The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

College Sports

December 18, 2010

Holgorsen radio interview is revealing

Dana Holgorsen, West Virginia’s new offensive coordinator and head coach-in-waiting, has yet to make an official appearance in Morgantown.

That could come as early as next week, before he starts officially on Jan. 1.

But he is already talking about the job, appearing on Houston’s “John and Lance Show” on 1560 KGOW-AM.

A reader sent me a link and it was quite informative and revealing.

Among the topics were recruiting, future assistant coaches, working with coach Bill Stewart, a recent journey to Morgantown, couch burning and whether he plans to buy a house and not live out of a hotel room, as has been his custom.

Here is some of what the Mountaineers’ OC and future head coach had to say:

On the Mountaineers’ recruiting:

“There’s really right now three pockets. Florida’s huge. They have a ton of athletes from Florida. I’d say half their roster is kids from Florida. There’s the Washington, D.C., and Virginia area, which really has a lot of good athletes. Grades are sometimes a problem, but you have to sift through that. They get a lot of linemen from Pennsylvania and Ohio. Pennsylvania is 40 miles from West Virginia. They get the big kids from those two states and the skill kids from the D.C. and Florida areas.’’

On recruiting areas he will target:

“It’s going to be part of the hiring process. Houston, though, is an area that we’re going to get into a little bit and Dallas as well.’’

On why he decided to take the WVU job:

“It’s a combination. One is Oliver Luck. He’s really a great guy with a great mind. He’s proactive and someone you can get along with. That’s important. Couple that with the fact that West Virginia is averaging seven to nine wins a year for the last 10 years and you get an opportunity to win.’’

On his first visit to Morgantown:

“I went out there two weeks ago. It was the first time I’d been out there. It’s a great college town. It probably has 50-60,000 people, but the whole thing is all about West Virginia University. The support is there; the attendance is there. I think the whole community is really all about the school.

On coaching with Bill Stewart as a coach-in-waiting:

“Bill Stewart is a great person. His heart is with West Virginia University. He was born there. He’s been there a long, long time. He wants what’s best for the university. I get to learn from him and get a lay of the land, so to speak, for a whole year. I can evaluate the program and make suggestions on how to make it better.

“Job No. 1 is to get the offense going, install it, get it in place and teach people. In the back of my mind I’ll kind of evaluate the whole thing.’’

On what he plans to do as soon as he takes over:

“No. 1 is hiring people. You have to surround yourself with people who are smarter than you. It’s something that’s pretty important. There are a whole bunch of good football coaches out there with a whole bunch of good ideas and a whole bunch of different philosophies. You have to get people with somewhat the same philosophies — with different ideas, but the same philosophies — that get along.’’

On possible candidates and if he has any potential assistants in mind:

“Yeah, you accumulate that. Each year it changes a little bit based of who you’ve worked with last, how your offense has evolved and who understands how your offense has evolved. But the biggest part is the dynamics of where they’re at because of recruiting. Recruiting is important.”

On current assistants auditioning for a job on his staff in 2012:

“Jeff Casteel is an unbelievable defensive coordinator. He’s been in the top 10 in the country. I’ve met with him. He’s really a good guy and a great football coach. He’s in place. He’s not going anywhere. His reputation precedes him. The numbers speak for themselves. He’s going to keep doing what he’s doing. I don’t anticipate that changing.”

On being financially secure after signing a six-year deal with WVU:

“I haven’t thought about it. I’m going to try to take care of business (at Oklahoma State). My job (at WVU) begins in two weeks. It’s going to be a process. One of the things Oliver told me is the commitment is high on their end and the commitment has to be high on my end. I’m excited to get started there on the first of January.

“We’re not going to accomplish all we want in a week. It’s going to take time to get the lay of the land and understand the personnel and try to move to the next level.”

On the WVU job:

“I just think it’s a really good opportunity to step in. There’s good tradition and good players that are used to winning games.’’

On students burning couches after important or big-game wins:

“That’s what I’ve heard, which means they are passionate about (football).”

On whether he will buy a house or live in a hotel, as he has in recent seasons:

“Do I have to?”

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