Big 12 football: It's mentor (Dana Holgorsen) vs. pupil (Kliff Kingsbury) as WVU, Tech square off

by Berry Tramel Published: October 18, 2013
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In 2002, Kliff Kingsbury was a 23-year-old senior quarterback at Texas Tech, and Dana Holgorsen was a 31-year-old inside receivers coach who had his hitched his wagon to Mike Leach.

In 2008, Kingsbury and Holgorsen were assistant coaches together on Kevin Sumlin's University of Houston team; Holgorsen got Kingsbury the job and even let Kingsbury live with him.

Saturday, they meet as head coaches in a Big 12 game that could continue Kingsbury's meteoric rise or could salvage West Virginia's season.

“I wouldn't have gotten into coaching if it weren't for Dana. He played a big role in that,” Kingsbury said. “We're very close.

“Watching him, the way he game planned, the way he installed the offense ... I learned a ton under him when I first got into coaching.”

Kingsbury, with only five years of coaching experience, has been a home run hire for the Red Raiders. Tech is 6-0 and ranked 16th nationally.

Meanwhile, Holgorsen's course at West Virginia has gone the other direction. The Mountaineers won the Orange Bowl in Holgorsen's first season, 2011, but were 7-6 last season and are 3-3 this year.

But Kingsbury said Holgorsen was a valuable mentor.

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by Berry Tramel
Columnist
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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