OT: How awkward is this going to be?

Submitted by The Impaler on December 16th, 2010 at 4:28 PM
http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/news/story?id=5927121&campaign=rss&source… I know that this situation has been talked about here before, but for the AD to officially say that Stewart is not our guy, but then keep him around for one year is degrading to the man. As a player how can you listen to anything Stewart says next year when you know that your OC will be taking the reins the year after? Apparently it has worked before, but you are bringing in someone from outside the program beforehand. I just don't it's the right move. I would just make him the HC this coming year.



December 16th, 2010 at 8:38 PM ^

This guarantees Casteel's retention.

This is 100% pure speculation, but does it really? It's not like Casteel has no choice in the matter. The AD is basically telling him, "We want to keep you around, but you will never be our head coach." If I'm Casteel, this whole coach-in-waiting plan does not necessarily make me happy.


December 16th, 2010 at 4:40 PM ^

For this University. They chased Bobby Bowden out of town, hung him in effigy then BB turned which was once a girls school in Florida St a National power Then the Athletic Dept left RR's upgrade requests in the toilet from which it started. So without repeating what you already know WVU yearns for retribution especially when there is no cause for it. Oliver Luck--Andrew's Dad--is part of the lineage of poor choices and witch hunt. Bumble On, WVU!

tn wolverine

December 16th, 2010 at 10:22 PM ^

I can assure you Oliver Luck is no bumbler, he's very smart, if you look at his resume he was a Rhodes Scholar, before he came back and played in the NFL. He is a new AD who did what's best for his University. He came in and put his stamp on the coaching situation at WVU. He went out and hired the guy he wanted and set it up so the nice guy who isn't the best coach in the world could coach one more year and leave with his head up. It's much better to make a decision than to leave your Coach, your fans and your recruits twisting in the wind. 


December 16th, 2010 at 4:39 PM ^

This just seems to affirm how clueless Bill Stewart is as a head coach.  Who else would stay on as head coach in this situation? 
"We like you, but you are not good enough to coach here...but you can stay on for one more year...but we are hiring the next head coach now." 

If I were Stewart I would be clearing out my desk today. 


December 16th, 2010 at 5:10 PM ^

I'd gladly stick around another year for $800k. Plus that year would be a breeze since you wouldn't need to recruit. That would probably mean something like 40% more free time for the same salary. Yes please.


December 16th, 2010 at 6:26 PM ^

but since Stewart was a career assistant coach until he got the head job 3 years ago I'm guessing the 800K he's making is far and away the most he's ever made.  Combine that with him being 58 yrs old and I doubt he's going to turn down the chance to make another 800K in 2011.


December 16th, 2010 at 6:00 PM ^

I'm sure if he had a better offer, he'd consider leaving.  The reason he is being let go by WVU is that in the past 3 years, the team has regressed quite a bit from where it was at the end of RR's time there.  Teams notice that, and I kind of doubt anyone is knocking down the door for Stewart's resume.

I do think that he'll be gone after the bowl game, irregardless of what the AD and the coaching staff profess now.


December 16th, 2010 at 6:19 PM ^

While they clearly haven't maintained the same level under Stewart as they had in the last 3 years under RR, I don't think Stewart has done that bad of a job.  He's 27-11 in his 3 years with 3 different QB's I think.  I was actual expecting WVU to fall a little harder after RR left than they have.

I'm guessing the fact that Stewart will be 59 yrs old next year would play a big role in schools looking at possibly hiring him too.


December 16th, 2010 at 4:39 PM ^

... what happened at Michigan, honestly.  It should help keep the student athletes already in the program, should provide stability in recruiting, reduce the pains of transition, etc... Transition planning in any business is critical to the smooth hand off of power without disruption to the efficiency of the business.  Doesn't always work and isn't suited for all cases (for example, if the exiting leader is just terrible), but I like the approach. 


December 16th, 2010 at 6:04 PM ^

To me bringing someone in from the outside isn't necessarily bad.  It's more that Stewart doesn't appear to have any say in who was brought in.  Alvarez brought Beilima in from a different school and mentored him for a year or two even though Alvarez probably had some assistants that had been with him longer.  Kelly had only been an OC under Belioti for year before Kelly took over.  But again, Belioti was the one who hired Kelly to be the OC.

Born Blue

December 16th, 2010 at 6:48 PM ^

On the one hand, yeah, I think Steward deserves the $800k, but you could have given it to him as a parting gift and demonstrate your appreciation, call it a buyout if you will, but to PUBLICLY say he's not your guy and the ONLY reason you offered him another year is because of the late 4 game winning strreak...well, hmmm.  How many games did he have to win to be retained? Oops, another question which hits to close to home.  Their coach knows but stays, our coach doesn't know but.....


December 16th, 2010 at 4:57 PM ^

With transitional practices in the corporate world. Although I would classify this as dirty pool in essence trying to retain what you stand to lose. You can polish this with MBA rhetoric but you are creating a vision to the public that your willing to force the hand from someone who has (in my estimation) served you well. Happens all the time in Corporate Clown-Town, but it doesnt make it right. Im anticipating this to fail.


