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WVU poised to hire Holliday

Announcement could come soon

December 19, 2007
Dave Poe, Sports Editor
PARKERSBURG — John ‘Doc’ Holliday, who was an assistant football coach at West Virginia University from 1979 to 1999, has emerged as WVU’s leading candidate to succeed Rich Rodriguez as the head coach of the Mountaineers, The Parkersburg News and Sentinel has learned.

Holliday, 50, is poised to become WVU’s coach with an announcement to come as early as today, sources close to the situation said Tuesday.

Holliday was one of several candidates interviewed for the position which Rodriguez vacated on Sunday to become the head football coach at the University of Michigan. Others who met with WVU athletics director Ed Pastilong and other school officials included former Auburn head coach Terry Bowden, Florida State offensive line coach Rick Trickett and Virginia Tech defensive coordinator Bud Foster.

Like Rodriguez, Holliday is a former Mountaineer football player.

He won three letters —in 1976, 1977 and 1978 —when he played linebacker under coach Frank Cignetti.

Immediately after ending his playing career at WVU, Holliday, a former state champion wrestler at Hurricane High School, joined the Mountaineer football staff as a graduate assistant coach, a position he held until 1981 when he became a part-time coach. In 1983, he became the wide receivers coach for WVU, a position he manned until taking over the linebackers in 1990. After three years as the linebackers coach, Holliday returned to his former position as the receivers coach, which he maintained until his departure following the 1999 season. In 1995, head coach Don Nehlen promoted Holliday to assistant head coach.

It was at West Virginia that Holliday earned his reputation as a standout recruiter as it was his job to mine the talent-rich state of Florida for the Mountaineers. One of Holliday’s prize recruits was linebacker Steve Grant.

After spending 21 seasons at West Virginia - one under Cignetti and 20 under Nehlen –Holliday in 2000 accepted the position as associate head coach and wide receivers coach at North Carolina State, where he remained until becoming the associate head coach, safeties coach and recruiting coordinator under Urban Meyer at the University of Florida in 2005.

In 1975, Holliday was crowned the 170-pound state wrestling champion. Immediately following his pin in the title match, a photographer snapped perhaps the most famous wrestling picture in state history as Holliday is shown celebrating his win while his crest-fallen opponent lies flat on the mat.

Contact Dave Poe at d'>'>

Article Photos

John 'Doc' Holliday

Fact Box

The Doc Holliday File
John ‘Doc’ Holliday
Sept. 4, 1957
Place of Birth
Hurricane, W.Va.
1979-1999: West Virginia University: Receivers coach
2000-2004: N.C. State: Assoc. head coach, receivers coach
2005-present: Florida: Assoc. head coach, recruiting



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