January 03, 2008

On-Field Tryout Earns Stewart WVU Head Spot: Bill Stewart's job as interim head coach during the Mountaineer's 42-28 dismantling of Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl thrusts him to the full-time gig as the new head man to replace Rich Rodriguez.

posted by dyams to football at 09:29 AM - 18 comments

Wow. Not only was I totally shocked by how West Virg dominated the Sooners, but Stewart capitalizes on the feel-good moment to not only go to the head of the list of prospective head coach candidates, but get the job? I guess that's what classifies as a HUGE win for him.

posted by dyams at 09:33 AM on January 03, 2008

Yea, I totally expected OU to blow out WVU. WVU came out hyped up, but under enough control to still play good football. Nice victory and WVU & Bill Stewart will have some ammo next year as Pat White said he's staying for his senior year.

posted by jmd82 at 09:47 AM on January 03, 2008

Good for him. He looked like someone who had been coaching this team for years and he was definitely the best coach in that game last night.

posted by NoMich at 09:50 AM on January 03, 2008

nice win for a great program. Amazing how a little bit of leadership and positive reinforcement helps take the talent to the next level I am curious though, does anyone know when former coach Rod first started to talk to Michigan?? was it before or after the Pitt game?

posted by wvuvoiceofreason at 09:52 AM on January 03, 2008

I am curious though, does anyone know when former coach Rod first started to talk to Michigan?? was it before or after the Pitt game? From what I can find out, Rodgriguez first spoke to Michigan on December 14, which was two weeks after the Pittsburgh game.

posted by dyams at 10:02 AM on January 03, 2008

Shocking result for sure, especially since Slaton was knocked out early. But you give up nearly 400 yards rushing and you probably lose 999 times out of 1000.

posted by billsaysthis at 10:09 AM on January 03, 2008

Shocking result for sure, especially since Slaton was knocked out early. As great as Slaton is, though, Devine is a pretty damned good RB himself, and White is wicked mobile. So I'm not surprised that WVU still boasted an awesome ground game, even without Slaton. Wouldn't have predicted the 50-yard fullback rumble, though! Given the very emotional reaction from WVU fans after the departure of Rodriguez, I think Stewart is absolutely the right hire for this program. West Virginia needs a coach who is not a marquee name, since it's obviously important that the next coach demonstrate loyalty to WVU beyond the current standard in college athletics, who is unlikely to leave the school for a better paying or more prestigious job. At the same time, to maintain credibility and a sense of forward momentum, they need a coach that their players and fans can be excited about. Quite frankly, I don't think there is anyone else that they could realistically choose at this point. Congratulations to WVU on the bowl win and finding their head man.

posted by Venicemenace at 10:42 AM on January 03, 2008

Good win for WVU, that whole game was played on emotion and emotion wins games.

posted by B10 at 11:20 AM on January 03, 2008

The team that has the higher level of intensity generally wins the games. I noticed that the penetration was by WVU and not OU. They got penetration on the huge O-line (looked big and slow) and they also kept OU's defense guessing with the option. It was a very emotional night for WVU and I am glad to see them have something positive from such a negative month prior to the game.

posted by Mickster at 12:09 PM on January 03, 2008

That decision was 100% based on emotion. With the candidates they had up for that job, I'm not sure they hired the right guy. They lost the guy from Florida State because they didn't want to pony up the cash, hiring stewart they are sure to pay less cash than a big name coach. Hatfield and Mccoy U went cheap.

posted by B10 at 12:20 PM on January 03, 2008

the key to success in college football is simple recruit the talent motivate the talent coach the talent Coach Stew shows that he can motivate and coach the talent. Now he must show that he can recruit the talent. This includes both players and assistant coaches. Let's wait and see - I suspect we will all be pleasantly surprised a few years from now.

posted by wvuvoiceofreason at 01:07 PM on January 03, 2008

The Mountaineers last night were amazing. I loved the game and especially liked how the character and emotion of our team really brought all of the fans, alumni and other supporters together with such an awesome win. After the crazy few weeks we've had, it was fantastic to see our team rise above and really show what kind of players and team they are. They single-handedly ended the controversy over our coach, delivered a fantastic win for the program and now we have a coach who, judging from his emotions last night, truly loves our team, school and state. I'm excited for the future of our team and *really* looking forward to next year. Thanks Mountaineers! Hail, West Virginia, Hail!

posted by Punkrockrat at 01:13 PM on January 03, 2008

good for wvu and coach stewart. these bcs (minus the C) have not been close at all, but even so i really enjoyed watching last nights game. as for coach rod, from what i heard, first contact with michigan was just a few days before he signed with them. of course it wouldnt be hard to bs that. im glad that wvu has a coach that the fans, and players can be happy with though. now i can go on being a michigan fan and still root for wvu to win the big east. (ill root for any team that wears michigan colors.)

posted by elijahin at 02:09 PM on January 03, 2008

Glad that Stewart got the job. He and his team definitely showed more emotion, interest and ability than OU last night. But I think the real story is that Stoopes (the so-called genius of college football) got walloped again in a bowl. This time by a coach bearing the "interim" title at kickoff. Bummer Sooner.

posted by graymatters at 04:12 PM on January 03, 2008

i would think oklahoma would really hate the phoenix region by now. it seems like every time they go to the fiesta, they either get spanked, upset, or both.

posted by elijahin at 04:14 PM on January 03, 2008

I'm glad for W.V.- Oklahoma is overrated, except every time they play Missouri and they kick our ass. "sigh"

posted by Nakeman at 04:18 PM on January 03, 2008

Of course, not everybody's on the Happy Happy Joy Joy Bandwagon in Morgantown.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 09:44 AM on January 04, 2008

I'm sure there are plenty of people, WVU alum and boosters included, who are concerned with the hiring. The only thing I can say about it is Stewart seems like a tremendous person with a passion for people, West Virginia, and the game. If sports, especially at the college level, has gotten to the point where people like him are seen as poor hires, then it's sports, obviously, that are the huge problem. As for the recruiting and program Rodriguez supposedly built up, if the job he did was good at all it should sustain itself (at least for a while). West Virginia seems to have become a desirable place for players to come to, and the Mountaineers should continue to be able to compete in the Big East.

posted by dyams at 10:19 AM on January 04, 2008

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