How the West Virginia coaching job could affect the Arizona Wildcatsby Anthony Gimino on Dec. 15, 2010, under Sports
UPDATE: West Virginia officially hired Dana Holgorsen on Wednesday afternoon but said that all Mountaineers coaches would remain with the program until the Champs Sports Bowl vs. North Carolina State.
Oklahoma State offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen is reportedly set to become the head coach in-waiting at West Virginia, a transaction that could affect the Arizona coaching staff.
And, of course, it could put a spin or two on the Dec. 29 Alamo Bowl, when the Wildcats take on the Cowboys in San Antonio.
Holgorsen reportedly would be offensive coordinator at West Virginia for the 2011 season and then take over for head coach Bill Stewart in 2012. Some reports have Holgorsen being able to bring in some new offensive assistants right away, and this is where it could get tricky for Arizona.
Holgorsen coached at Texas Tech under Mike Leach with a trio of UA assistants — offensive line coach and co-coordinator Bill Bedenbaugh, running backs coach and co-offensive coordinator Seth Littrell and outside receivers coach Dave Nichol.
Would Holgrosen try to raid the Arizona coaching staff? If not, would Bedenbaugh and Littrell be a candidate for the new vacancy at Oklahoma State, as suggested by The Oklahoman?
The bond between Bedenbaugh and Holgorsen goes back further than their days together at Texas Tech. They were teammates at NAIA school Iowa Wesleyan in the early 1990s. Hal Mumme was the head coach there until 1991, when Leach was an assistant coach there.
“We’ve known each other forever,” Bedenbaugh told TucsonCitizen.com on Sunday, before news broke about Holgorsen’s likely hiring at West Virginia.
“We worked together at Texas Tech for seven years. He’s one of my best friends, not just in coaching, but in general. Just a great guy.”
Holgorsen was a receiver at Iowa Wesleyan, whose early 1990s teams still hold several NAIA record for offense.
“He was what he is as a coach,” Bedenbaugh said. “Tough guy. Did his job. Did things the right way. Played hard. He wasn’t very fast, but he caught a ton of ball. I can’t tell you how many, but, obviously, we threw it every down.”
Since leaving Texas Tech, the Arizona coaches have tweaked the Air Raid offense to suit their needs and personnel. Same thing with Holgorsen, who in his first season at Oklahoma State, has the Cowboys leading the nation in total yardage (537.58 per game).
“We run a bunch of what we ran at Texas Tech. He does the same thing,” Bedenbaugh said.
“But everybody adds their own things. They’re rushing for 200 yards a game, which I don’t know if we rushed for that in three games at Texas Tech. There are some different things, but the plays and schemes are very similar.
“He’s adapted and done some different things, but the base principles of what they’re doing are very similar.”