A second chance for WVU?
Life is filled with them.
After Friday’s vote by West Virginia University’s selection committee, it’s quite possible E. Gordon Gee will get his second chance to serve as the president of the school.
He’s not the first person to hold a high-profile position at WVU to leave and eventually come back.
Look at recently-named defensive coordinator Tony Gibson, who followed former Mountaineer head football coach Rich Rodriguez to Michigan, but now is back in Morgantown.
Which leads an inquiring mind like mine to wonder if Dana Holgorsen doesn’t succeed as WVU’s head football coach if Rodriguez would be considered for his er, second coming.
First, he would have to be interested. When he left following the 2007 regular season-ending loss to Pitt, Rodriguez expressed frustration with WVU’s facilities. Those facilities now have been improved.
I personally have no idea whether Rodriguez would entertain a return. Or whether WVU would give him serious consideration if he so desired.
But hardly a day goes by when I don’t get asked about the possibility of Rodriguez’s return.
Obviously, despite being unable to win at Michigan, he possesses solid credentials. He had West Virginia on the verge of playing for the national title. He led Arizona to an eight-win season last fall, including a bowl game victory.
Like Gee, he left WVU for what he viewed as a better job at an iconic school for a higher salary.
Unlike Gee, the circumstances he left under included what some -perhaps many -would consider burning bridges.
I’ve watched Mountaineer Nation be divided ever since Rodriguez left.
Many fans questioned the ability of Bill Stewart.
Many didn’t like the way WVU treated him by naming Holgorsen as his head coach in waiting, then dismissing him for allegedly leaking information about Holgorsen.
Other than his initial season when he inherited a massively talented team, Holgorsen has done little to endear himself to Mountaineer fans, many of whom not only question his ability to be a head coach but also are galled by his actions on the sidelines. He who lives in a glass house shouldn’t throw headsets.
And now, there’s a wild card in this situation with the recent naming of former Penn State defensive coordinator Tom Bradley as the senior associate head football coach, a title that sounds a great deal like the dreaded head coach in waiting if things don’t work out this season.
Of course, whether Rodriguez, Bradley or somebody else would become Holgorsen’s replacement primarily would be the decision of Director of Athletics Oliver Luck, who has shown us that whatever or whoever he wants, he usually is able to get.
Hopefully, Holgorsen will be able to win and all this will be moot.
But if losing sets in again, you can bet the name Rodriguez will be on the lips of many WVU fans.
Contact Dave Poe at email@example.com