MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- Questions. Every day delivers a batch to Dana Holgorsen and every batch seems to offer a few West Virginia's new offensive coordinator hadn't considered before.
"Which is better?" he asked inside his office earlier this month. "The meatball sub at Varsity Club or the stuffed meatball at Stefano's?"
This is symbolic of nothing relevant to football, which he finally gets his hands on Wednesday in the first of WVU's 15 spring practices. This is comparing the merits of Morgantown's eateries and is not to be confused with mastering NCAA compliance or familiarizing himself with a new roster.
This is just the way Holgorsen has gotten to know a place that is still getting to know him ... and it's been a pretty important part of his new life.
"That meatball sub is pretty good," he said. "The stuffed meatball comes in a bowl by itself with some sauce. They call it an appetizer, but it's pretty much a meal."
The 2011 season is the appetizer for Holgorsen, but it, too, is pretty much the meal. Hired in December by Athletic Director Oliver Luck, Holgorsen, 39, will replace Bill Stewart as the head coach when the Mountaineers are done playing this season.
"This is a wonderful opportunity for me," he said. "I can't wait for the six years ahead of me. I've been in four different places the last four years. I'm tired of moving. I'm tired of living in a hotel - and I know there's been a lot of speculation about that. I'm looking forward to this. I'm really excited about being here."
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THE HOTEL could be the starting point for Holgorsen, but it could also be the conclusion because it illustrates so much.
He lived in one the entire time he worked at Oklahoma State. He still resides in a hotel in Morgantown. The explanation why is a window into philosophy on football and on life.
"I'm never there," he said. "Typically I get there anywhere from 10 to 12 at night and I'm there until whenever I wake up. Then I shower and leave and when I'm working, I'm working."
And when he comes home, the bed has been made, the floor has been vacuumed, the bathroom has been cleaned and the towels have been replaced.
"It's just easy," he said. "Convenience is a part of what I do. It makes sense. A lot of stuff that doesn't make sense is inconvenient. I try to live like that. That makes sense to me."
Holgorsen and his familiar offensive assistants vow to install the offense in three days the first week of spring practice. The next four weeks will be spent revisiting and refining ideas. It's the way he learned during stops at Texas Tech (2000-07), Houston (2008-09) and Oklahoma State (2010), and it's pretty convenient, as well.
"That's my approach offensively as far as just making sense of things," he said. "Life's hard. If you make it harder, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense."
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WVU LOST to North Carolina State on Dec. 28 in the Champs Sports Bowl. A night later, Oklahoma State beat Arizona in the Alamo Bowl in San Antonio. Holgorsen, who is divorced and has three children, went from the bowl win to spend a few days in Houston with daughters McClayne and Karlyn and son Logan, and then made his move to Morgantown.
There was no football to be coached. Players were off limits.
He jumped into recruiting, but that was over by the first Wednesday in February. He hired his offensive staff - Shannon Dawson from Stephen F. Austin to coach the inside receivers, Bill Bedenbaugh from Arizona to coach the offensive line and Robert Gillespie from Oklahoma State to coach the running backs - but that didn't take long and was actually done way before national signing day.
Holgorsen couldn't do much else except get to know people in and around town and the program. He attended a men's basketball game in January and at halftime was led around the WVU Coliseum by President Jim Clements to meet fans and students.
He went to the Big East tournament in New York earlier this month.
In between, he was on his own to do his own thing. Sometimes he was working clinics and camps in different parts of the country. Other times he was sampling pizza across town and wondering who had the best chicken wings.
One night, some of the friends he'd made called him and invited him to Sargasso in the Wharf District. Holgorsen agreed and when he arrived he saw someone he knew about, but had never met.
"A couple of his buddies who are supporters of the program, guys that I know obviously as this point, called me and wanted to know where I was. That's something that's not unusual," he said. "They were in town, coming back from a Steelers game, actually, and called and said, 'Where are you at?' I said, 'I'm in town.' So I stopped by and we chatted for a while. Simple as that. Happens all the time."
Holgorsen said the two coaches talked about stuff two coaches talk about. He wasn't worried about what others might have thought.