Blog Entry

Bill Stewart out at West Virginia

Posted on: June 10, 2011 4:40 pm
Edited on: June 10, 2011 5:07 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen

After yesterday's report that West Virginia was in the process of buying out the remainder of head coach Bill Stewart's contract, it was only a matter of time before his departure from Morgantown became official. It appears that time is now.

With rumors swirling left and right that Stewart would out of his job by the end of the day, the Charleston Gazette has now reported that Stewart's resignation is "imminent." Many online outlets believe Oliver Luck and the WVU administration will make Stewart's dismissal official with an announcement this afternoon.

The Sporting News is reporting that Stewart has been fired for "conduct detrimental to the university," though the official announcement may not share that phrasing.

Dana Holgorsen is expected to take over as the Mountaineer head coach, effective immediately. The move will bring to an end what appeared to be a behind-the-scenes struggle between offensive coordinator/coach-in-waiting Holgorsen and Stewart, who asked reporters to smear Holgorsen (and may have helped one columnist do exactly that) after Luck announced, in naming Holgorsen Stewart's replacement, that he "didn't believe" Stewart could win a BCS championship.

Per the Charleston Daily Mail, the promotion will push Holgorsen to his full contract-mandated head coaching salary of $1.4 million per year, with $250,000 raises each year he remains the Mountaineer head coach.

Stewart leaves Morgantown with identical 9-4 records in all three seasons on his tenure, plus the 2007 Fiesta Bowl upset of Oklahoma as interim head coach that earned him the job on a permanent basis. But none of those seasons were good enough to win the Big East and a return to the BCS, much less challenge for a national title as predecessor Rich Rodriguez had come within one win of doing.

And in the end, those failures are what cost him the job; the acrimony with Holgorsen only sped the process up by a year.


Since: Dec 10, 2008
Posted on: June 12, 2011 3:17 am

Bill Stewart out at West Virginia

as a husker fan your offense with dana is gonna destroy BE teams..nebraska defense held TAMU to 9pts, OU to 23, mizzou to 17 but dana and okie state hit us for 41(one of the td was scored late in garbage time but still). his diamond play set is crazy and will have DC crying and begging for the game to be stop. im not gonna lie the HCIW is dumb dumb idea esp since it was clear that they only did the tag bc they didnt want to do stewart dirty bc of his loyalty. steward is a prime example of why most AD dont hire in personel coaches within their team esp off of emotional wins.

in the end if WVU doesnt win the BE then something is seriously seriously wrong. okie st was suppose to be down last year and their defense was horrible(thats being nice tmart threw for 323...) so unless wvu lies down on the defensive side they should thrive in a spread offense that is more scarier than rich rod back with pat/devine/slaton.

Since: Oct 4, 2010
Posted on: June 11, 2011 6:22 am

Bill Stewart out at West Virginia

Luck tried to cut Stewart a break by keeping him one more year and letting him go the easy way and tried to keep Stew supporters happy one more year as well. Classic example of can't please all the people all the time, this ( in hindsite) should have been done in December, no doubt a lesson learned by Luck and IMO the right move has now been made. No sure thing that Holgorsen is a huge success but he can rise or fall on his own terms now.

Since: Oct 9, 2006
Posted on: June 10, 2011 10:14 pm

Bill Stewart out at West Virginia

Best situation for WVU Football.  This was set up for failure.  I don't blame any one person for this mess.  It was a series of bad decisions by the old AD, new AD, Coach Stewart and Coach Holgorsen.  The whole coach in the waiting scenerio was a poor transition.  WVU should have paid Stewart his buyout and cut ties then and there.  You put a class individual in a bad situation.  He was not a great head coach but he was a true Mountaineer.  Nobody can argue otherwise without looking foolish.  He acted out of character because of the $$ he was losing plus being the head coach in name only.  He was stripped of any authority when Luck named Holgorsen the coach in waiting. 

I blame Pastilong for extending Stewart's contract so quickly.  He knew his was retiring so he should have let the new AD make this call.  The performance of the WVU football program was OK but now worthy of that quick contract extension.  The huge buyout was rediculous as well.  Nobody was beating down WVU's doors for Stewart and WVU knew that.  This was Ed's way to pay back a dear friend and loyal Mountaineer. 

