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West Virginia AD Shane Lyons confirms Dana Holgorsen will return in 2016

Ending speculation to the contrary, West Virginia athletics director Shane Lyons released a statement Wednesday night confirming head coach Dana Holgorsen will return for a sixth season in 2016.

The statement reads:

“Dana Holgorsen will return as our head football coach in 2016. After evaluating our football program after the close of the regular season, I believe that continuity is best for our program.

“I know that Dana, his staff and everyone who supports Mountaineer football was disappointed with how our regular season ended, following a four-game winning streak.

“Dana and I will continue to work together to strengthen our football program. No one wants to win more than Dana and I, and we will work together to ensure success.”

Holgorsen is 35-28 in five seasons in Morgantown, but just 15-21 against Big 12 competition. This season, the Mountaineers climbed into the top-25 by beating Georgia Southern, Liberty and Maryland by a combined 130-23 but ran into a brick wall in October after losing four straight to Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Baylor and TCU -- three of them on the road.

West Virginia rebounded to sweep through November before closing with a 24-23 loss to Kansas State on Saturday.

The Mountaineers will close their 2016 season in typical fashion -- at a massive geographic disadvantage. They’ll square off with Arizona State in the Phoenix-based Cactus Bowl (10:15 p.m. ET Jan. 2, ESPN).