• Dana Holgorsen was named head coach at Houston on Jan. 1, 2019 after eight seasons as head coach at West Virginia.
• Holgorsen closed his tenure at West Virginia as the second-winningest coach in Mountaineer history with an eight-year record of 61-41. His 61 wins trailed only College Football Hall of Famer Don Nehlen for most wins in West Virginia history.
• He led the Mountaineers to bowl games in seven of his eight seasons including each of the last five seasons. His first season at West Virginia ended with a 70-33 rout of Clemson in the Orange Bowl.
• Throughout his career, Holgorsen has had 21 players earn All-America honors, win 10 national awards and 14 national award finalist honors.
• Marquel Blackwell was named Co-Offensive Coordinator and Quarterbacks coach at Houston on Jan. 11, 2019 after one season as running backs coach at West Virginia.
• In his lone season at West Virginia, Blackwell helped lead a Mountaineer offense that eclipsed the 500-yard and 40-point marks eight times during the season including 704 yards and 56 points vs. Oklahoma.
• West Virginia had three different running backs register 100-yard rushing games during the 2018 season in Leddie Brown, Kennedy McKoy and Martell Pettaway. Brown became the first WVU true freshman to record multiple 100-yard rushing games since Noel Devine in 2007.
Co-Offensive Coordinator/Offensive Line
• Brandon Jones was named Co-Offensive Coordinator and Offensive Line coach at Houston on Jan. 11, 2019 after two seasons as offensive line coach at Texas Tech.
• Jones joined the Houston program after overseeing the front unit of a team that ranked No. 12 nationally in total offense and No. 3 nationally in passing offense. Sophomore Jack Anderson earned second-team All-Big 12 honors under Jones’ leadership.
• In his first season in Lubbock, Jones mentored a young offensive line that featured a junior, three sophomores and a true freshman in the starting lineup for the majority of the season. Tech still managed to remain one of the nation’s top offenses, however, as the Red Raiders ended the year ranked ninth nationally for passing offense, 16th for total offense and 23rd for scoring.
Defensive Coordinator & Linebackers
• Joe Cauthen was named defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at Houston on Jan. 18, 2019 after five seasons as defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at Arkansas State.
• Cauthen has 29 years coaching experience, including 23 at the collegiate level. He not only implemented an aggressive and attacking style in his five seasons at A-State, but also transformed the Red Wolves into one of the most opportunistic defenses in the nation with a focus on creating turnovers.
• Under Cauthen’s direction, the Red Wolves have ranked among the top 21 teams in the nation each of the last four seasons in defensive touchdowns with 22 total over that span. The 2015 campaign saw A-State’s defense record an FBS-high eight touchdowns, while also leading the country in interceptions with a school FBS-era-record 26. During Cauthen’s time at Arkansas State, the Red Wolves totaled 79 interceptions, the seventh-best total nationally in that span.
• Doug Belk was named Co-Defensive Coordinator and Safeties coach at Houston on Jan. 11, 2019 after two seasons as cornerbacks coach at West Virginia.
• The 2018 season saw Belk’s cornerbacks play a pivotal role in West Virginia ranking second in the Big 12 and No. 20 nationally with 15 interceptions. Cornerback Keith Washington Jr. tied for fifth in the Big 12 with three interceptions on the year.
• In Big 12 play, WVU hauled in 12 interceptions, ranking No. 1 in the conference
Assistant Head Coach/Receivers
• Tyron Carrier was named Assistant Head Coach and Receivers coach at Houston on Jan. 11, 2019 after three seasons as receivers coach at West Virginia.
• In 2018, Carrier was named Football Scoop’s Receivers Coach of the Year as he helped lead a Mountaineer offense that eclipsed the 500-yard and 40-point marks eight times during the season including 704 yards and 56 points vs. Oklahoma.
• Carrier’s pupils, David Sills V and Gary Jennings Jr. formed one of the nation’s most dangerous tandems as the two were part of only five players nationally with at least 13 receiving touchdowns.
• Shannon Dawson was named tight ends coach at Houston on Jan. 11, 2019 after three seasons as offensive coordinator at Southern Miss.
• His final year at Southern Miss saw the Golden Eagles as the No. 3 team nationally in completion percentage, completing 69.2 percent of their passes. Sophomore quarterback Jack Abraham ranked third in the league and 22nd nationally with an average of 260.8 passing yards per game while leading the nation with a completion percentage of 73.1 percent and ranking fourth nationally with 24.8 completions per game. Sophomore receiver Quez Watkins earned first team All-Conference USA honors after finishing second in the league with nine touchdown receptions while true freshman center Trace Clopton earned FWAA Freshman All-America honors.
• Despite missing his starting quarterback for three games and in limited action in two more contests in 2017, the Golden Eagles were still able to amass 424.6 total yards per game, just behind league champion Florida Atlantic and West Division champ North Texas. His efforts also helped former Golden Eagle Ito Smith become just the 10th running back in FBS history to rush for over 4,000 yards and collect at least 1,000 receiving yards.
• Brian Early was named defensive line coach at Houston on Jan. 18, 2019 after five seasons in the same position at Arkansas State.
• All five seasons at A-State saw the Red Wolves rank among the top 41 teams in the nation in both sacks and tackles for loss, while he also tutored at least two all-conference selections on the defensive line each year. Arkansas State made five straight postseason appearances at the 2015 GoDaddy Bowl, 2015 New Orleans Bowl, 2016 Cure Bowl, 2017 Camellia Bowl and 2018 Arizona Bowl, and the Red Wolves won back-to-back Sun Belt Conference titles in 2015 and 2016 with a combined 15-1 record.
• His lines have been a menace behind the line as Arkansas State had at least five tackles for loss in 39 of its last 42 games and has ranked in the top 25 nationally in each of the last three seasons in TFLs including 13th in 2018.
Special Teams Coordinator/Nickels
• Blake Gideon was named Special Teams Coordinator and Nickels coach at Houston on Jan. 11, 2019 after one season as cornerbacks coach at Georgia State.
• Gideon joined the Georgia State staff after two seasons as the defensive backs coach and defensive passing game coordinator at Western Carolina. In 2017, Gideon helped coach a Western Carolina defense that ranked No. 15 nationally in passing yards per game allowed and No. 20 in pass efficiency defense.
• In Gideon’s two seasons at Western Carolina, he worked with All-American safety Marvin Tillman in 2017 and all-conference defensive backs Fred Payne and Trey Morgan the previous year. In 2016, he also served as interim defensive coordinator for the final three games of the season.
• Zac Etheridge was named cornerbacks coach at Houston on Jan. 25, 2019 after one season as cornerbacks coach at Louisiana.
• In his lone season at Louisiana, Etheridge helped lead the Ragin Cajuns to a spot in both the Cure Bowl and the Sun Belt Conference Championship.
• A former team captain and defensive back at Auburn on its 2010 national championship team, Etheridge arrived at Louisiana from Western Carolina where he spent two seasons. Etheridge started his stint with the Catamounts coaching the cornerbacks in 2016 before being elevated to a full-time position as an assistant coach with his focus switching to WCU’s outside linebackers in 2017.
Running Backs Coach
A Houston alum Justin Johnson was named Running Backs coach at his alma mater on March 11, 2019 after three seasons at Kansas, his final season as a receivers coach.
• Johnson arrived in Lawrence, Kan. in the spring of 2016, serving as an offensive analyst in his first two seasons with the Jayhawks.
• Johnson served as a graduate assistant at Texas A&M in 2013, helping the Aggies to a 9-4 record including a Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl win over Duke.