The Legacy of Bill Stewart at WVU

Amit BatraCorrespondent IIIMay 21, 2012

CHARLOTTE, NC - DECEMBER 27:  Head coach Bill Stewart of the West Virginia Mountaineers looks at the scoreboard during their game against the North Carolina Tar Heels at Bank of America Stadium on December 27, 2008 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Former West Virginia head coach Bill Stewart died of an apparent heart attack on Monday afternoon, collapsing during a game of golf.  Stewart, 59, had his tenure start at the 2008 Fiesta bowl against Oklahoma in 2008.  He took over for current Arizona head coach Rich Rodriguez. 

Last summer, Stewart was replaced at WVU by current head coach Dana Holgorsen.  Stewart had three 9-win seasons during his time at WVU.  He went 28-12 in his time, but was unable to take his team to a Bowl Championship Series game.  Stewart was one of the nicest guys you will see, and the people of West Virginia were proud to see Stewart as a figure for their state and flagship school.

Stewart's dream job was a Mountaineer head coaching position.  Athletic Director Oliver Luck decided to replace Stewart following a big loss to North Carolina State in the Champs Sports Bowl.  Luck believed that WVU couldn't win a national championship under Stewart.  Stewart's last season was scheduled to be in 2011, but Stewart decided to resign for the sake of the University. 

During Stewart's time at WVU, the Mountaineers were able to capture one Big East Championship in 2010, but were unable to make it to a BCS game.  Stewart was able to coach the likes of current NFL players and Mountaineer greats such as Patrick White, Geno Smith, Bruce Irvin, Pat McAfee, Steve Slaton and Owen Schmitt. 

Perhaps what will most be remembered from coach Stew will be his famous "Leave No Doubt" speech prior to the 2008 Fiesta Bowl against Oklahoma.  This speech has been used in the team's opening entrance video during Stewart's tenure as head coach.

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Stewart's legacy will always be remembered by Mountaineer Nation.  He was a man of true character and a great representative for the school and state.  The saying goes:  Once a Mountaineer, Always a Mountaineer. 

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