Column - Holgorsen bringing swagger back to WVU
Published: Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, March 20, 2012 00:03
Times have changed.
Just a quick stroll past Milan Puskar Stadium on a spring afternoon will yield the sounds of a well-known rap artist blaring from the scoreboard.
A quick look at the West Virginia spring football schedule won’t show any 6 a.m. practices.
And a gander at some early preseason ranking for next seasons will reveal the Mountaineers ranked as high as the top 10.
Why the sudden change this spring?
Well, last spring football season was run by former head coach Bill Stewart, while interim head coach Dana Holgorsen got his feet wet with the norms of West Virginia football.
Now that Holgorsen has been given the keys to the car, he has established himself as the new sheriff in town.
And this sheriff has swag.
By swag, I mean confidence, comfort and force.
With just one week of spring practice in the books, Holgorsen has proven one thing – this is his team.
His players and coaching staff possess a visible level of confidence and excitement that hasn’t been seen in Morgantown since, say, 2007.
Sure, a record-setting victory in the Orange Bowl over Clemson two months ago adds to the current ego boost.
But Holgorsen’s presence has been the catalyst to the attitude change.
Last spring, the man seemed hesitant and maybe even a bit nervous while pacing the sidelines of Mountaineer Field.
This spring, he has his own cooler filled with the well-known energy drink Red Bull, and has even carried on a lengthy conversation with Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin during Pro Day last weekend.
Holgorsen has won over the confidence of the state and West Virginia fans everywhere, which wasn’t the case after a casino incident last summer.
Also, it appears he has successfully replaced the departed members of the coaching staff who headed for similar positions at Arizona.
His success and confidence have transferred to the players.
The Mountaineers are mentioning the goal of playing for a national championship back at the Orange Bowl in 2013.
They are also praising the respect and understanding they have for their second-year head coach.
So, what does all this mean?
It means the changes will lead to further success.
The recent spark of confidence among players and coaches will transform into more courage and determination on the playing field next fall.
This team will be more physical and play with swagger – much like its head coach.