Report: Dana Holgorsen leaving WVU for Houston
Dana Holgorsen’s tenure as West Virginia’s football coach appears to be ending.
ESPN.com reported Tuesday morning that Holgorsen is finalizing a five-year, $20 million deal to become Houston’s next coach. The Cougars received permission to speak to Holgorsen on Monday, according to Metro News, a radio network in West Virginia.
If he signs a contract, Holgorsen would become the highest-paid coach in the Group of 5. He is scheduled to earn $3.8 million at West Virginia in 2019, according to Metro News.
At Houston, Holgorsen would replace Major Applewhite, who was fired after two seasons, a 15-11 record and an embarrassing 70-14 loss to Army in the Armed Forces Bowl. Holgorsen served as Houston’s offensive coordinator in 2008-09.
West Virginia’s season ended in disappointment Thursday with a 34-18 loss to Syracuse in the Camping World Bowl. It was the Mountaineers’ third consecutive defeat after climbing as high as No. 9 in the College Football Playoff rankings.
Holgorsen was 61-41 in eight years at West Virginia after replacing Bill Stewart in 2011 when he won the Big East and defeated Clemson, 70-33, in the Orange Bowl. He is the second-winningest coach in West Virginia history behind Don Nehlen.
West Virginia (8-4) will be rebuilding in 2019 after losing the pass-catch combination of quarterback Will Grier and David Sills, plus All-American tackle Yodny Cajuste and Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year David Long. Grier threw for 3,864 yards and 37 touchdowns and was fourth in the Heisman Trophy voting and Sills caught 65 passes for 986 yards and 15 touchdowns.
Jerry DiPaola is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jerry at email@example.com or via Twitter @JDiPaola_Trib.