New coach Dana Holgorsen skydives

Updated: June 17, 2011, 5:17 PM ET
Associated Press

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- One of Dana Holgorsen's first acts after taking over as West Virginia's head football coach was to get away from his official duties.

Holgorsen spent time fishing in southern West Virginia this week with a group that included several boosters and basketball coach Bob Huggins. Holgorsen also went skydiving, taking a tandem jump over the New River Gorge with a U.S. Army parachute team

"It was very calm," Holgorsen said at a news conference Friday. "There were no houses. There was no traffic. There was no motor boats, so there was some peaceful time that I could sit back and reflect on what's going on."

Holgorsen was hired away from Oklahoma State in December as offensive coordinator and head coach-in-waiting, then took over when Bill Stewart resigned June 10 following a meeting with athletic director Oliver Luck. It capped a tumultuous two weeks in which both Holgorsen and Stewart made headlines for the wrong reasons.

An intoxicated Holgorsen was escorted out of a casino last month, although no charges were filed. More recently, a reporter said Stewart had approached him shortly after Holgorsen's hiring to "dig up" dirt on his eventual successor.

Holgorsen held his first team meeting on Tuesday, then met with his coaches and support staff Friday to discuss the program's future.

"Six months ago when I sat here, I knew what was ahead of me and I felt very good about it due to the fact that I had a tremendous trust" in Luck and university president James Clements, Holgorsen said. "I knew it was going to happen eventually. We just expedited the process."

Holgorsen's offenses at Oklahoma State and Houston have been prolific, and he made a point to recognize the head coaches he's worked under, specifically Houston's Kevin Sumlin and former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach. Holgorsen said he picked up aspects of the profession from those coaches.

"It's all about what's ahead," Holgorsen said. "You don't look back. You use that as a resource, but you don't use it to sit back and say that you've made it. It's all about what you can do going forward."

Holgorsen doesn't plan to make scheme changes on the offense, defense or special teams this season in order to make the transition more seamless. He will continue as offensive coordinator and call plays in 2011.

He'll have to hire a new recruiting coordinator and another assistant coach, something he's currently in the process of doing.

Holgorsen said one of his first tasks will be getting to know the defensive players better, something he didn't have to do as offensive coordinator.

"Players are more resilient than any coach or fan, because they can come in and get back to work," Holgorsen said. "It doesn't linger with them."

All players are expected to report and be ready for summer workouts by June 27.

"There's a little bit more on my plate, and people look at me a little bit different," Holgorsen said. "But, that's all stuff that I've been preparing for. I'm completely comfortable with that."


Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press