Holgorsen’s new contract a sign of things to come at WVU
Published: Friday, August 24, 2012
Updated: Friday, August 24, 2012 06:08
It means that – at least in theory – the Mountaineers will be led by one of the brightest offensive minds in college football for the next six seasons.
But Luck understands that just because he’s signed on the dotted line, it doesn’t mean he’s "locked in" for the duration of that contract by any means.
"I don’t think you can ever really lock a coach up for a long-term contract because it’s such a classic free-market deal now," Luck said. "He has a contract and he has a buyout if he leaves. If somebody really wants to hire him, somebody can hire him if he really wants to go. You could triple the buyout, and it wouldn’t change that fact.
"It’s a great commitment to Dana from the University, as well as to the University from Dana. I can’t imagine that we could have anybody better in here leading our program, and I hope that will be the case for a long time."
It’s a major commitment for the school, indeed.
The deal, which could be worth as much as $20.5 million by the time it’s up, is the largest contract for any coach in WVU history.
From Luck’s perspective, it had to happen.
"He’ll be in high demand," Luck said. "When I was talking to him about coming here, there were a lot of schools that had him on speed dial and were trying to get him to try to come and do the same thing he’s brought here.
"He saw the value of what we have here, and it’s great that he did, but I do think he’ll be in high demand, especially if he can keep winning."
But it also had to happen when you look at the other contracts for coaches around the Big 12 Conference.
Even with the new contract, Holgorsen ranks as just the sixth highest-paid coach in the league, ahead of Kansas head coach Charlie Weis, Kansas State’s Bill Snyder, Texas Tech’s Tommy Tuberville and Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads. It’s the first of many steps that WVU is going to have to take in order to keep up with their new conference.
"It’s no secret that we’re playing in a new sandbox now," Luck said. "Ultimately, we don’t want any of our coaches to be No. 10 out of 10 in terms of salary. That said, we know we aren’t going to be one of the top two or three either."
While it’s easy to figure out that they’re going to be spending a lot more money, realize that there will also be a lot more money available to spend.
Once they get to the point that it is earning a full share of the Big 12 revenue in 2016, there’s a good chance that WVU will be making more than three times as much money per year as it did when the Mountaineers were members of the Big East Conference.
"It’s a competitive world, and I think it’s important that we’re able to compensate them," Luck said. "At the end of the day, the Big 12 will pay us $23 or $24 million in TV money, and the Big East was only paying us $8 or $9.
"Looking in the long term, this is a great financial position for our University to be in because we’re going to be able to receive additional dollars."
It has to be encouraging for Holgorsen, men’s and women’s basketball coaches Bob Huggins and Mike Carey and the rest of the coaches at WVU to know that Luck and the University are committed to putting more money into keeping the coaches in Morgantown.
With some of the talented coaches leading teams here at West Virginia, if the University isn’t committed to paying them the money that a coach at a big-time school should get, there will be other schools who will.
Holgorsen’s contract is the first sign that West Virginia’s committed to being one of those schools that will do what it has to do to keep its coaches around.