- Andrea Adelson, ESPN Staff Writer
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Here are some quick comments from West Virginia athletic director Oliver Luck and new head coach Dana Holgorsen following their evening press conference. Holgorsen becomes the 33rd coach in school history as he replaces Bill Stewart, who went 28-12 in three seasons with the Mountaineers.
LuckHolgorsenHolgorsen said he will continue to call the plays but hasn't decided who he will hire now that an extra spot is open on his staff. Holgorsen said he went out of his way to get to know the defensive coaches as he prepared to make the transition. But he was steadfast with one thing: Nothing will change.
On his message to the team: "Just stay the course. Nothing's really changing. We're still going to have the same strength workouts the next few weeks. We're still going to go to school, and once camp rolls around we're still going to run the same offense, the same defense the same special teams. The one thing that's going to be preached is unity. Everybody's in this together."
Luck would not disclose the financial amount of the buyout given to Stewart, and would not take questions on the allegations that Stewart was at the heart of rumors surrounding Holgorsen. In a prepared statement, Luck said the school had not substantiated any allegations of wrongdoing on the part of Stewart.
Why was it best for Stewart to resign: "I think it was a combination of things. As Dana mentioned, (the program) is more important than any individual, more important than any coach, any player and clearly this was becoming a distraction for our football program. The one thing you don't want around any program are distractions. The totality of the circumstances, the totality of all the innuendo and other things that were being said and the distractions ... prompted me to sit down with Coach Stewart over a period of a couple days."
On whether he regretted the coach in waiting situation: "At the time, I thought it made a lot of sense. I thought it was a good management practice. With hindsight, folks can certainly disagree. I'm sure I'll take some time to think about it and decide myself if I made mistakes. If I did, I'd be the first to acknowledge that I did. ... I had an agreement from both coaches that they liked the idea and were wiling to work with us on the concept, but hindsight is always 20-20 as we know."
12hDan Murphy and Mitch Sherman