Luck, Holgorsen Quotes
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - Quotes from West Virginia University's news conference with Director of Athletics Oliver Luck and Coach Dana Holgorsen following the announcement that Holgorsen signed a new six-year contract:
Oliver Luck Opening Statement
First off, I would like to thank everyone for being here today. Coach (Dana) Holgorsen and West Virginia University have signed a contract, and it is a significant commitment from the University to coach Holgorsen and in turn, a significant commitment by coach Holgorsen to the University. We are very excited that Dana is making a long-term commitment to us. We are excited about the season that is obviously rapidly approaching.
On the buyout
On this contract if Dana would leave early or be lured away, it is a $2 million buyout. It is a flat number across the board.
On how six years was the agreed upon length
We spent a good bit of time with Dana’s agent and decided that was the term that made the most sense for him and us. As you all realize, since you are in this building fairly often, the head coach is the leader of our football department. A lot of people want to make long-terms plans, and we think this a good long-term strategy. As Dana mentioned, this will help the stability of all the assistant coaches. This is not about just one person – it is a big group of people that make the football program successful. Dana is at the tip of that spear.
On non-compete clauses
As we looked at the Big 12 contracts and the aspects of them, we saw that a non-compete clause is a rarity, especially in the Big 12.
On the development of the contract
We began to talk seriously in the offseason. There is no particular reason that it took as long as it did. We had set a goal of completion for camp. It was a natural course of events. Gary Furbee, Bill Hutchens and many others worked on it. It just takes awhile to get these contracts completed. We are all delighted that it is finished. We are excited that Dana has signed the contract. It allows the coaches to focus completely on the upcoming season. We wanted to have this signed, sealed and delivered before the season began. We didn’t want it to distract the coaches or the student-athletes during the grind of two-a-days or the season.
On raises for assistant coaches
The assistant coaches are relatively new on campus. They were all hired with the Big 12 in mind. As Dana mentioned, we believe that their compensation packages are in line with the rest of the Big 12. As we go down the road, we will continue to monitor that. The compensation of coaches is a fluid thing, especially in college football. As we go forward, we will monitor that.
On what has transpired during Holgorsen’s tenure
It has been a good year, but it has only been a year. He is a tremendous coach. I would like him to coach in Morgantown as long as he wants. He has a great track record as an assistant coach and as a head coach. Our recruiting is in great shape. We are very well received by the Mountaineer faithful, and our ticket sales are through the roof. A lot of that is attributed to Dana.
I am certainly satisfied, but I am nowhere near complacent. We are going into a very competitive conference. We have a lot of respect for the Big 12 programs. It is going to be a real challenge to have the same success the Mountaineer fans are accustomed to every year. It is good to have high expectations because it drives these guys every day at practice.
On retention payments
It is a very fluid market. I believe that Dana is a coach that will be in demand. He is young and innovative, and he has a track record of success in a very difficult conference. We want him to make this his home long term.
Dana Holgorsen Opening Statement
There are a lot of exciting things going on at West Virginia University right now, not only in the football program, but also in the athletic department and the University as a whole. This just adds to that. This not only affects me, but it also affects my children, the whole staff and everyone in this building. We are excited to get this done and out of the way. We are working hard to make it better around here, around the football office and in the football program. This contract will help expedite the process and help us achieve our long-term goals.
On how this helps stability
I didn’t view it as there being any questions as to what my commitment was. I wake up, come to work and try to make it better every day. Oliver and the administration probably gets tired of me asking questions and asking how we can make things better on a daily basis, but my commitment has always been the same. It is just what reality is. When the University commits what it has to me and vice versa, it is a positive. Assistant coaches and players will view this as stability, and they are going to want to be here. It is going to help in recruiting, ticket sales and all of the rest.
On how he knew West Virginia was the program for him long term
I didn’t know a whole lot about it before I arrived, but with the leadership we have in place, I knew this was a place I wanted to stay with their support. You have to have everybody pulling in the right direction. I have been in athletic departments that people don’t get along. What I have witnessed around here is that different coaches and different sports get along. It seems like a win-win to me.
On working under his term sheet until signing this contract
We have been going off of the term sheet for 18 months. It is a contract in and of itself. This is a little bit more of a full-blown contract because it lays out what is expected.
On the contract running until 2017 and how it affects recruiting
Time goes fast. Five-and-a-half years is going to go pretty quick. Hopefully, I will be standing here and we will have accomplished a lot.
On if the contract brings changes to his assistant coaches
Their contracts have been in pretty good shape since they have gotten here. When we looked at the comparables going from the Big East to the Big 12, our coaches were right on par. The way I viewed stability as an assistant coach was if the head coach had stability.
I don’t worry about those too much. As an assistant coach, I didn’t even have a buyout. A lot of this stuff is new to me. It is just a commitment. It is like when we are talking to a recruit, and we ask “Do you know what a commitment is?” By signing the contract, Oliver and I have made a commitment to making it better on a daily basis.
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