Dana Holgorsen met with the media on Monday, both in his press conference and on the AAC media call.
Dana’s portion of the AAC call is at 10:50 every Monday morning – few media members call in for any of the AAC coaches. In fact, it’s generally a team’s beat writers asking all of the questions. A decade ago, those people would have (nearly) daily access to coaches but that happens with very few programs any longer.
New Associate AD for Communications Tyler Pigg sits in with Dana for the AAC call then escorts him down to the Carl Lewis Auditorium for his 11 a.m. meeting with the local media. To his credit, Dana is habitually on time and then breezes through questions in 12-14 minutes.
I would not call his demeanor pleasant in these quick meetings but he’s rarely short with anyone. It’s certainly a part of the job that he doesn’t seem to relish but, to this point, he hasn’t really complained, either. Perhaps the way to describe it is that Dana doesn’t really do chummy.
In other regimes, head coaches have loitered to chat or go 1:1 with reporters but not Dana. Sumlin and Herman were the same way – they were out the door as soon as questions were cut off. Art Briles became more like that the longer he was here while Tony Levine always had time to talk. Dana Dimel was friendly and available and for the most part, Major Applewhite would take the time to talk. Kim Helton, depending on his mood, was both gregarious with the media during those days and flat-out rude.
Generally, between 7-10 media members are there including Mark Berman of Fox 26, Joseph Duarte of the Chronicle, Rob Sellers of 247, and various TV cameramen. This week, Sam Khan was in attendance – he’ll be reporting the game for ESPN.
It’s rare to see an on-camera personality from Channel 2, 11, or 13.
Chris Pezman attends and watches from the back – most ADs would never needlessly expose themselves to the media in this way. UH’s radio play-by-play guy Kevin Eschenfelder is almost always in attendance, too.
After Monday, Dana’s press availability is virtually nonexistent until postgame. He does his radio call-in show, the Houston Cougar Central TV show with Eschenfelder, and select other radio interviews. But those are 1:1 conversations which seem to be more his style.
This week, he’ll be more in demand for radio and TV features because of the backstory with Mike Leach. As you can imagine, Dana doesn’t like being part of the sideshow.
“A lot of these things are gonna be brought up this week and there’s a hundred people that want to do interviews on what he’s like,” Dana said of Leach.
“It’s a great story but we’ve been there, done that so many times. I mean, I sat here 10 years ago and was at a press conference when Texas Tech was coming to the University of Houston. We dealt with the same thing 10 years ago,” he said with sort of a laugh.