West Virginia Athletic Director Oliver Luck addressed the state of the Mountaineer football program Tuesday afternoon. After back-to-back disappointing seasons and this year’s 4-8 (2-7) finish, Luck spoke about this season, head coach Dana Holgorsen’s job security and what the expectations of the program are moving forward.
“We have high expectations at West Virginia University for success on and off the field and as Coach Holgorsen has acknowledged to me, we are not meeting those expectations on the field,” Luck said in a statement. “Though there were some high points this year, including our upset victory over No. 11 Oklahoma State and the inspired play from many first year student-athletes, there were far too many disappointments.”
Holgorsen and his team forfeited second half leads against Texas Tech, Kansas State, Texas and Iowa State. WVU also fell to Kansas Nov. 16, snapping the Jayhawks’ 27-game conference losing streak.
The losses piled up and WVU’s 11-year bowl appearance streak was broken.
“Coach Holgorsen and I met at length and reviewed this past season. We discussed the coaching staff, recruiting, player development, strength and conditioning, academic support, facilities. In short, all the components that make up a successful program,” he said. “We are working diligently to improve our capabilities in all of these areas.”
Luck has fully backed Holgorsen, who just completed his second year of a six-year contract that was given to him after WVU’s blowout Orange Bowl Victory over Clemson.
“I strongly believe in our coaching staff, including the work that our strength and conditioning staff is doing,” Luck said. “In my opinion, continuity is the key ingredient that will bring our football program back to the high level that Mountaineer fans expect.”
If Luck would have relieved Holgorsen of his head coaching duties, the buyout would have been 11.3 million dollars.
“Coach Holgorsen and his staff are on the road recruiting this week, securing the future for a successful Mountaineer football program,” he said,
“We have high expectations for the 2014 football team, and I have shared those with Coach Holgorsen. He and his staff are eager to get started to prepare for our opening game against Alabama. We are well aware that we have a lot of work to do.”