Many Mountain State residents genuinely liked former West Virginia University head football coach Bill Stewart because he was, well, likeable. The fact that he was a good football coach didn't hurt, either.
During his time at the helm, the Mountaineers chalked up a 28-12 record. But it was Stewart's leadership in the clutch that endeared him to many WVU fans.
After former coach Rich Rodriguez left Morgantown just before the Mountaineers were to play in the Fiesta Bowl, Stewart took over as acting head coach. He guided the team to a 48-28 win over Oklahoma and, virtually overnight, fans made it clear they wanted him to get a head coaching contract.
Stewart's down-home mannerisms made him a popular interview, but they were no act. What you saw from Bill Stewart was what you got.
Many people in New Martinsville, Stewart's hometown, could have told the press that. He was the local hero who never forgot his roots or his Wetzel County values.
We extend our sympathies to Stewart's family and to his legions of friends and admirers. Not just for his career, but for who he was, he will be missed.