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Oklahoma State football: Boone Pickens takes no credit in bringing Dana Holgorsen to Stillwater

by Berry Tramel Published: November 9, 2012

Boone Pickens was a little down this week. Mitt Romney had lost the night before. Boone was glad to talk a little football.

The Oklahoma State Cowboys have become a nice diversion for Boone. OSU football beats natural gas cars in reaching the national consciousness.

Dana Holgorsen is one reason why. The one-year wonder transformed OSU with his Air Raid offense that still sizzles today, even when the Cowboys have no idea who will quarterback it.

Saturday, Holgorsen brings his West Virginia Mountaineers into Boone's stadium, and despite theories to the contrary, Boone takes no credit for Holgorsen's drive-by season in Stillwater.

“I didn't know anything about him,” Boone said of Mike Gundy's 2010 offensive coordinator, hired away from Houston U. after a long stretch with Mike Leach at Texas Tech.

“Nothing. I knew a little bit about him after he got there. I didn't try to get any background. I was not included in that decision at all. Didn't have anything to do with that.”

But Boone learned quickly. Holgorsen was an offensive mastermind and Holgorsen had itchy feet to become a head coach.

“He was no question going to be a hit and run in Stillwater,” Boone said. “Wasn't going to be around there very long.”

Holgorsen went to West Virginia with the promise of being the next Mountaineer head coach. Promise kept. Holgorsen took over WVU before the 2011 season and coached the ‘Neers to an Orange Bowl victory.

“Doesn't surprise me,” Boone said. “He's a guy that can put an exciting team on the field. We know that. He taught us a lot of about offensive football.”

Boone was a big proponent of keeping the Big 12 together in its old form. When that didn't happen, Boone championed TCU's admission and wasn't crazy about the geographic ramifications of adding West Virginia.

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by Berry Tramel
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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