Dana Holgorsen, Mike Gundy’s new offensive coordinator at Oklahoma State, is the ultimate Mike Leach disciple. No way of knowing just yet what the hiring of Holgorsen means for the Cowboys’ offense or even how the staff structure will work on a staff that for two years has had a head coach running the offense. But it certainly seems like OSU is making a move toward a Leach-style offense. No other conclusion can be reached.
Holgorsen has spent the last two years at the University of Houston, which with quarterback Case Keenum has run an offense similar, but not exact, to Leach’s revolutionary spread at Texas Tech. But Holgorsen’s ties with Leach run as deep as they possibly could.
Holgorsen was a wide receiver at Iowa Wesleyan for Leach, who was offensive coordinator there in 1990 and 1991. Leach and head coach Hal Mumme went on to Valdosta State, and Holgorsen joined their staff after he graduated from Iowa Wesleyan. Holgorsen stayed at Valdosta State for three years, 1993-95, then left for Mississippi College. When Leach became head coach at Texas Tech in 2000, he hired Holgorsen to his staff.
Holgorsen stayed in Lubbock through the 2007 season before joining Kevin Sumlin’s Houston staff. So add it up. Two years with Leach at Iowa Wesleyan, three years at Valdosta State and eight years at Tech. That’s 13 seasons playing for, coaching with or coaching for Leach in the last 20 years.
Holgorsen was offensive coordinator at Tech when he left. He went to Houston so he could run the offense; Leach was the mastermind in Lubbock. It’s hard to imagine Holgorsen coming to OSU without also being handed the reins of the offense. It’s also hard to imagine Holgorsen not implementing the Mumme/Leach offense that has been such a major part of his football career.