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"Covering College Football Coaching from Miami to Honolulu"

 

 BILL STEWART

     

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BILL STEWART

Age:  56

School:  West Virginia

Alma Mater:  Fairmont State, 1974

Conference:  Big East

Salary:  $800,000

Official Bio:   www.msnsportsnet.com

Years Coaching:  4

Career Record:  9 - 25   .265

Years at School:  1

Record at West Virginia:  1 - 0   1.000

2007 Record:  1 - 0   1.000

2007 Cost per Win:  $0

Attorney/Agent:  

Contract:     

 

December 2008 Buyout:  $1,000,000

COACHING RECORD - WINNING - LOSING RECORDS

Year School Record Bowl
1994 VMI 1-10  
1995 VMI 4-7  
1996 VMI 3-8  
2007 West Virginia 1-0  
Career   9-25 .265
  West Virginia 1-0 1.000

2008 SCHEDULE

Date Opponent Location 2008 CHS Prediction Result
8/30/08 Villanova Morgantown, WV W  
9/06/08 at East Carolina Greenville, NC W  
9/18/08 at Colorado Boulder, CO W  
9/27/08 Marshall Morgantown, WV W  
10/04/08 Rutgers Morgantown, WV W  
10/11/08 Syracuse Morgantown, WV W  
10/23/08 Auburn Morgantown, WV L  
11/01/08 at UConn Storrs, CT W  
11/08/08 Cincinnati Morgantown, WV W  
11/22/08 at Louisville Louisville, KY W  
11/28/08 at Pitt Pittsburgh, PA W  
12/06/08 USF Morgantown, WV L  
         
   Coaches Hot Seat Prediction   10-2  

 

Coaches Hot Seat Analysis

An interesting question:  Would Bill Stewart be the head coach at West Virginia if Rodriguez had waited to go to Michigan until after the Fiesta Bowl?  Anyone that answers that question "YES" must also be giving Rich Rodriguez the absolutely insane advice that he has gotten since leaving Morgantown.  If Rodriguez waits until after the Fiesta Bowl, we have to think that Jimbo Fisher would be the head football coach at West Virginia right now, and Bill Stewart might very well be on Fisher's staff.  As John Adams said, "Facts are stubborn things" and Bill Stewart is indeed now at the helm of the West Virginia football program.  We here at Coaches Hot Seat endeavored to find people that either played for or knew Bill Stewart when he was the head coach at VMI (8-25 in three seasons), and the general impression that was imparted to us was that winning football games at VMI was an impossibility.  We checked the records, and in the 5 years before Stewart got to VMI the football team was 14-40 and in the 5 years after Stewart left, VMI was 5-50.  Those kind of records eliminate any kind of analysis of what Stewart did or did not accomplish at VMI, but Stewart's departure from VMI over a racially-insensitive comment is something to put in the back of one's mind.  Recently, Bill Stewart in addressing the incident at VMI said, "It was an isolated incident that never happened before and never happened after. I would certainly change the wording but never the intent. I was coaching him and trying to help the kid"  OK, we will take Stewart's word on that and move on to what he now faces at West Virginia.

 

Rich Rodriguez recruited a tremendous amount of talent to West Virginia over the past 7 years, and in the last 3 years Rodriguez compiled a 32-5 record in Morgantown.  That is quite a record, but Rich Rodriguez is a very good football coach, and all of Rodriguez's hard work in Morgantown over the past several years now falls into the lap of Bill Stewart.  The West Virginia team that Stewart has inherited is loaded with very good football players, and only a couple of teams on the 2008 schedule will field either equal or overall better football teams.  In many ways Bill Stewart faces a very tough task in the coming years because the WVU fans will expect him to continue the standard that Rodriguez set, and they will also demand that Stewart prove WVU can win football games without Rodriguez on the sidelines.  Bill Stewart has been very fortunate to be in the right place at the right time, and it will entirely be up to him to prove that he can handle being the head football coach at West Virginia.  The jury is still definitely out if Stewart was a good hire or not, and it is next to impossible to predict what his overall record at WVU will be 5 years from now. 

 

Coaches Hot Seat Bottom Line

We predict that Bill Stewart and West Virginia will have a 10-2 record in 2008.  With all of the uncertainties surrounding Bill Stewart, there is one thing we do know about the 2008 West Virginia football team and its schedule.  West Virginia has at least equal or more talent than every team that it faces in 2008.  Having equal, or even better talent does not always equal wins, but there are enough players returning from the '07 Mountaineers team, to lead us to believe that 2008 should be very successful as well.  The season opens with I-AA Villanova which is an automatic win, but Week 2 presents a very tough challenge against the improving East Carolina Pirates team on the road which is coached by Skip Holtz.  East Carolina finished the '07 season by beating Boise State in the Hawaii bowl, and the Pirates will be the first big challenge for Bill Stewart in '08.  We see West Virginia with just too much talent to lose to ECU, so that is 2-0 after two games.  Next up is a trip to Boulder to play an improving Colorado football team, but there is still too much talent on the WVU team to lose this game as well (We said that about Oklahoma/Colorado last year though).  That leaves WVU at 3-0.  After Colorado, WVU has 4 straight games at home against two teams they should beat handily, Marshall and Syracuse, a team they should beat just on the talent difference, Rutgers, and what might be one of the games of the year when Auburn comes calling in Morgantown on October 23.  We see Auburn playing West Virginia very tough in this game, and finding a way to beat WVU mainly on the difference in head coaching experience on the opposing sidelines.  Tuberville has been in dozens of big games on the road in the SEC and elsewhere in recent years (Florida last season), and Auburn will be ready to play this football game.  After the Auburn loss, WVU's record would stand at 6-1.  West Virginia heads back into Big East play to finish the season, with a road trip to UConn (should be a win), Cincinnati at home (should be a close win), Louisville on the road (should be a close win), Pitt on the road (should especially be a win after the '07 loss to the Panthers), and finally USF comes calling in Morgantown to finish the season.  Just like with Tuberville and Auburn, USF will bring equal talent to WVU for this game, and Jim Leavitt's experience in big games will be the difference again.  All of that adds up to a 10-2 record which is just about what any average to above average football coach would do with the amount talent on the 2008 WVU football team.  There are several spots on the '08 schedule where WVU could stumble, and it will be up to Stewart to make sure that his team is prepared to play every game.  Bill Stewart certainly is certainly going to both be a lot closer to and liked more by his players than was Rich Rodriguez.  This is not a popularity contest though, and Stewart's main challenge going forward will to keep the WVU program playing at a very high level while Stewart put his imprint upon the Mountaineer program.  The bar is now set very high at WVU, and Bill Stewart must meet or exceed that bar or he will find himself in an early retirement.  In the moving Wall Street Bud Fox said, "Life all comes down to a few moments. This is one of them."  Bill Stewart, this is YOUR moment.

 

2008 Coaches Hot Seat Prediction:        10-2

 

Will Bill Stewart be back for the 2009 season?       YES

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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