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2016 Russell Athletic Bowl

H E A D C O A C H D A N A H O L G O R S E N WEST VIRGINIA UNIVERSITY WVU football coach Dana Holgorsen, the AFCA District 4 Regional Coach of the Year, led the Mountaineer football program to a 10-2 mark in 2016, its best record since becoming a member of the Big 12 Conference in 2012. His 2016 team achieved the ninth 10-win season in school history, becoming one of six WVU teams to do it in the regular season. Holgorsen is one of three WVU coaches, along with Don Nehlen and Rich Rodriguez, to post multiple 10- win seasons. The seven Big 12 wins also are the most in a season, tying for second place in the standings, WVU’s highest finish. WVU went 4-1 away from home this season and Holgorsen has a 12-2 home mark over the past two years. His 46 wins at West Virginia place him fourth on the school’s all-time win list, and he has led the Mountaineers to bowl games in five of the past six years, including three straight. West Virginia has been ranked in both major polls for most of the 2016 season, spending time in the Top 10, and currently sitting at No. 14 in the Associated Press Poll and No. 12 in the Amway Coaches’ Poll. In the national rankings, WVU’s offense is currently ranked No. 12 in total offense, No. 13 in first down offense, No. 18 in rushing offense, No. 24 in passing yards per completion, No. 29 in pass efficiency and No. 30 in pass offense. Defensively, WVU is No. 10 in turnovers gained, No. 19 in fumbles recovered, No. 23 in passes intercepted, No. 31 in turnover margin, No. 32 in pass efficiency defense and No. 36 in scoring defense. WVU placed 10 players on the Big 12 All-Academic teams and 16 of his 21 seniors will have their degrees when they play in the bowl game. Holgorsen has been the architect of some of the nation’s most prolific offenses during his coaching career. Starting as the offensive coordinator at Texas Tech, then Houston and Oklahoma State, and now as the head coach at West Virginia, his offensive units are known for their ability to move the ball, pile up yardage and score points. Over the past 12 years overseeing offenses, he has had eight quarterbacks pass for more than 4,000 yards and 30 touchdowns, five running backs run more than 1,000 yards and 14 receivers finished with 1,000 or more yards, 7 0 2 0 1 6 R U S S E L L AT H L E T I C B O W L HOLGORSEN COACHING RECORD Year School Record Postseason 2011 West Virginia 10-3 Orange Bowl (W) 2012 West Virginia 7-6 Pinstripe Bowl (L) 2013 West Virginia 4-8 2014 West Virginia 7-6 Liberty Bowl (L) 2015 West Virginia 8-5 Cactus Bowl (W) 2016 West Virginia 10-2 Russell Bowl including 10 with 90 or more receptions and 12 with double-figure touchdown receptions. He has had numerous players earn all-conference, All-America honors and be drafted by the NFL, including four first round picks in the past four years at WVU. He is the only coach in the nation to have at least one first-round, top 15-pick in four of the last five years. He also is tied for No. 2 nationally for having the most NFL Top-15 draft picks during the past five years, has had the most top three round draft picks, most in Big 12 and has had the third-most players drafted in the league. In 2015, Holgorsen guided the Mountaineers to eight wins, the most since becoming a member of the Big 12 Conference, and finished the season with an exciting 43-42 Cactus Bowl victory over Arizona State in Phoenix. The Cactus Bowl appearance saw the Mountaineers tie or break 19 individual or team, school and Cactus Bowl records and produced 11 NCAA Top 10 Bowl Rankings. Nine players earned All-Big 12 Conference honors, including two being named to All-America teams. There were seven All-Big 12 Academic team selections and 17 players already had their degrees in hand when they played in the bowl game, ranking among the Top 10 nationally in number of graduates playing in a bowl game. Holgorsen had a successful first season at WVU in 2011, coaching the Mountaineers to a 10-3 record, the Big East championship and a 70-33 Orange Bowl rout of Clemson. The victory was WVU’s third Bowl Championship Series championship in school history and earned Holgorsen the First-Year Coach of the Year award by the Football Writers Association of America. In 2012, Holgorsen led WVU into its first year of competition in the Big 12 Conference, guiding West Virginia to a 7-6 overall record and an appearance in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl. Five Mountaineers earned 25 All-America honors and three were drafted in the top three rounds of the NFL draft. Holgorsen is the only WVU coach to have had a first-round NFL draft choice for two consecutive years (2011 and 2012). In 2013, Holgorsen coached the Mountaineers to victory over No. 11 Oklahoma State, marking his fifth win over a Top 25 team at WVU. He also had six players earn All-Big 12 Conference honors, including Charles Sims, who was a first-team selection and was named the Big 12 Newcomer of the Year. Holgorsen led the Mountaineers to a Liberty Bowl berth in 2014, his third bowl in four seasons at WVU. West Virginia posted a 7-6 overall record and 5-4 in its third year in the Big 12 Conference and finished in a tie for fourth place in Big 12 action, the highest Big 12 finish by WVU. Holgorsen resides in Morgantown. He has a son, Logan, and two daughters, McClayne and Karlyn.


2016 Russell Athletic Bowl
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