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Time is now for Stewart

December 29, 2010

When the West Virginia?coach-in-waiting saga first came to light, many Mountaineer fans questioned whether Bill Stewart deserved the hand he was dealt by Athletic Director Oliver Luck.

After all, he had led West Virginia's football team to three consecutive nine-win seasons, which seems to be a respectable feat for any coach. And the love affair the state had with the down-home, good-ole-boy coach when he led the Mountaineers to its biggest win in school history, a 48-28 BCS?victory over Oklahoma in the 2008 Fiesta Bowl, was bar none.

So how did this come about? Why is the Mountaineers' lovable, yet sometimes gullible coach finding himself on the way out?

Those questions may never be honestly answered. One reason why the truth may never be told is because Stewart will never say anything bad about the program he holds dear to his heart. If the university did him wrong and he knows it, he'll take it his grave ... that's just the kind of man he is.

It's evident that Coach Stew has fans and critics on both sides of the ball, those that like and support him and those who don't.

And it's no secret that he's rubbed some big-time boosters the wrong way, like Arizona Diamondbacks owner Ken Kendrick, who disapproved of Stewart's hiring since the second it was announced.

There's also many out there who feel Stew's nice-guy persona just won't work in the vicious world of major college football. It's always been said that "nice guys finish last."

But whatever the reason is for bringing in Oklahoma State Offensive Coordinator Dana Holgorsen, let's hope it works out for the best, because all Mountaineer fans alike have the same goal - a national championship.

Coach Stew has had a respectable run as the Mountaineer mentor. His pre-game speech and hoisting of the trophy at the Fiesta Bowl will never be forgotten and will always be appreciated by every WVU?fan.

But the time for Stewart to go is now. The program needs to be handed over to Holgorsen immediately.

If Stewart cares as much about the program as he says, stepping aside is in the best interest of next year's team. It was obvious Tuesday night that the Mountaineers just weren't into knocking helmets with North Carolina State. And right now the biggest fear for any Mountaineer fan is that it will carry over into 2011 season.

Having both coaches at the helm next season won't work for more reasons than one.



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