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Holgorsen still in coaching mode at WVU Classic

By Ryan Pritt, Staff writer

A coach’s job is never done and so it was that on a beautiful Friday afternoon at Berry Hills Country Club, West Virginia football coach Dana Holgorsen was mentoring several players about a completely different sport.

Parked in a golf cart in the shade with his son Logan in tow, Holgorsen met and talked with groups of players at the 12th tee box as the golfing portion of the WVU Classic was held.

The hole was listed as a 141-yard par 3 on Friday, but Holgorsen coached all who came to tee off that it would play longer than that due to a rise in elevation and a modest headwind.

There were some good shots and some bad shots in the scramble event, but overall Holgorsen said players didn’t always adhere to his advice, something to which he’s become accustomed in his career.

“Nobody’s going to listen to me and I’m used to that at this point,” Holgorsen said.

The scramble capped off a two-day showing for WVU athletics in Charleston, and Holgorsen said the event is circled on everybody’s calendar each year.

“It’s something we look forward to each and every year and we paid extra to get the good weather,” Holgorsen said. “It’s a good time just to get everybody together, get out there and meet people and spend time with guys that we know and develop relationships and get everybody excited about the direction of WVU athletics.

“This event is a little more than football, all of athletics are here. The Mountaineer Athletic Club does a great job of getting out and spreading the word. We need everybody’s support when it comes to buying tickets and raising money to keep up with the arms race that exists in college football and athletics in general.”

Speaking of which, Holgorsen and his staff and players have some work to do to rebound from a disappointing 4-8 campaign last year.

The job began back in the spring and won’t be complete until the Mountaineers take the field against Alabama in the season opener on Aug. 30.

While the team is a long way from ready to battle the Crimson Tide, Holgorsen does like the direction his troops are heading.

“[I’m] excited about the guys,” Holgorsen said. “We weren’t able to be here [Thursday] night because we were working with our guys. We’ve got another 15 guys joining the team on Sunday and we’re looking forward to being able to spend time with them and get them ahead of the curve in terms of where they’re going to be at in August.

“We took 15 days in spring and thought we did good. Practiced, had a lot of reps, did a lot of good work, but it’s always about moving forward. Your team changes constantly. You add new guys, and throughout the course of the offseason and conditioning guys develop, they get bigger, they get faster, they get older.”

Bigger, faster and older would certainly help West Virginia finally find solid footing in the rugged Big 12.

The Mountaineers are just 6-12 in the league since joining two seasons ago, and that after a 2-0 start in its inaugural season in 2012.

Much of that can be attributed to depth and experience, which have been two of the main goals in terms of recruiting.

Holgorsen believes his team is making headway in that direction as well.

“What I’m looking forward to more than anything is getting a team full of guys that understand what Big 12 football is all about,” Holgorsen said. “I’ve got 55 guys in our locker room that have played Big 12 football games. That’s going to go a long way when it comes to lining up against the likes of the teams we’re going to be lining up against.”

Reach Ryan Pritt at 304-348-7948, ryan.pritt@wvgazette.com, or follow him at twitter.com/RPritt.


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