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OSU's Dana Holgorsen named West Virginia's coach-in-waiting

The former Oklahoma State assistant will take over as the Mountaineers' head coach in 2012.
by John Helsley Modified: December 15, 2010 at 7:48 pm •  Published: December 15, 2010

While he exits earlier than Mike Gundy and the Cowboys and their fan base wanted, he had to split for this premium package: $800,000 to serve as Bill Stewart's offensive coordinator in 2011, then $1.4 million, plus incentives, in 2012 when he assumes head coaching duties at a school that competes for BCS bowl berths annually.

Oklahoma State enjoyed what it had in Holgorsen, and will continue to have in the Alamo Bowl, as he will continue to run OSU's offense through the Dec. 29 game against Arizona.

Now, does West Virginia fully understand what it's getting? A creative, even quirky offensive mind, for sure.

And a quirkier personality.

Holgorsen always figured for a part-timer in Stillwater, from the day he checked into a local hotel as his temporary-permanent residence. Not that daily maid service is all bad.

He never signed his contract, either, suggesting it was no big deal.

“Either you want to be there or you don't,” Holgorsen said.

Except on a staff where the multi-year contracts are the norm, within a volatile profession and amid the now-nonsensical perceptions that Gundy was on a hot seat, some sense of security seems wise.

But then, Holgorsen marches to a different beat, the rapid-pulse beat of a Red Bull six pack.

He's a Mike Leach disciple from his offensive ideology right down to the preference for flip flops no matter how formal the occasion. Maybe this coach-in-waiting thing is ideal for Holgorsen, assuming no suit and tie should be necessary when he officially takes over for the dead-coach-walking Stewart come 2012.

“Our personalities are much different,” Gundy said of Holgorsen. “I'm very Type A, structured, organized. I feel guilty if I don't show up early and stay late.

“His personality is not all the way to Mike Leach, but it's somewhere in between.”

Surely West Virginia knows all that.

And the fact he's not a morning person, a trait that never bothered Gundy with his offensive coordinator, yet something that might be more than a detail when all eyes are on Holgorsen as the leader of a program. Carlson: Holgorsen’s departure different than Wilson’s Tramel: OSU Offensive coordinators get noticed

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by John Helsley
OSU Reporter Sr.
John Helsley grew up in Del City, reading all the newspapers and sports magazines he could get his hands on. And Saturday afternoons, when the Major League Game of the Week was on, he'd keep a scorecard for the game. So the sports appeal was was...
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