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Dana Holgorsen fired as UH head football coach after five seasons

Dana Holgorsen went 31-28 as Houston’s head coach, including an AAC Championship appearance in 2021. | Anh Le/The Cougar

University of Houston head football coach Dana Holgorsen was fired on Sunday, one day after the conclusion of the 2023 season, the Houston Chronicle reports.

In Houston’s first year in the Big 12 Conference under Holgorsen, UH went a disappointing 4-8 and went 2-7 against conference opponents, ending the season on a three-game losing streak.

Among the team’s eight losses was UH’s first loss against crosstown rival Rice in 13 years and a late-season home defeat against 2-7 Cincinnati. UH was also shutout for the first time in over 20 years in a 41-0 loss to Kansas State in October.

Holgorsen, who was hired after the 2018 season, went 31-28 in his five years at UH, most notably going 12-2 and making an American Athletic Conference Championship game appearance in 2021. After missing a bowl game just twice between 2006-2018, the Cougars failed to make a bowl game twice under Holgorsen in 2019 and 2023.

After five seasons at the helm, Holgorsen was the longest-tenured UH head coach ever since Art Briles spent five years as Houston’s head coach from 2003 to 2007.

Holgorsen had four years left on his contract, signed following Houston’s 2021 season. The buyout on Holgorsen’s contract is $14.9 million which UH will now be obligated to pay.

“Over the course of his five seasons with the Cougars, Dana…laid the groundwork for our transition to the Big 12 Conference,” said UH Vice President for Athletics Chris Pezman. “Ultimately, the results on the field fell below our standards of excellence.”

“The University of Houston is committed to a championship-caliber football program,” said Pezman.

Tight ends coach Corby Meekins assumes the position of interim coach for the time being as UH searches for its sixth head coach since 2011.

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