"Holgorsen and UH have an agreement in place on a five-year, $20 million deal that appears to make Holgorsen the highest-paid coach at any non-power conference school ever," SB Nation reported on Monday, confirming Saturday's report from FootballScoop.
With Holgorsen out, West Virginia begins a rare January Power Five coaching search, their first real head-coaching search since hiring Rich Rodriguez in 2001. Their last two hires — Holgorsen and Bill Stewart — were in-house promotions.
Who might the Mountaineers target?
Tony Gibson is the best in-house option. He's been in Morgantown since 2013, was promoted to defensive coordinator in 2014 and did an admirable job with this year's unit. He's a West Virginia native, also coached for the Mountaineers from 2001-07 and has significant Power Five experience.
Could they pull a Miami and bring back departed offensive coordinator Jake Spavital after a few weeks on the job at Texas State ? The buyout is (presumably) reasonable, he already returned to West Virginia once — quarterbacks coach from 2011-12 — and was one of the most sought-after assistants in the country.
How about this: Rich Rodriguez.
It hurt when Rich Rod bailed for Michigan. The Mountaineers were becoming of the country's premier programs; they went 33-5 over his final three seasons and should've played for a national title in 2007. Rodriguez, a West Virginia alum, is back in football as Ole Miss offensive coordinator.
The Group of Five usual suspects: Mike Norvell, Seth Littrell and Neal Brown have all been mentioned as Power Five candidates in the last few years. Also, keep an eye on Lance Leipold and Jason Candle. Can Josh Heupel do better if he waits another year or two? Or would he jump at the opportunity?