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It's official: Dana Holgorsen leaves WVU for Houston

Jerry DiPaola
| Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2019, 5:00 p.m.
FILE - In this Nov. 25, 2017, file photo, Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley, left, and West Virginia head coach Dana Holgorsen, right, talk after their NCAA college football game in Norman, Okla. No. 6 Oklahoma or No. 7 West Virginia can get into the Big 12 championship game by winning their last two games. Since those Top 10 teams still have to play each other in the regular season, it is impossible for both to win their last two games. But the three-time defending Big 12 champion Sooners (9-1, 6-1 Big 12) and Mountaineers (8-1, 6-1) could also still face each other two weeks in a row _ in that day-after-Thanksgiving game in Morgantown, and then Dec. 1 for the conference title. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)
FILE - In this Nov. 25, 2017, file photo, Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley, left, and West Virginia head coach Dana Holgorsen, right, talk after their NCAA college football game in Norman, Okla. No. 6 Oklahoma or No. 7 West Virginia can get into the Big 12 championship game by winning their last two games. Since those Top 10 teams still have to play each other in the regular season, it is impossible for both to win their last two games. But the three-time defending Big 12 champion Sooners (9-1, 6-1 Big 12) and Mountaineers (8-1, 6-1) could also still face each other two weeks in a row _ in that day-after-Thanksgiving game in Morgantown, and then Dec. 1 for the conference title. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)

Dana Holgorsen officially left West Virginia after eight seasons on Wednesday when he was named head coach at the University of Houston.

Holgorsen was the Cougars’ offensive coordinator during the 2008-2009 seasons. He will be introduced at a news conference at 2 p.m. Thursday.

“I want to thank coach Holgorsen for his eight years at West Virginia,” West Virginia athletic director Shane Lyons said in a statement. “We wish him and his family all the best at the University of Houston.

“Our national search for his replacement has already begun, and I know it will be a successful one. A proven record of competitive success, a passion for the student-athlete, emphasis on academics and a strong work ethic are among the qualities that I will be looking for in our next head coach.

“We will move quickly to bring him to Morgantown to continue our strong winning tradition and solidify our place in the Big 12 and on the national scene. We are looking forward to this new and exciting era of Mountaineer football.”

Holgorsen is the second-most winningest coach in WVU history, finishing with a 61-41 record and seven bowl appearances. His 61 victories trail only College Football Hall of Famer Don Nehlen at WVU.

“We are thrilled to welcome Dana back to Houston as the next leader of our football program. His offensive acumen with an emphasis on student-athlete development, on and off the field, is a perfect fit for our program, University and city,” said Houston Vice President for Athletics Chris Pezman. “We are looking forward to Dana connecting with our student-athletes and taking over a program that is primed for continued success at the highest level.”

“I’m beyond excited for the opportunity to return to Houston and lead this program,” Holgorsen said. “This city and the University of Houston have unlimited potential and I am honored to be a part of it. I look forward to meeting our student-athletes and establishing a culture that thrives on championship competition, on and off the field.”

Jerry DiPaola is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jerry at jdipaola@tribweb.com or via Twitter @JDiPaola_Trib.

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