Quotes from Dana Holgorsen’s Press Conference:
On Excitement to Join Big 12:
It’s good to be here in Dallas. It’s good to be a part of the Big 12 from a coaching standpoint, player standpoint, administrative standpoint, and a fan-base standpoint. I can assure you everybody in West Virginia is excited about the opportunity that’s in front of us. It’s going to be a challenge. Nine of my last 12 years has been in the Big 12 and had a lot of big games, played in a lot of different venues, and it’s — we understand it’s going to be challenging.
On Comparing Morgantown to Rest of Big 12:
But the one thing that I’ve been going around the state for the last couple of months telling the people of West Virginia is what we’re getting into is the same thing we got at home. And that didn’t necessarily exist in the conference that we were in last year. It means a lot. The culture is there. The support’s there. The fan base is there. We’re going to fill up our stadium. Our team is used to winning, and that exists at the other nine universities in the Big 12 as well. So the best way I can describe it to the people of West Virginia and the best way I can describe it to the Big 12, everybody else, is is what exists in the Big 12 exists in Morgantown, West Virginia, as well.
(see entire press conference here)On Learning from Coaches He’s Worked Under:
The best way I can describe it is is just paid attention to who I worked for. And I was with Mike Leach for eight years and saw how he ran his program, was obviously pretty successful and won some football games, and moved on and worked for Kevin Sumlin down at the University of Houston. And Kevin’s approach was different. More of a CEO-type approach and managed not only what we were doing offensively but special teams, defense, recruiting, media, alumni base, and did a great job of handling the whole scope of things. And then working one year with Coach Gundy there at Oklahoma State. I just paid attention to how all three of them did it and took bits and pieces from each one and developed my own way of doing things.
On Traveling Further Geographically:
The travel comes up. Last year it didn’t matter if it was, if we were getting on a plane and flying one hour and getting on a plane and flying two hours to Tampa, Florida. So basically the road games are going to be — it’s going to be an airplane ride. So you’re going to jump on a plane and fly a couple of hours no matter where you go. From there it’s just all about routine. So from a travel standpoint, for us, anyway, I don’t view it as being a big deal.
On Big 12 Quarterbacks:
Sounds like it’s been the same way in the Big 12 for about a decade now. Been a whole bunch of good quarterbacks come through the league. Obviously last year with a guy that I followed pretty closely, Brandon Weeden, was in the league and Robert Griffin winning the Heisman Trophy. The league’s been like that for as long as I can remember it. I’ve been fortunate to being at a lot of those games and coach a lot of those quarterbacks that existed.
On Tweaking His Offense Year after Year:
We’ll probably put something new out there. I’m not going to tell you what it is. But it’s evolved. I mean, obviously eight years in Lubbock working for Coach Leach, the offense was kind of set. And made the decision four years ago to break away from them, to go down to the University of Houston. And every time you change a job you gotta look at what your personnel is and you gotta try to tweak some things to fit what your personnel is. We tweaked it a little bit at Houston. Went to Oklahoma State. Tweaked it a little bit at Oklahoma State. And last year when we went to West Virginia, we tweaked it a little bit. Specifics would take a couple of days to get into. But I’d like to say we put our own spin on it and we’re doing our best to be able to fit with what the players are.
On Managing Expectations:
Well, you don’t get ahead of yourself, I guess. It seems like I haven’t seen these guys in two, three months. We can’t work with them right now. So when we get back next week — I mean, we’ll give them a week off, come back next week. That’s what camp’s all about. If you think a guy that’s reading his press clippings, then it’s your job as a coach to make sure you bring them down. I think we’ve got some guys — you mentioned Geno and then Tavon Austin is the other guy on that list, which Tavon is potentially one of the more dynamic guys I’ve been around. So he’s got a chance to be good. What’s awesome about the Big 12 as opposed to where we were last year is just the national exposure, and it’s going to be West Coast to East Coast. And they’re going to be putting some venues to be able to shine if they can handle that. And that’s our job as coaches, to put them in those positions and make sure that they’re prepared and then get them on that stage and see what they can do from there. So managing expectations is part of our job. It’s obviously better to have high expectations than it is low expectations.
On State of WVU Recruiting:
The subject of recruiting came up a bunch, because of the move. When I first got the job 18 months ago, we had already started recruiting a little bit, recruiting Texas a little bit. Got a great boss in Oliver Luck. Understands college football, understands geography. He had already expressed some interest in wanting to recruit some in Texas, because everybody else recruits in Texas. And Texas is obviously a huge college football hotbed. Yes, we will recruit Houston, we will Dallas. I think we’ve got to be careful a little bit about how much manpower we put here. Because it’s so competitive. Like I said, everybody’s recruiting this. I don’t want to take away from what’s made West Virginia West Virginia. Our surrounding states of Ohio and Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, Virginia all have pretty good football. So we’ll continue to get the majority of our kids from that area. That’s a very recruited area and there’s a lot of Division I athletes that come out of that area. Florida’s been fantastic for us. I think we signed 13 kids out of Florida last year. Our deal in Texas, which if in a perfect world would be the way everybody did it, but just recruit kids that become really good senior football players.
On Taking Possible Penn State Transfers:
Well, we don’t take a whole lot of transfers. I think the biggest thing, whether it’s — you take transfers if you need immediate help. That’s what transfers are all about. I think it can be beneficial if you identify what your needs are.