Cougars to target Mountaineers’ Holgorsen if they fire Applewhite

By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher

According to FootballScoop, the Houston Cougars are looking at potentially firing Major Applewhite. If they decide to make the decision, the Cougars administration is expected to make a run at West Virginia head coach Dana Holgorsen.

Applewhite may not return for his third season at the school. In what could be his final game at the school, the team was blown out 70-14 in the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl by the Army Black Knights.

West Virginia Mountaineers head coach Dana Holgorsen reacts after a safety call against the Iowa State Cyclones
Dana Holgorsen reacts after a safety call against the Iowa State Cyclones (Getty Images)

The 40-year-old Baton Rouge, Louisiana native is 15-11 as the Cougars head coach in two full seasons. He; however, has lost all three Bowl games.

Besides the Cougars losing to the Black Knights in the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl,  Houston lost 33-27 to the Fresno State Bulldogs in the Hawai’i Bowl at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawai’i on December 24th, 2017.

As an interim head coach, Applewhite guided the Cougars to a 34-10 loss in the Las Vegas Bowl on December 17th, 2016 at Sam Boyd Stadium in Whitney, Nevada.

Applewhite guided the team to an 8-5 record this season, his best record in his two full seasons at the school.

Applewhite is making $1.5 million with the Cougars. Holgorsen made $3.5 million as the Mountaineers head coach.

The 47-year-old Davenport, Iowa native has been the Mountaineers head coach since the 2011 season. He guided the team for an 8-4 record this season, before losing to the Syracuse Orange on Friday night in the Camping World Bowl.

Holgorsen only two seasons, where he has won 10 games with the program. Those seasons where in 2011 when he guided the team to a 10-3 mark and again in 2016 when the team went 10-3, as well.

In the past two season, the Mountaineers are 15-10 overall, including 11-7 in the Big 12 Conference.

The Mountaineers, like the Cougars, have lost their last three Bowl games. They have not won a Bowl game since 2015 in the Cactus Bowl when they defeated the Arizona State Sun Devils, 43-42.

Holgorsen has previously worked at the school. He served as the Cougars Offensive Coordinator and Quarterbacks Coach in 2008 and 2009.

He also was the Oklahoma State Cowboys Offensive Coordinator and Quarterbacks Coach in 2010. In 2007, he was the Texas Tech Red Raiders Offensive Coordinator and Wide Receivers Coach.

Holgorsen also was the Red Raiders Co-Offensive Coordinator and Inside Wide Receivers Coach in 2005 and 2006. He also was the Red Raiders Inside Wide Receivers Coach from 2000 through 2004.

He also was the Wingate Bulldogs Quarterbacks and Wide Receivers Coach in 1999.

Holgorsen was the Mississippi College Choctaws Quarterbacks/Wide Receivers/Special teams Coach from 1996 through 1998. He began his coaching career with the Valdosta State Blazers Quarterbacks/Wide Receivers/Special Teams Coach from 1993 through 1995.

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