Houston Cougars: Three things Dana Holgorsen brings to the table

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Houston Cougars

Houston Cougars head coach Dana Holgorsen, formerly of the West Virginia Buccaneers (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

Thing #1: Holgorsen will facilitate a badly-needed culture change

Let’s face it Houston Cougars fans.  It was scorched earth with Applewhite.  I never thought in a million years that the program would need a culture change but with the way this season ended, it was warranted.

We’ve seen coaches come-and-go in this program but a lot of the reasoning why they were fired was because they just weren’t getting the job done.  That’s fine — not every hire is going to be a home run but that’s why you put your best foot forward to see if that’s the case.

Never have I heard such negativity of how bad things were getting on Holman Drive with Major at the helm but you saw it this past season.

From Applewhite’s lack of creativity, to Ed Oliver‘s outburst at Applewhite on the sidelines toward the end of the season to the team’s record-breaking, lack-of-effort 70-14 loss to Army back Dec. 22 constituted a change at the helm.

You could certainly say that their performance in the Armed Forces Bowl was the last straw as Board of Regents Chairman/Houston Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta, Houston Cougars president Renu Khator as well as the rest of the UH’s brass and alumni weren’t having it.

In an era where results are so important, they knew in their hearts they could do better and the coaching search apparently had started well before the end of this forgettable season.

The Houston Cougars interviewed USC offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury — who also was on Sumlin’s staff at one point in his tenure — as well as Cal defensive coordinator Tim DeRuyter.  According to sources close to the situation, the Houston Cougars were dead-set on Holgorsen being their first choice.

Holgorsen inked a five-year, $20 million deal with the Houston Cougars earlier this week so we at least know that he’s going to be here for the long-term and the school has made a significant investment in his services.

Holgorsen went 61-41 in eight seasons with the Mountaineers, part of the Power 5 Big East Conference, along with going 2-5 in bowl games.  He has gone to seven bowl games but in the days of bowl proliferation where it’s not that hard qualify with only six wins needed to notch that belt.

Perhaps his most impressive bowl win was back in his first season with West Virginia in the Orange Bowl, where he routed the then-No. 14 Clemson Tigers 70-33 back in the 2011 season.

He has already indicated that he wants to infuse a “championship-like” culture with his new team, on and off the field which is paramount.

Hearing those words is a step in the right direction but it’ll be interesting to see what the actions are.

Regardless, he’s going to be exponentially better than his predecessor.

What else does Dana bring to the table?

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