Thursday, January 3, 2008

You're Hired

Well that might have been the best job interview I have ever seen. Bill Stewart, who some thought deserved a chance to coach the former #2 team in the country, made believers out of those who were really important in making that decision last night. In a decisive, well played contest (by the Mountaineers) WVU trounced the Sooners in last night’s Fiesta Bowl.

West Virginia officials have stated that Stewart, who has been with the program for 7 years and 2 Head Coaches, will get his chance to lead the Mountaineers next season. The contract sits right now as an incentive rich 5 year deal worth 800,000+ per year. Stewart says it’s a dream come true and the players couldn’t be any happier. He was called “the glue that kept us together” by Fullback Owen Schmitt and has all of the players respect according to standout quarterback Pat White. I for one am a fan of this decision, staying within the program is a much better idea, I think, than going outside the program. Stewart already fits in the system, and it’s been a successful system, so why spend time and money trying to find someone who fits in the system. You can quote Stewart himself on that, “things aren't going to change much. Why would I change ... ? Rich did a fantastic job here. We got the same coaches, the same players." Look out for WVU to have a successful year next year building on this year’s success as well as the recent Big East success.

For those of you who wonder if he will be able to be successful under the scrutiny of taking over a BCS team, just look at what he did in the last couple weeks. It was just over two weeks ago (Dec. 16) that Rodriguez snuck out in the dead of night to take the job at Michigan. This West Virginia team prepped, coached, and maintained by “Coach Stew” flat out beat up on Oklahoma, who had a very real chance at being in the National Championship picture going into the final couple weeks. If not for the unfortunate loss to Texas Tech, without Starting Quarterback Sam Bradford, there would have been no question that they would be playing in New Orleans Monday instead of Glendale last night. So congrats are in order to Stewart and the Mountaineers proving they can do it without Rodriguez. Of course the Sooners haven’t fared well in Bowls recently, losing 4 of the last 5, and the 2 most recent to a minor conference (Big East: WVU and WAC: Boise State) in the Fiesta Bowl. But that’s a whole nother story.