Houston Officially Announces New Head Coaching Hire

Ross Houston
January 3, 2019

Holgorsen went 61-41 in eight years at West Virginia with only one losing seasons and two 10-win seasons. Major Applewhite was sacked after just two seasons for going 15-10, an incredibly short leash for a first-time head coach following in Herman's wake.


The Houston Cougars are finalizing a deal to make Dana Holgorsen their next head coach and are expected to announce his hire as early as Tuesday, a source with knowledge of the search told ESPN. He went 15-11 in his tenure.


With the ever-present Red Bull in hand, Holgorsen addressed the fan base as its new football coach: "Go Coogs". Holgorsen was paid $3.6 million in salary this past season at West Virginia. His first season at West Virginia ended with a 70-33 rout of Clemson in the Orange Bowl. Houston will owe West Virginia a $1 million buyout. West Virginia generally hovered between 7-8 wins under Holgorsen, though it posted a 10-3 campaign in 2016 that netted a second-place finish in the Big 12.

Holgorsen has run his course there, so he'll head back to a school that will hail him as a savior, where he'd worked as a coordinator in 2008 and 2009 and considers a recruiting comfort zone.
The Mountaineers lost in the Camping World Bowl to Syracuse, 34-18, on December 28. A month after an intoxicated Holgorsen was escorted out of a West Virginia casino, he was named Stewart's replacement after a former sports writer said Stewart approached him shortly after Holgorsen's hiring to "dig up dirt" on his eventual successor. With Grier off to the NFL, Holgorsen was set to enter 2019 with the position as a major question mark at WVU. What Holgorsen did probably isn't the start of a trend, but it's still meaningful evidence that even if the Group of Five doesn't have universal respect among big-time college football, at least its best teams do, especially within the American Athletic Conference.


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