Archive for the ‘WVU Football’ Category
It’s only been a little more than a year, but things are quite different for the West Virginia football program and head coach Dana Holgorsen.
Last December, the Mountaineers suffered a 23-7 loss to North Carolina State in the Champs Sports Bowl. A day later, Holgorsen (who had been hired as WVU’s offensive coordinator and head coach-in-waiting a week earlier) helped lead Oklahoma State to a 36-10 win over Arizona in the Alamo Bowl.
It was one of WVU Athletic Director Oliver Luck’s first major personnel decisions since he was hired in June of 2010, and with the final minutes ticking off the clock in the Mountaineers’ 70-33 Orange Bowl victory over Clemson, you could sense that he was extremely happy with the decision that he made.
“This is a very big stage in a BCS game and to be able to win the Big East to get here is just a validation for all the great work that Dana and our coaches and our players have put in this year,” he said.
“He’s done a marvelous job. Results matter in athletics and we won the Big East Conference, we’re in a bowl game scoring 70 points and that’s all very positive. It’s an indication of what he can do as we move forward into the Big 12.”
It was obvious this season that Holgorsen’s team had something different than the West Virginia teams of the last few seasons. The players brought it up multiple times throughout the season, and Luck echoed those sentiments at the end of the Orange Bowl.
The attitude for this team was completely different.
“What Dana’s brought to this team more than anything – even more than his offensive wizardry – is an edge,” Luck said. “That edge allowed us to win close games this year. This team believed in itself to win those games, and I think part of that is because it believed in its coach.”
And Luck said a win in the Orange Bowl, it doesn’t just help the notoriety of the West Virginia football program. It brings benefits to the entire University.
“It’s just like it was when we won the Fiesta Bowl against Oklahoma. When you come in and play in a BCS and put out a performance like this and beat a quality opponent, it’s pretty special,” he said. “It helps across the board with recruiting, with fundraising and on the academic front. It gives us great exposure for the University.
“It’s all positive.”