Entering as a freshman in 1999, I barely missed being on campus with West Virginia’s current head coach Dana Holgorsen. I parked next to the stadium every day while I was an employee from 2003-2005, and would give a pretty penny to spot Dana pulling weeds next to my Pontiac Grand Am.
Holgorsen had worked at Valdosta State for three years when Mississippi College called Mumme in 1996 and wanted to hire someone from his staff to help implement his Air Raid offense. Mumme recommended Holgorsen and told him to take the job, which was to coach quarterbacks, wide receivers and special teams.
When Mumme became coach at Kentucky a year later, he again took Leach with him and wanted to hire Holgorsen but never did. When Leach left the Wildcats in 1999 to become offensive coordinator at Oklahoma, he too wanted Holgorsen to go with him but couldn’t work it out.
While Mumme and Leach had hit the big time of college football, Holgorsen continued to toil in obscurity at Mississippi College and then at Wingate University, where he coached quarterbacks and wide receivers in 1999, another job for which Mumme had recommended him. At times, he wondered about his future, especially when he and the other football coaches at Mississippi College had to plant shrubs and flowers around campus during the summers.
“That was bulls**t,” Holgorsen says. “I was pissed.”