Bill Stewart Resigns from West Virginia

The latest news on As The Couch Burns brings the end of the Bill Stewart era in Morgantown. Per the New York Times:

West Virginia football coach Bill Stewart has resigned and a university spokesman said coach-in-waiting Dana Holgorsen will take over.

... [E[arlier this week a former Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reporter said Stewart called him shortly after Holgorsen's hiring and asked him to "dig up" some dirt on the new hire.

The former reporter, Colin Dunlap, told KDKA-FM on Monday night that Stewart also called at least one other reporter on Holgorsen. Dunlap said he discussed it with the other reporter, who he didn't name.

In other words, the supposedly loyal homer spiel was more shtick than substance, and the guy who got drunk and kicked out of a casino was rewarded with a promotion and a 2.5 million dollar raise. Make sense? Well, consider the source. Shockingly enough, it turns out that caught trying to actively sabotage your successor can be bad for your career. Who knew? I suppose Stewart had some notion that if he could successfully derail Holgorsen with all of these off-field issues the WVU administration might send him packing and he could retain the head coaching job, but while that may have been true he obviously botched the execution, which is probably no surprise to anyone who ever saw one of his teams play.

For better or for worse, though, this one does have at least some degree of interest to outsiders. With TCU joining the Big East, West Virginia is probably the most powerful program who can balance their addition to the league, and if the Coal Miners fall on hard times -- there's a joke in there somewhere, I know -- then TCU may be able to run roughshod with relative ease to a BCS Championship Game someday.

Finally, strike this as another nail in the coffin for the head coach-in-waiting scheme. We've seen some successes with that -- Chip Kelly, Brett Bielema, among others -- but there have been some outright train wrecks as well, most notably Texas and West Virginia, and it should also probably be mentioned that Bobby Bowden didn't exactly give way to Jimbo Fisher without major resistance. I know Nick Saban has endorsed the idea of a head coach-in-waiting in the past, but to be perfectly honest there's enough negative data out there now to justify being highly skeptical of trying to do something like this in Tuscaloosa.

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