WACO — Baylor will host the University of Houston in football for the first time since they were members of the Southwest Conference.
While they haven’t played a football game since 1995 Dave Aranda and his staff are very familiar with Dana Holgorsen and his Houston Cougars.
Aranda and Holgorsen were both on Mike Leach’s Staff at Texas Tech in the Early 2000’s when Dave was a Graduate Assistant and Dana coached inside receivers.
“There were a lot of great coaches on that staff,” Aranda Said. “The guy that was kind of keeping everything running and was really instrumental I think in that offense there – this is the Kliff Kingsbury years – was Dana.”
Holgorsen doesn’t remember much about Aranda but knew he was destined to be a successful coach.
“He just was incredibly intelligent,” Holgorsen said. “His success is not surprising based on how intelligent we thought he was.”
Two of Baylor’s current assistants coached under Holgorsen more recently. Justin Johnson was at Houston with Holgorsen last year, while offensive line coach Joe Wickline was at West Virginia when Dana roamed the sidelines for the Mountaineers.
“We’ll use every available resource that we have,” Aranda said. “I think the thing is when we’re addressing those guys is real specific things that can come up in film study. Is there something Joe can help with? Is there something that Juice can clarify on. I think those are all things that have been hit upon. There is a bunch of ties to Houston, so it’s good to utilize every advantage that we’ve got.”
Several of these players like senior Raleigh Texada got an up-close and personal look at Holgorsen’s schemes when playing the Mountaineers over the last couple seasons.
“Yeah, I feel like it always helps just to see the last place that a Coach was,” he said. “I played against West Virginia, back when he was there two years ago — I played in that game. And, yeah, it’s pretty awesome that we’re getting to play him again.”
All of the winding roads these coaches have taken will lead them all to McLane Stadium (Finally) on Saturday.
“I think it’s good for college football,” Holgorsen said. “We need games, right now and we’re ready and Baylor’s ready so let’s let’s line up and play.”