West Virginia Coach Stewart Dies, Former West Virginia football coach Bill Stewart, who was hailed as Rich Rodriguezâ€™s successor but wound up leaving the school in a messy split, died Monday of what athletic department officials said was an apparent heart attack. He was 59.
Stewartâ€™s family notified the university and said Stewart had been out golfing with the longtime friend who hired him as head coach, former athletic director Ed Pastilong. West Virginia spokesman Michael Fragale said he had no further details, and Pastilong couldnâ€™t immediately be reached for comment.
â€śCoach Stewart was a rock-solid West Virginian and a true Mountaineer,â€ť athletic director Oliver Luck said in a statement released by the university. â€śHis enthusiasm and passion for his stateâ€™s flagship university was infectious. We join all Mountaineers in mourning his passing.â€ť
U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin III, who was governor at the time Stewart became head coach, said Stewart was a longtime friend who â€śleaves behind a lifetime of memories and love for our state.â€ť
â€śBill was a proud West Virginian in every sense of the word,â€ť Manchin said, â€śand he was the best cheerleader this state ever had.â€ť
Stewart went 28-12 in three seasons after taking over when Rodriguez left for Michigan after the 2007 regular season, but resigned last summer and was replaced by Dana Holgorsen. (Washington Times)