Published: Thu, January 03, 2019
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Houston Cougars finalizing deal with Dana Holgorsen, West Virginia Mountaineers

Houston Cougars finalizing deal with Dana Holgorsen, West Virginia Mountaineers

While Major Applewhite wasn't head coaching material to begin with, unnecessarily feuding with star defender Ed Oliver this year followed by allowing 70 points to Army in the Armed Forces Bowl - the bottom line was the Ws.

Holgorsen and UH have an agreement in place on a five-year, $20 million deal that appears to make Holgorsen the highest-paid coach at any non-power conference school ever. Holgorsen previously served as offensive coordinator at Houston under Kevin Sumlin from 2008-09.

Holgorsen was 61-41 and 33-30 in the Big 12 as he helped guide West Virginia through the transition from the Big East. Houston competes in the American Athletic Conference, which was formed from the remnants of Big East football after it was torn apart by realignment earlier this decade.

As KPRC 2 sports had reported since Saturday, Dana Holgorsen was being targeted as the University of Houston's choice for new head coach and now the school has succeeded in their pursuit, making it official on Wednesday afternoon. Given the previous connections to the Houston football program as well as the area, Holgorsen immediately was a prime candidate for the opening despite the unusual nature of moving down from a power five program. Applewhite, who took a school-friendly deal in 2016 to replace Tom Herman, went 15-11.

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Above all else, we know Seri very well and we needed to get a player close to him, to not let him play with the ball very easily. A somewhat relieved Emery said after the final whistle: "We wanted to win and this result will give confidence".


The delay in Holgorsen's hiring has come because of his buyout at West Virginia.

Holgorsen just completed his eighth season at West Virginia, leading it to bowl games in seven of those seasons. He had probably has most talented team in Morgantown, West Virginia, this season.

For the Big 12, Holgorsen's pending departure means there will be at least 40 percent turnover among the conference's football coaches.

After a day-plus of fitful waiting, West Virginia's head coaching position is officially open. Their last two hires - Holgorsen and Bill Stewart - were in-house promotions.

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