The Associated Press
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Even though West Virginia’s head-coach-in-waiting has visited the campus just twice, Dana Holgorsen has seen enough to know he will be in Morgantown a while.
“The path to a conference championship, a BCS game and a national championship is all here,” Holgorsen said Wednesday in his first news conference. “It’s somewhere I’m committed to. Hopefully I’ll be here a long time.”
Holgorsen stood in front of a podium inside the team room at the Puskar Center, as WVU athletic director Oliver Luck officially introduced him as head coach Bill Stewart’s future successor. He was named the Mountaineers’ offensive coordinator for 2011 and head coach in 2012 on Dec. 15.
Stewart, a coach who believes in discipline and instituted 6 a.m. practices for his team, is a bit different from Holgorsen, who is more free spirited — he lived in a hotel for the last year while serving as offensive coordinator at Oklahoma State.
However, the two coaches say the transition will be smooth. “We’ve met, and we’ve gotten along really, really well,” Stewart said. “This will be a very smooth transition.”
The transition will begin after West Virginia and Oklahoma State plays in their respective bowl games. The Mountaineers play North Carolina State in the Champs Sports Bowl on Dec. 28; Oklahoma State meets Arizona on Dec. 29 in the Alamo Bowl.
Holgorsen will take over for current West Virginia offensive coordinator Jeff Mullen on Jan. 1.
“If everyone is on the same page, you have a chance to win football games,” Holgorsen said. “If I come to work Jan. 1 and there’s people fighting each other, you’re not going to win games. We’re comfortable with each other, and we know if we’re on the same page we’ll have a chance to win football games.”
When Holgorsen joins the WVU program, he will begin contemplate any offensive staff changes that will be made and develop a recruiting plan. The current defensive staff will stay intact, and Holgorsen made it known that he will do the best he can to keep defensive coordinator Jeff Casteel happy.
“I’m 100 percent in on trying to make this place just a little bit better,” Holgorsen said. “I never want to go to work and not have fun. I don’t want these kids to go out to practice or to a game and not have fun.”
Holgorsen has signed a six-year term sheet, but there is no signed contract yet as some details need to be resolved. He will be paid $800,000 in 2011 and $1.4 million, plus incentives, in 2012.
Stewart is 28-11 and earned a Big East co-championships this year but has no BCS bowl berths in his three seasons. He will take an undetermined administrative post in 2012.
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