December 16th, 2010 at 5:16 PM ^

Different coaches, like different CEO's, have different strengths and weaknesses and are best suited for different times in a school's or company's history.

I have seen numerous transitions work well when a CEO is brought in to take a company through an extremely difficult period like bankruptcy or total reorganization due to market/financial conditions and then have someone come in who is groomed to be the guy who is to take the reorganized or out of bankruptcy company back into the world and grow it.

Might work, might not.   Depends on how Stewart and the rest handle it.  Maybe they feel like they put Stewart in a job that was over his head and want to replace him but not shoot him and thus this will accomplish something that might work out well for both.  As a thought, look at the current association with OSU that both John Cooper and Earl bruce enjoy even though they were both fired by that school.


December 16th, 2010 at 5:11 PM ^

We have a very recent experience in terms of changing coaches where the old one and all his staff save 1 was tossed out.  Maybe WVU prefers this method having seen the issues surrounding the way we did it?

Think about how Bo writes about and discusses his transition at Michigan in his various books when he came in to take over as a guy with NO MICHIGAN BACKGROUND WHATSOEVER from Bump Elliott and how crucial the acceptance and influence of both Bump and Canham were to his acceptance and success at the U.


December 16th, 2010 at 5:13 PM ^

i was kind of curious about the rhetoric used by the AD saying that he expects WVU coach to compete for a national championship.  isn't that a little cocky coming from a school that has never won a national championship? yes they were in a position to play in it in 2007 but then lost to Pitt.  this kind of comes off as the AD saying that winning the big east means nothing to him because its weak.  at least thats how my shattered logic (finals) interprets it.

st barth

December 16th, 2010 at 6:04 PM ^

...and personally I'd be a little concerned if my AD was so focused on wins & championships.  Winning is fun and it is easy to get caught up in that but college football is about more than just wins & losses.

I think that it is better to have the people in charge of the program ( the AD & the coaches, etc) be mindful of that.  When winning becomes the only relevant factor then that is when schools seriously risk running into the type of scandals that we're seeing at Auburn.


December 16th, 2010 at 6:16 PM ^

They had undefeated regular seasons in 1988 and 1993 before losing their bowl games. Eventual national champ Notre Dame beat them by 13 in the 1989 Fiesta Bowl and Florida crushed them 41-7 in the 1993 Sugar Bowl.

The 1988 team didn't really play anybody but the 1993 beat some half-way decent teams (Virgina Tech, Miami and the Boston College team that gave Notre Dame its only loss that year).

So yeah, it's a bit cocky, but it isn't entirely unprecedented, either.


December 16th, 2010 at 5:42 PM ^

How awkward would it be if the same thing happens here... that Harbaugh becomes Head Coach and RR stays on one year to coach his guys, until we get old school players that fit Harbaugh's style?  It may happen...RR wants to be a Michigan Man and this may be his way to do so.

This may be how Brandon plays it... for the offense will be primed to do well, and it'll take two years for Harbaugh to bring his guys in. RR is better off staying a year only and then leaving for a HC job instead of bolting in Jan to another OC job.


December 16th, 2010 at 5:49 PM ^

It's interesting that the WVU AD said he's following the examples of Wisconsin and Oregon with how they replaced Belioti and Alvarez.  Alvarez hired Beilima (sp?) and I'm pretty sure Belioti hired Kelly.  However, with WVU it doesn't sound like Stewart was the one advocating hiring the guy from Oklahoma St.

Ben from SF

December 16th, 2010 at 6:08 PM ^

I actually believe that this arrangement is a win for all sides.

For WVU:

  • Smooth transition from Stewart to Holgorsen without the pains of what we went through between Lloyd and RR.
  • Recruiting continuity
  • Continuity with Alums and Boosters

For Bill Stewart:

  • $800,000
  • Limited offcampus recruiting
  • Opportunity to enjoy a final ride with a more experienced team

For Jeff Casteel & other assistants:

  • Getting paid while adjusting to working with a new coach they have never met before
  • One year to network and get better offers
  • A final opportunity to work with an underrated group of defenders

For Holgorsen:

  • A chance to implement a new offense without the worries of dealing with defense and the off-field stuff
  • A chance to learn how to work with WV press, alums, and administration with Bill Stewart taking the heat
  • A chance to keep recruiting continuity.

Bo always credited Bum and Canham for easing his transition from Miami of Ohio to Michigan.  Oliver Luck has set up a similar situation with Holgorsen.  Perhaps other ADs will take a page out of this playbook.


December 16th, 2010 at 9:32 PM ^

Who do you listen to in 2011? The guy who isn't the head coach yet? The lame duck head coach who has no long term power?  What if you're a senior? This idea could go bad in a hurry from locker room/chemistry standpoint.

And for the fans, what if the team sucks in 2011, who is to blame the old guy or the new guy? Does 2011 count for Holgorson in terms of player development and the BCS or bust ticking clock ?