With just one game left in the 2013 season, the West Virginia Mountaineers are at the tail end of a season in which they encountered many problems. From a quarterback controversy that never ended to a defense that forgot how to tackle at the end of season, WVU had its issues.
Tuesday during head coach Dana Holgorsen’s weekly press conference, he addressed another issue.
Since Holgorsen took over as head coach – now three years ago – he’s wanted upgraded facilities to boost the program as a whole. When West Virginia joined the Big 12 Conference in 2012, it was even more vital to upgrade, just to stay on par with the rest of the conference.
“I don’t think I’m being unreasonable with the requests that I’m asking for. We’re working hard to trying to go out and raise the money so we can make some of this stuff reality,” Holgorsen said. “My whole deal has always been number one the weight room. You have to be able to develop, we got that accomplished. You have to be able to meet appropriately, which we can’t and we have to (be) able to practice appropriately, which we can’t.”
As far as meeting together, Holgorsen wants additional upgrades to the Puskar Center. But those upgrades aren’t as important as quality practice space.
“You shouldn’t have to practice on your game field. Nobody else does,” Holgorsen said.
WVU typically practices inside Milan Puskar Stadium even though the program has a practice field. The practice field is only used during portions of training camp or spring football. It becomes difficult to use during the regular season due to the bad weather.
“Right now that grass can’t hold up: if you’re on it and it’s wet you tear it up,” Holgorsen said. “We have the space. We ought to be able to utilize it. The only way with the climate and maintenance, the only way to do it is with turf.”
To make the situation worse, WVU’s indoor facility is rarely used during the season because it doesn’t have the length, width or height to be able to practice football.
“You (have) got to blow it up if you want to be able to use it the way people want to be able to utilize your indoor (space). Safety is key. You need a runoff, you need proper length, and if you want to do the kicking game in there, you have to go a little higher,” Holgorsen said. “It’s dysfunctional.”
The only problem for Holgorsen is finding donation money. Right now with a losing record and an 11-year bowl streak snapped, it could be tough to find big money donors. But with Oliver Luck’s support, Holgorsen feels his job is safe.
“He’s my boss, so we talk a good bit. He understands where we’re at and where the program is at. He understands what it takes to be able to get better, and we’re working hard on that,” Holgorsen said.
As for Holgorsen, he feels like he needs all of these upgrades just to stay on track with other members of the Big 12 Conference. If his program falls behind, it’ll be tough to attract the caliber of recruit that he wants.