MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - With a game remaining in what is certain to go down as a disappointing third season at the helm of West Virginia's football program, Dana Holgorsen believes he still has the backing of the school's administration.
Or at least he believes he has the support of athletic director Oliver Luck.
Speaking at his weekly press conference during a bye week Tuesday, Holgorsen said he had not sat down with Luck for any sort of state-of-the-program discussion.
"Not yet,'' Holgorsen said. "We visit a lot. He's my boss, so we're going to talk a good bit.''
Presumably, any such discussion will take place after West Virginia concludes its season a week from Saturday at home against Iowa State. Regardless of the outcome of that game, though, WVU (4-7, 2-6 Big 12) will finish with its first losing record and no bowl appearance since 2001.
Holgorsen's three teams at WVU have posted records of 10-3, 7-6 and now 4-7, which has naturally raised the issue of job security. The chances of the school firing the coach seem improbable, however, if for no other reason that his contract contains no buyout clause and it appears it would cost the university a minimum of $11.6 million to pay off what remains.
Holgorsen signed his current deal in August of 2012. It is worth at least $14.525 million - including retention payments and excluding bonuses - and does not expire until after the 2017 season.
Holgorsen implied Tuesday that he believes he has the support of Luck, who has an extensive football background and was instrumental in his hiring.
"He understands where we're at and understands where the program's at and understands what it takes to get it better,'' Holgorsen said. "And we're working hard on that.''
"He's a football guy. He understands what it takes to win. He understands what it takes to continue to get better and he knows we're on the right track.''
Luck has refused several times to discuss the immediate future of the football program and did not answer calls Tuesday.
As he has done on more than one occasion this season, Holgorsen again invited the blame for a poor performance.