Luck on the other hand should have just taken his PR lumps and financial lumps from the beginning.  Cut ties and pay the man what the contractual buy out.  Make Holgorsen the head coach and if you really wanted to keep Stewart around, hire him as a consultant for recruiting.  He was a good recruiter and players/parents liked the man.  Make him feel wanted and this situation never happens.

WVU will start next season with one Head Coach.  That's the way it is suppose to be.  Too bad this situation is providing some bad PR and puts WVU squarely in the joke arena.  By football season, this will all be a distant memory and rebuilding process for WVU football will begin.  The best situation indeed!

Since: Oct 30, 2006
Posted on: June 10, 2011 9:59 pm

Bill Stewart out at West Virginia

cgrib, put yourself in his shoes
Alright DAD, I'll gladly give that a turn. I would not be happy. But if I loved the institution I worked for, the job was something I respected, and a whole lot of folks were counting on me to do the right thing... I'd like to think that I'd do what was right from my boss' standpoint, and if I found myself unable to do so, I'd tell them no thanks - I'm out of here. Sure I'd try to show my superior that I thought it was the wrong decision, but here's the key phrase DAD *however possible*. In my world, subterfuge and clandestine appeals to outside sources are not possible methods to employ. I'm not saying I'm some paragon of virtue, far from it, but crossing that line to save a job I know I'm no longer wanted to perform... let's just say I've got some small amount of self respect. I'd rather show them by doing things right and preparing myself for the next venture, not sabotaging the whole shebang like some vindictive ex-lover.

Every move Luck has made has been to turn WVU into a whore for more money, period.  Yes, it takes money to run a big time athletic program, but not so much that you sell your soul for it.
That is your opinion, and while you're surely entitled to express it as such, you must be aware that many others don't share that view. Don't get me wrong here, I'm not calling you out on your opinion about Oliver Luck. I can see some merit in your argument. I choose to view Luck's efforts on behalf of WVU as positive, motivated by a sincere desire to see our athletic programs not only succeed, but do so in stellar fashion. He has clearly stated that his goal is to compete for & win Championships. If continuing to reap a profit(one of the very few schools with a self sustaining athletic department) while doing so earns him your scorn, then I think most folks, OL included, can live with that. If there was a soul sold in this debacle, I'd wager(see, no virtue here) that it was Mr. Stewart that made a deal that will probably haunt him for a long, long time.

I feel your pain DAD, all of us do at some level. Another episode of not so pretty attention heaped on an oft beleagured bridesmaid of a program. But maybe this time, led by a man unafraid of past perceptions & slights, we can take that next step out of the ugly dress and onto the altar.

After all, while it might be virtuous to live life as a virgin, it's not too much fun. JMO

Since: Nov 3, 2006
Posted on: June 10, 2011 9:27 pm

Bill Stewart out at West Virginia

WVUDad: cgrib, put yourself in his shoes, I am NOT saying what he apparently did was right.  IF you boss brought in a new guy from outside your job, told you that you were officially fired, but not effective for a year, but wanted you to train your replacement, what would you do?  Would you meekly train the guy, show him the ropes, or would you try to show the boss, however possible, that you are better for the job than the new guy?   Every move Luck has made has been to turn WVU into a whore for more money, period.  Yes, it takes money to run a big time athletic program, but not so much that you sell your soul for it.

So your out to trash Luck no matter what now, Dad? Your man crush on Stew is hurt so now it's all Luck's fault? Seriously, we tire of your posts on this issue.  Luck had evidence both ways that the HCIW has and hasn't worked. He formulated a plan, gave it to Stew and got his word he could go with the plan.  Stew lied how many times about being able to handle this plan of succession?  Luck gave him the option to go at the end of 2010 season or stay on one more year: Stew said ok. Luck even went so far as to promise him an additional two more years of emplloyment. Guess even that wasn't enough for Stew. Stew was asked by Luck if he'd tell the fired assistants they were fired: he did not. Stew promised he would and could work with Luck on the plan for the 2011 season. He did not.  Instead, he secretly starts a witch hunt on Holgorsen. 

How is ANY of this Luck's fault when Stew was the catalyst of everything that went wrong with this plan of succession?  Luck is in a no win with you and your type of "WVU Fan". You'd have damned Luck if he'd just out and out fired Stew, now you damn him for giving Stew a plan to work with and don't blame Stew for acting the way he did.  What was Luck to do? Ask Stew, can you work with this plan, Stew says yes, and then Luck just say, hey, you're fired anyway?  You ask me the end result of all of this lies completely with Bill Stewart.  Luck took a gamble not firing him and giving him a chance. Lesson learned.

