatives of coaches will float their names in connection with jobs in order to keep their clients’ profiles higher, although that is not confirmed in this case.
Holgorsen is requried to notify WVU Athletic Director Shane Lyons before he or any representative begins talks concerning other coaching positions.
Kingsbury finished his six year Tech career at 35-40, including a 19-35 mark in the Big 12. Holgorsen is 61-40 overall at West Virginia, and 33-30 against Big 12 foes through eight seasons.
The Red Raiders reached just three bowl games in Kingsbury’s tenure, going 1-2. West Virginia has reached six bowls in Holgorsen’s tenure, and will add to that total this year. He is just 2-4 in that span, with losses in the Pinstripe, Liberty, Russell Athletic and Heart of Dallas minor bowls offsetting his signature 2012 Orange Bowl win.
Following a tie for first in the Big East Conference in his initial year at WVU, Holgorsen’s teams have finished in ties for second, third, fourth (twice), fifth (twice) and seventh in the Big 12. Kingsbury’s best finish in the league was a tie for fifth.