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West Virginia AD Oliver Luck stands by coach Dana Holgorsen after 4-8 season


Oliver Luck (left) made Dana Holgorsen West Virginia's head coach in 2011. (David Smith/AP)

Oliver Luck (left) made Dana Holgorsen West Virginia's head coach in 2011.

West Virginia athletic director Oliver Luck says "continuity is the key ingredient" to the Mountaineers' future success.

In a statement Tuesday, Luck said he believes in head coach Dana Holgorsen, his staff and the direction of West Virginia football.

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We have high expectations at West Virginia University for success on and off the field and as Coach Holgorsen has acknowledged to me, we are not meeting those expectations on the field. Coach Holgorsen and I met at length and reviewed this past season. We discussed the coaching staff, recruiting, player development, strength and conditioning, academic support, facilities, in short, all the components that make up a successful program. We are working diligently to improve our capabilities in all of these areas.

I strongly believe in our coaching staff, including the work that our strength and conditioning staff is doing. In my opinion, continuity is the key ingredient that will bring our football program back to the high level that Mountaineer fans expect.

We had plenty of challenges this season; nonetheless, we should not and will not use those as excuses for our performance. We simply must get better.

West Virginia capped its season with a 52-44 loss in overtime to Iowa State on Saturday. The loss dropped the Mountaineers to 4-8 on the year, Holgorsen's worst mark in his three years in Morgantown.

In Holgorsen's first season at West Virginia in 2011, the Mountaineers finished 10-3 against a Big East schedule and won the Orange Bowl. But the program's production has dropped off since moving to the Big 12. Holgorsen is 11-14 in his last two seasons, including 6-12 against Big 12 competition.

Luck said Holgorsen and the Mountaineers' coaching staff are already preparing for next season's opener against Alabama, and he asked fans to continue to support the program.

We have high expectations for the 2014 football team, and I have shared those with Coach Holgorsen. He and his staff are eager to get started to prepare for our opening game against Alabama. We are well aware that we have a lot of work to do. We have tremendous student-athletes in our program and a very accomplished core of coaches who want to bring championships back to West Virginia University. We will do all we can to help them in that endeavor, and I ask for your continued support as we move forward to a brighter future.