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Commentary: Holgorsen deserves time to rebuild

Chairman of the Board of Regents Tilman Fertitta, Chancellor Renu Khator and Vice President for Athletics Chris Pezman praised head coach Dana Holgorsen as the right man for the job and did not back down from previous statements about how success is defined at the University. | Corbin Ayres/The Daily Cougar

It has been two weeks since Dana Holgorsen was hired as the University’s new head coach, and changes are already being felt across athletics.

The old coaching staff has cleaned out their offices to make room for new and familiar faces, and recruits have started to decommit from UH.

The hire made a big splash in the college football world, but Holgorsen’s first season might not go according to plan.

In Holgorsen’s introductory press conference, Chancellor Renu Khator said, “If we want to be nationally relevant, there are certain important elements. The first one of them is having a winning program. I don’t know any other way of making a program relevant if we are not winning. You can define that however you want.”

Houston has games against UCF, Cincinnati, Oklahoma and Washington State next season, which is the toughest schedule the team has had since it faced Oklahoma and Louisville in the 2016 campaign.

With the offensive talent that the team has, the Cougars have the potential to go 11-1 in the regular season, but depending on the defense, it could go as low as 6-6. Memphis, SMU and Navy have always given Houston trouble and have handed the University losses over the years.

Holgorsen is inheriting some good offensive talent in D’Eriq King, Patrick Carr, Mulbah Car and Marquez Stevenson, just to name a few, but a lot of the key players on defense will be gone next season.

Ed Oliver, Roman Brown, Emeke Egbule and Austin Robinson were the bright spots on a bad defense, and all four are gone. The defense does have sophomore defensive end Isaiah Chambers coming back for his junior year, but a lot of unproven talent will need to step up.

Even if the team does finish 2019 at 8-4, it does not mean that the sky is falling.

With the way his salary is set up, Holgorsen will be around for at least three seasons before the buyout drops to an amount that a non-blue blood Power Five school could afford.

Holgorsen deserves time to put together a great team and rebuild the hype that UH had back in 2016.

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