Despite a plethora of hype, Dana Holgorsen's debut season at Houston was the opposite of a success. A program that fired Major Applewhite for the sin of going 8-5, picked neck-and-neck with Memphis to compete for the American's West Division title, finished 4-8 in 2019. Amid a season of forgettable football, the most memorable moment came when quarterback D'Eriq King and wide receiver Keith Corbin announced they would redshirt after the Cougars got off to a 1-3 start, bringing about accusations that Houston was attempting to become college football's first program to tank.
But Houston has turned the page to 2020. King has transferred to Miami, and Holgorsen has adjusted his staff by promoting Shannon Dawson from tight ends coach to offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach -- Dawson previously held the same role at Kentucky, Southern Miss and under Holgorsen at West Virginia -- while demoting Marquel Blackwell from Co-OC/QBs to running backs coach.
"It was clear to me that he was the most knowledgeable guy in the room, and so the most knowledgeable guy in the room is going to coach the quarterbacks," Holgorsen said of Dawson. "He was the one that I listened to last year, he was the one upstairs calling the majority of the plays, he's the guy that helped me game plan the most. That was an easy move."
Holgorsen then praised Blackwell's work with the running backs -- he called him the best he's ever seen at that position -- while getting a bit salty at the line of questioning.
"Moving things around to make us better, you can question me all you want to," he said, in a since-deleted video by Houston Chronicle beat writer Joseph Duarte. "But moving things around to make us better is what my job is and I'm going to do my job every day regardless of if you agree with it or not."
As the head coach, Holgorsen could have said he made a mistake by not having his coaches in the best position to make the team as successful as possible... but Holgorsen chose a different route.
Regardless, 2020 will likely be a better season for Houston than 2019.