MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (WCHS/WVAH) — Several days of swirling reports became reality when West Virginia University and the University of Houston announced that Dana Holgorsen is the Cougars’ new football coach.
"I want to thank Coach Holgorsen for his eight years at West Virginia,” WVU Athletic Director Shane Lyons said in a statement Wednesday. “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."
The University of Houston announced Holgorsen's selection in a Twitter video in which the coach dons a Houston visor.
In a news release, the University of Houston said Holgorsen will be introduced Thursday at a news conference.
"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," " Vice President for Athletics Chris Pezman said in a statement. “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."
Multiple media outlets had reported previously that Holgorsen was the top contender for the job, and SB Nation initially reported the expected deal.
Holgorsen will become the Cougars’ head coach after the Houston fired Major Applewhite Sunday. Holgorsen served as Houston’s offensive coordinator in the 2008-09 season.
The Mountaineers were led by Holgorsen for eight seasons. During that time, WVU went 61-41 overall and 38-32 in conference play.
A source told ESPN Holgorsen will receive a five-year contract worth $20 million, making him the highest paid coach of a Group of 5 program.
Holgorsen is second on WVU’s all-time coaching wins list behind College Football Hall of Famer Don Nehlan, who lead the Mountaineers to 149 wins.
Holgorsen led the Mountaineers to seven bowl games in his eight years. WVU is 2-5 in bowl games under Holgorsen.
In his time with WVU, Holgorsen has had 21 players earn All-American honors and has had 20 players selected in the NFL draft, which is tied for second-most in the Big 12. Holgorsen has also had four top-15 draft picks, which is the most in the conference.
The Mountaineers will open the 2019 season on Aug. 31 against James Madison.