Big 12 Head Football Coaches Ranked: No. 10 – 6

5 of 6

Nov 29, 2014; Ames, IA, USA; West Virginia Mountaineers head coach Dana Holgorsen looks on during his teams game against the Iowa State Cyclones at Jack Trice Stadium. The Mountaineers beat the Cyclones 37 – 24. Mandatory Credit: Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

No. 7: Dana Holgorsen, West Virginia

The manner in which Dana Holgorsen came to be the head coach of the West Virginia Mountaineers has always felt like a coup or hostile takeover.

In 2010, Holgorsen was brought on board in Morgantown by then, athletic director Oliver Luck to be the offensive coordinator without the consent of current head coach and long-time West Virginia assistant coach, Bill Stewart. Luck announced that Holgorsen was the head coach of the future because he did not have faith in the popular Stewart to lead the program.

After Stewart asked a local reporter to dig up dirt on Holgorsen’s personal life (which has been rumored to resemble that of a fraternity member even since his days on Mike Leach’s staff at Texas Tech), the relationship between the two was irreparable. Luck eventually forced Stewart to resign. Thus far, the decision to go with Holgorsen has had mixed results.

In his first season, the charismatic coach led WVU to the Big East title and an Orange Bowl appearance. In the three years since, the Mountaineers have gone 18 – 20 in the school’s first three years in the Big 12.

In 2012, Holgorsen’s team was ranked in the top 5 nationally until a 49-14 defeat in Lubbock sent their season spiraling downwards towards a 6-6 regular season record. But Holgorsen has an ace in the hole. Due to his massive contract that has a buyout of over $11 million, it is hard to imagine West Virginia making any moves in the near future.

Yet, the Morgantown fan base will soon be expecting to see more than the seven wins that have been the high water mark of the program since WVU left the Big East. Holgersen faces a tough task this year with what many feel will be a rebuilding year.

But, if the Mountaineers fail to make a bowl game this season, there may not be enough couches in all of Appalachia to burn on Holgersen’s front yard. And remember, moonshine makes a great fire-starter.