Holgs’ attitude rubbing off on players
Published: Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Updated: Wednesday, September 28, 2011 00:09
With Dana Holgorsen coaching the No. 22 West Virginia football team this year, things are very different.
He's a new coach and he brought a new offensive system to Morgantown that has already had great success. The Mountaineers are also finding their way back into the national spotlight as well as the rankings.
And they're having fun doing it.
"There was more tension on the team (last year). Everybody was uptight and we didn't have fun," said sophomore wide receiver Ivan McCartney. "That's something coach Holgorsen has changed this year. He just told us to loosen up and go out there and have fun playing."
It's not tough to find Holgorsen on the sidelines during games, especially when he gets fired up about a call.
But his players said he's not just that guy all the time. He's actually more laid back most of the time he's roaming the sidelines.
"If we're doing good, he'll come over and pat you on the back," said redshirt junior offensive lineman Jeff Braun. "But if we mess up, he's right in our ear about it. He's an honest coach and he'll tell you how it is, whether it's good or bad. He doesn't care."
Not only is he quick to get on his own players when they do something, Holgorsen doesn't hesitate to say things to the officials if he doesn't think something should have been called a different way.
That's another thing his players enjoy seeing.
"When you have coaches that will rise with you and are always there for you and stick up for you, what more could you ask for?" McCartney said. "You don't want a coach that won't stick up for their players. That just makes us realize we have a coaching staff that we can go to battle for."
A coach like Holgorsen is another benefit a lot of the players haven't had before. Some, like senior inside receiver Devon Brown, haven't had a college coach who is as interactive with his players as Holgorsen and the rest of the Mountaineer coaching staff.
"At Wake, coach (Jim) Grobe didn't say too much to us. There were a few times when you did something and he came over to you, but not many," Brown said. "Coach Holgorsen's a player's coach. That's the kind of coach that you want to have."
While he's a player's coach, that doesn't mean he can't get serious at times. The players said when Holgorsen is coaching, they can sense the true passion he has for football.
They feed off of it, using it to help them play the way they've been playing through the first four games of the year.
"His passion for the game just flows through everybody else on the team," McCartney said. "I mean, what sense does it make for the head coach to have so much passion if the players don't show it back?"
And when it comes down to it, the team's passion comes down to one common theme.
They all just want to win.
"He's a guy that loves to win, and we're right with him," said senior safety Eain Smith. "He gets the team hyped. We just follow his lead and go out and try to win for him and the rest of our team."