Holgorsen completes staff with three assistant hires
Published: Sunday, January 9, 2011
Updated: Sunday, January 9, 2011 22:01
Newly hired West Virginia offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen said it was important to hire the best candidates to fulfill his offensive staff, not just his best friends.
Holgorsen thinks highly of his peers, though.
On Jan. 3, Holgorsen and WVU head coach Bill Stewart announced the hiring of offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh, running game coordinator Robert Gillespie and inside receivers coach Shannon Dawson.
WVU will pay out $1.7 million to offensive assistants in 2011. Gillespie signed a three-year, $250,000 per year term sheet. Bedenbaugh signed a two-year term sheet for $250,000 per year. Dawson signed a two-year term sheet for $200,000 per year. Holdover wide receivers coach Lonnie Galloway makes $200,000 per year and will be the second year of a two-year deal in 2011.
With the addition of Holgorsen, who will make $800,000 in 2011, the offensive staff will be paid $616,836 more than in 2010.
The three hires take over for former assistants Chris Beatty, Dave Johnson and David McMichael. Holgorsen replaces former offensive coordinator Jeff Mullen.
West Virginia will pay those former assistants' salary for next season, as all would be in the final year of a two-year contract. That totals nearly $900,000. In total, WVU will pay current and former offensive assistants nearly $2.6 million in 2011.
All of the new WVU coaches have either played under or coached with Holgorsen within the past 20 years.
"The three new coaches are eager to get started and become a part of the Mountaineer family," Stewart said in a statement.
Dawson told the Associated Press that the collection of coaches is "like a bunch of friends coaching together."
Bedenbaugh has the most rooted history with Holgorsen, having played with Holgorsen at Iowa Wesleyan College. The pair also coached together at Valdosta State under head coach Hal Mumme and under Mike Leach at Texas Tech from 2000-06.
Bedenbaugh comes to WVU from Arizona after a four-year stint with the Wildcats. In the role, Bedenbaugh helped the Wildcats finish with the ninth-best passing attack in the country (307.7 ypg).
"Leaving the players and coaching staff at Arizona was one of the toughest things I have ever done, but coming here to West Virginia is what I want to do," Bedenbaugh said in a release.
Holgorsen recruited Dawson to Wingate where Dawson played quarterback under Holgorsen in 1999. Dawson comes to WVU from FCS school Stephen F. Austin for the past three seasons as the offensive coordinator where the Lumberjacks led the nation in pass offense in 2010.
SFA also finished fourth in scoring offense and sixth in total offense in 2010.
Dawson has also spent time at Millsaps College (Miss.), New Mexico State, Southeastern Louisiana and Wingate.
Holgorsen brings Gillespie with him from Oklahoma State. Gillespie coached under Holgorsen as the Cowboys' running backs coach this past season. Gillespie helped running back Kendall Hunter earn consensus first team all-America honors.
Gillespie is a former running back for the Washington Redskins and also played for the Frankfurt Galaxy of NFL Europe in 2003. He played college for Florida under head coach Steve Spurrier where he helped the Gators earn two SEC Championships.
Gillespie coached under Spurrier at South Carolina for four years as a graduate assistant and a running backs coach before departing for Oklahoma State in 2009.