Early Start

Dana Holgorsen

If new West Virginia head coach Dana Holgorsen had been a bit bemused at the Friday night press conference announcing his elevation to perhaps the most visible position in the Mountain State, it certainly would have been understandable.

After all, Dana Holgorsen expected to be settling in to a role with the offense in 2011, and didn't figure on having to deal with the many distractions and challenges a head coach must endure in his first year at West Virginia. However, after the announced resignation of head coach Bill Stewart, Holgorsen has now been assigned the job he didn't expect to have for another seven months. Still, he thinks he's ready to do so, in large part because he already has the pieces and a plan in place to execute his vision.

"The timetable was already set back in December; this just accelerated it some," he said plainly. "I'll be the head coach and the offensive coordinator next year, but I'll still be on the sideline and call all the plays. It was important to me to bring in guys that understood how I did things. The [offensive coaches] understand and know the offense, so if I have to step out and deal with something they won't have to stop. They can just keep working."

"This obviously changes the focus from just strictly offense to the whole team," he said in response to a question about his new duties. "I've gone out of my way to get to know the defensive guys and the specialists, and that has to continue to happen."

While Holgorsen was confident is moving forward in the new position, he wasn't ready to name a new coach to fill the assistant spot that he just vacated, or to name a new offensive coordinator. His statements on serving in that capacity in 2011 suggest that he might not do have an offensive coordinator in the near future, and he didn't provide any hints as to a timetable for that occurrence.

"One game at a time," he said with a smile. "First game is against Marshall, and then we'll look forward to the second one."

A hiring that might be closer is that of a new assistant coach.

"I have given that some thought, because I was going to have to cross this bridge in January, but I'm not going to make a quick decision, he said. "I am going to think about it and do what's best for the team."

Holgorsen had not had the chance to speak to the team as whole since his elevation, but already has his message set to deliver.

"Stay the course. Nothing's really changing," he quickly stated, showing that he is prepared to speak with his players. "We're still going to have the same strength workouts here for the next two weeks, led by (strength and conditioning coordinator) Mike Joseph. We're still going to have (head trainer) Dave Kerns healing the hurt guys We are still going to go to school and pass. Once camp rolls around, we are still going to run the same offense, the same defense, the same special teams. The one thing that will be preached every day is unity. We're all in this together, from a players' standpoint, from a coaches' standpoint, from an administration standpoint, from a fan standpoint. We are all in this together."

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