STILLWATER â€” Dana Holgorsen appears to be headed to West Virginia.
The Oklahoma State coordinator has been in high demand since leading the Cowboy offense to a record-setting season.
According to a report in the Charleston (W.Va.) Gazette, Holgorsen is part of a succession plan at West Virginia. Holgorsen would become the offensive coordinator at West Virginia in 2011 then take over the Mountaineer program as head coach in 2012.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that Holgorsen will likely sign a six-year deal which will pay him more than $500,000 in 2011 then bump him to around $2 million when he becomes the head coach in 2012. He made $360,000 at OSU this season.
The deal was reportedly struck between Holgorsen and WVU athletic director Oliver Luck, who took over the Mountaineer athletic program in June. Luck was president and general manager of the Houston Dynamo Major League Soccer team before taking over in Morgantown. Luck was in that role when Holgorsen was the offensive coordinator at Houston from 2008-09, meaning he likely got a first-hand look at Holgorsenâ€™s explosive offensive attack.
While a deal with Holgorsen may be imminent, nothing official has been announced. Bill Stewart remains WVUâ€™s head coach and offensive coordinator Jeff Mullen, despite being a candidate to become head coach at Kent State, remains in place. Stewart has been under fire at WVU despite posting three straight nine-win seasons.
OSU coach Mike Gundy acknowledged the Mountaineers' interest in Holgorsen on Tuesday, stating: â€œWest Virginia has expressed a very strong interest Dana Holgorsen. Thatâ€™s all I can say right now.â€
Holgorsen, who hasnâ€™t spoken to the media in several days, has been in Stillwater this week putting together an offensive game plan for the Cowboysâ€™ Alamo Bowl game against Arizona on Dec. 29.
Holgorsen is expected to remain at OSU through the bowl game and should call the offensive plays against Arizona according to an OSU release.
If the deal becomes official and Holgorsen leaves for West Virginia, the impact could be felt throughout the Cowboy program both on and off the field.
* The search for Holgorsenâ€™s replacement would get started immediately and could already be underway, But who could it be? If Gundy looks to hire someone from within, inside receivers coach Doug Meacham could have the inside track. If Gundy looks outside the program, there are several interesting names with similar backgrounds to Holgorsen.
Houston offensive coordinator Jason Phillips coached under Holgorsen and called plays this season as the Cougars averaged 37.7 points despite losing standout quarterback Case Keenum for the season in September. Arizona offensive coordinator Seth Littrell, a Muskogee native, and East Carolina offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley worked under Mike Leach and Holgorsen at Texas Tech and could be options.
Carlson: Holgorsen’s departure different than Wilson’s