The interesting thing about the end of the year is that many coaches have financial ties to January 1st. West Virginia Mountaineers head coach Dana Holgorsen is no different. When the calendar rolls into 2019, his contractual buyout will drop from $2.5M to $1M.
This information is relevant because the Houston Cougars may have decided that 15 wins in two seasons by current head coach Major Applewhite is not acceptable and could be in the market for a new head coach. A story, first reported by Football Scoop, indicated that Houston, following the embarrassment of a 70-14 shellacking in the Armed Forces Bowl, could be willing to part ways with Major and Dana Holgorsen is on their radar.
Dana’s buyout drops to $1M on Jan 1…. https://t.co/WvQCSdFkFr— FootballScoop Staff (@FootballScoop) December 29, 2018
Major Applewhite’s buyout is only $1.95M but that doesn’t include what former offensive coordinator Kendall Briles will owe Houston for jumping ship to the Florida State Seminoles. Houston, who is looking to build to a consistent football power, is willing to do whatever it takes. Sources have indicated that Houston superbooster, Tilman Fertitta, a self-made millionaire, may be willing to put down close to $20M in order to get a deal done to get a head coach of Holgorsen’s pedigree.
As for Holgorsen, he has not commented on this developing story, but has entertained other job offers. It was previously reported that he was interested in the Texas Tech head coaching job but wasn’t given an interview by athletic director Kirby Holcutt, and his name was also mentioned for the Colorado job.
Dana has ties to the University of Houston, where he was an offensive coordinator in 2008 and 2009 and has remained friendly with Fertitta. Given the way the 2018 season ended, with 3 straight losses including another ugly bowl showing and a 2019 season with 11 Power 5 games, including traveling to SEC foe Missouri Tigers and hosting ACC opponent N.C. State Wolfpack, along with perennial FCS powerhouse James Madison, it is possible that Holgorsen may choose to go to a G5 job rather than attempt to replace the multitude of seniors who will be leaving the program this year.
Stay tuned because what happens in the next few days will be interesting to watch.