Bill Stewart, who was promoted to that post on Jan. 3, 2008, hails from New Martinsville and so did the late Mont M. McIntire, who held the Mountaineer reins in 1916-17-19-20.
Both gentlemen also earned degrees from WVU. McIntire received a bachelor’s degree after lettering as a tackle in 1906-07-08 and serving as captain his senior year. Stewart received a master’s degree here in health and physical education in 1977.
He had played his football at Fairmont State, lettering three years and getting a bachelor’s degree in 1975.
With All-America fullback Ira Errett Rodgers leading the way. McIntire turned out teams that posted records of 5-2-2, 6-3-1, 8-2 and 5-4-1. WVU did not have a team in 1918 because of World War I and an outbreak of influenza.
McIntire’s four-year record of 24-11-4 ranked him sixth among the school’s 30 head coaches, percentage-wise (.667).
Hopefully, the Mountaineers can be even more successful under Stewart’s direction.
He is putting together a coaching staff that not only could be among the best WVU ever has had but undoubtedly the most expensive in its 114-year football history.
RECRUITING: Speaking of Stewart, he and his assistants have been working hard in an effort to salvage as many of WVU’s verbally committed recruits as possible.
The mess created by Rich Rodriguez’s sudden departure for Michigan, and the soap opera in the last few weeks, certainly can’t help but hurt the new staff’s 11th-hour efforts.
How many prospects will be signed to the binding national letter-of-intent on Feb. 5 remains to be seen. But this is Stewart reply to the burning question:
“We don’t know if we’ll sign 10, 15, 20 or 25, but I can tell you that who we sign will be great human beings with good character.”
Six or eight prospects made visits to the campus last weekend.
HOOPS: The WVU men’s basketball team certainly appears to be making strides in alumnus Bob Huggins’ first year as its head coach.
Asked about his development to this point, here’s what he had to say before Wednesday night’s annual intrastate contest with Marshall in Charleston:
“I had hoped we would shoot it better than what we have shot it. We have, in most instances, held our own on the glass and, defensively, played pretty good.
“You ought to be able to win when you hold people under 60 points (which WVU has been doing most of the time).
“I don’t think we had patience earlier in the game at South Florida. We shot it quicker. Later in the game we had patience.”