It was mentioned here two weeks ago that in spite of winning nine games in each of his first three seasons, West Virginia University football Coach Bill Stewart may be on a bit of a hot seat. The gist of that discussion was focused more on the perception of Stewart among the fans. Basically, there are those who look at his record of 27-11 and are bewildered that anyone would question his results. Then there are those that look beyond the wins and see seven or eight losses to teams considered underdogs.
This is being revisited briefly because multiple published reports surfaced Monday evening suggesting that WVU Athletics Director, Oliver Luck, has targeted Oklahoma State offensive coordinator, Dana Holgorsen as a possible replacement for Stewart. Holgorsen has coordinated high powered offenses at Houston, Texas Tech and had Oklahoma State’s offense number one in the country this year. That is really all that is known. As of Tuesday morning there are no comments from Luck, Stewart or Holgorsen to help clarify the story. Luck has gone on record with no comment and Stewart has not returned phone calls to reporters.
A guess here is whatever is taking place was not supposed to be made public, but the information is out there and it would seem that Luck would be best served to address the matter soon. Even people who have been in favor of replacing Stewart are finding this scenario a little uncomfortable.
Here are a few things gleaned from Monday’s news. Holgorsen’s name surfaced over the weekend as a coach who would replace current offensive coordinator Jeff Mullen, become a head coach in waiting, then assume the head coaching position for the 2012 season. Contained within Monday’s stories were suggestions that neither Stewart nor Holgorsen would be likely to accept such a plan.
Then there is the general tug of war between the pro Stewart and pro somebody else factions. All along, this possible coaching change issue has been driven by the belief that some larger donors want Luck to pursue other coaching possibilities. Now that this matter has gone public, there could be a bailing of support from another sector of supporters.
Holgorsen is a hot young coach who was at the top of Pitt’s search board as late as Monday. By all accounts he would be a great hire for any program. The problem is WVU’s coach is 27-11. Yes, that record should be better and have a BCS bowl or two attached to it, but those numbers are hard to ignore. This could become very interesting very quickly, especially if Stewart is unwilling to accept another role within the athletic department.
Updating the above information. Although there has been no official announcement, news outlets are confirming that a deal between West Virginia and Dana Holgorsen is in the works. Initial reports suggest he will be the offensive coordinator under Bill Stewart for a year before becoming the head coach for the 2012 season.