You don't like the beer at WVU games. Well, I'm sure it isn't a newsflash that hey, the beer is there anyway. Why not try to control some of it, and get some of the revenue. After all, he is trying to upgrade the program with better coaches. Your an Eddie Pastilong fan, good for you. you want to live in the past then fine, stay there.  Most of the rest of us are looking forward, not back.     

Since: Oct 4, 2006
Posted on: June 10, 2011 8:47 pm
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Oct 5, 2006
Posted on: June 10, 2011 8:14 pm

Bill Stewart out at West Virginia

You can rail on Oliver Luck if you like, doesn't seem like you should be blaming him for Stew's monumental transgression

cgrib, put yourself in his shoes, I am NOT saying what he apparently did was right.  IF you boss brought in a new guy from outside your job, told you that you were officially fired, but not effective for a year, but wanted you to train your replacement, what would you do?  Would you meekly train the guy, show him the ropes, or would you try to show the boss, however possible, that you are better for the job than the new guy?   Every move Luck has made has been to turn WVU into a whore for more money, period.  Yes, it takes money to run a big time athletic program, but not so much that you sell your soul for it.

Since: Mar 4, 2009
Posted on: June 10, 2011 7:32 pm

Bill Stewart out at West Virginia

The whole idea of keeping a "fired" coach around for one more year was plain stupid. So this further stupisity also rests on Oliver Luck's shoulders.

At least we're now where we should have been, with a replacement for a not-good-enough Bill Stewart.  The man was clearly no football genius, and this should have been recognized despite the fortunate victory over Oklahoma when he was interim coach.

Since: Oct 26, 2006
Posted on: June 10, 2011 6:33 pm

Bill Stewart out at West Virginia

Everyone is entitled to their opinion.  So, I will share mine.

I supported Billy Stewart when he was the head coach of my alma mater.  I stopped supporting him this week when it appeared he took the low road to try and start a smear campaign against Dana Holgorsen.  Oliver Luck did the right thing when he went after Dana.  WVU's football team was not winning the BE.  Last year, it had one of the best defenses in the country.  But, its team struggled to score points.  The offense looked terrible at times, and it did not look like Bill was going to fire his offensive coaching staff.  Something had to be done, and Oliver took action.

Bill Stewart said from the beginning of his reign that he would walk away before embarassing WVU.  He lied.  In a December meeting between Luck and Stewart, Luck asked Coach Stewart if he wanted to inform his OC and OL coach they would not be retained next year, or if Coach Stewart would be more comfortable with Luck giving them the news... Coach Stewart told Luck he wanted to be the one to tell his coaches.  Unfortunately, he never got to telling them.  These coaches found out their fate after hearing of the hiring of Coach Holgorsen while they were out recruiting... as rumors went wild about the hire.  Coach Stewart told his staff he had never met with Holgorsen; it was later revealed he made a trip with Luck to interview him.  More lies.

This week, it was revealed Coach Stewart tried to have WVU football beat reporters dig up dirt on Dana back in December.  It was rumored that he and his wife provided alleged incidents involving Dana and drunken behavior.

Coach Stewart has brought this upon himself.  I could not disagree with WVU Dad more.  He should have been fired back in December.  Luck should have gone to the deep pocket WVU boosters to get the money to pay off the 2 years left on Stewart's contract.  I never believed in this whole HCIW scenario.  It has blown up... not a surprise.  But, I honestly feel Luck was trying to allow Stewart a way to save face.  I think Luck believed Stewart would resign in embarassment of being labeled a lame duck.  Stewart didn't resign... he wanted his money.

I am glad this is over.  By the time practice starts in August, this will be well behind them.  This is set to be a special year in Morgantown.  WVU has one of the best offensive minds in college football.

A new era has begun...

Since: Jun 3, 2011
Posted on: June 10, 2011 6:30 pm

Bill Stewart out at West Virginia

Oliver Luck like all of us in the WVU universe are tired of not winning the big game and going to the BCS.  9-4 every year means that you win the games you are supposed to and some of the difficult ones, we can do better as we saw on more than one occasion under the great Don Nehlen.  Our offense over the past three years has lacked vision and imagination, Dana Holgorsen's proven offense has that.  Let's face it folks, teams with a top 5 defense that doesn't give up over 20 points until the bowl game do not go 9-4, thus the change.

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