The Bill Stewart era at West Virginia is over.
Today, ESPN, Fox Sports and WV MetroNews confirmed that the rumors are true, Bill Stewart is set to resign and step down as head coach of the West Virginia football team.
Reports of Stewart’s demise have been gaining momentum recently after he and his wife Karen were accused of being the ones behind the recent Dana Holgorsen media attacks.
Stewart has been accused of asking a Pittsburgh Post Gazette reporter to “dig up dirt” on Holgorsen, who was hired back in December to be Stewart’s eventual replacement.
Many have also wondered if the recent wave of stories discussing Holgorsen’s alcohol issues were originally leaked by the coach’s camp.
It sure is an embarrassing way to go out for a West Virginia native who described coaching the Mountaineers as his dream job.
Although Stewart was never fully embraced by the blue and gold fan base, he never lacked passion for his team and you could tell he was sincere about the love for his state and the love for his players.
After a feisty Fiesta Bowl performance in his first game at the helm, Stewart failed to recapture the magic of his interim intro over the following three seasons.
The coach led West Virginia to three consecutive nine win campaigns, but ultimately, he failed to get the Mountaineers to the promised land of a BCS bowl game.
His legacy was likely to go down as the nice coach, who may have been just a little too nice. However, that was before the latest accusations surfaced.
Now Stewart’s reputation has been soiled a bit and if all the reports are indeed true, it’s hard to look at him in the same light.
Stewart isn’t the only one with questions to answer though.
West Virginia athletic director Oliver Luck, who orchestrated the Holgorsen move, won’t emerge from this unscathed.
Luck is going to have to take some heat for putting Stewart in the position he did.
You can’t justify what Stewart is accused of doing, but if you put yourself in his shoes, you can see what drove him to such actions.
The fallout from this certainly won’t be good for the program, which will be painted by the national media as a team in turmoil.
Holgorsen will now take over a year earlier than expected and there’s no telling what type of dynamic the team will have after the coaching shakeup.
Holgorsen is a brilliant young offensive mind but he definitely could have used a year of learning on the job.
West Virginia has the type of talent to take home the Big East title this season but Holgorsen’s learning curve just got severely smaller and it remains to be seen if he's prepared for his new role.
The team, the athletic director, both coaches, and the school have taken a public beating for all of this, but as we all know, winning cures everything.
If Holgorsen guides West Virginia back to a BCS bowl game this season, it will help repair a lot of the damage that’s been done in recent weeks.
Holgorsen and Luck better hope for early success because the pressure will be on and the leash won't be long.
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