STILLWATER â€” It was simply too good an opportunity to pass up. And it was the fulfillment of a goal.
When Dana Holgorsen accepted the offer to run his own program at West Virginia, the former Oklahoma State offensive coordinator saw it as a chance to take a quality program to another level.
â€œThey've always played an exciting brand of football both offensively and defensively,â€ Holgorsen said. â€œThey get into Florida and recruit a whole bunch of athletes, they have a tradition of being able to recruit well. Getting hired and being able to do things how I want to do it hopefully we can take it a step further.â€
Holgorsen is part of a succession plan in which he will serve as WVU's offensive coordinator for one season then take over the head coaching duties from current coach Bill Stewart in 2012. Holgorsen will be paid $800,000 in 2011, then bumped to $1.4 million when he becomes head coach in 2012.
If Stewart were to decide to resign before 2012, Holgorsen feels he's ready to take over immediately.
â€œI can sit back and evaluate everything,â€ he said of the one season as offensive coordinator. â€œ(But) I am prepared to take over the program right now if I need to.â€
WVU athletic director Oliver Luck pursued Holgorsen because he felt the Mountaineers weren't headed in the right direction. Stewart was 28-11 in three seasons including three straight nine-win campaigns but never earned a BCS bowl berth.
â€œI didn't believe we had an opportunity to win a national championship with the direction of the program,â€ Luck said. â€œAt the end of the day, results matter. And we weren't getting the results. I expect us to compete at the highest levels. I wanted (Holgorsen) because I do think he can lead us to a national championship.â€