Bill Stewart Done At West Virginia Following Dana Holgorsen Sabotage Attempts

Bill Stewart is reportedly done at West Virginia, resigning Friday afternoon after he allegedly served as one source of the report of Dana Holgorsen's purported alcohol-related incidents. Read more at our WVU blog, The Smoking Musket.

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Bill Stewart Reportedly Resigns As West Virginia Head Football Coach

Bill Stewart will resign as the head coach of the West Virginia Mountaineers sometime this afternoon, according to a report by The Charleston Gazette. He leaves the team amidst scandal with a 28-12 mark, a 1-2 mark in bowl games, and a reputation as a folksy coach whose teams played good if inconsistent football during his tenure.

With Stewart resigning, offensive coordinator and coach-in-waiting Dana Holgorsen will succeed Stewart as head coach. This move is well ahead of schedule: Stewart was set to serve as head coach for 2011 while Holgorsen was brought up to speed and groomed to take over the job. Thanks to the scandal surrounding Stewart allegedly leaking details of Holgorsen's difficulties with casino security personnel to local papers, this timeline is now dramatically accelerated. 

Holgorsen will likely now have to hustle to secure the services of Jeff Casteel, West Virginia defensive coordinator and a Stewart ally who turned down Rich Rodriguez's offer to follow him to Michigan to stay in Morgantown. A Mountaineer loyalist and defensive savant, Casteel's on-field acumen and off-the-field knowledge of the state would provide some serious assets for Holgorsen in year one at West Virginia. His value is unquestioned here; his willingness to stay on under new management, however, is unknown.

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Report: Bill Stewart's Contract On Hold At West Virginia

West Virginia University officials are staying off the record and under the radar on the story of the Bill Stewart-Dana Holgorsen leak, but a separate report in Charleston, W. Va.'s Daily Mail dovetails with several items mentioned in the account of high personnel drama published this morning by our own Smoking Musket. Remember that bit at the end about Stewart allegedly leaving his new contract with the Mountaineers unsigned? According to the Daily Mail, that delay may have been on the part of the university wanting to investigate the source of the Holgorsen story -- and suspecting their own lame-duck head coach as the culprit -- rather than due to any recalcitrance from Stewart.

The author, Mike Casazza, noted last night on Twitter that the university's become "attuned to the pursuit of libel" since the emergence of the story in the Huntington papers, and is quite circumspect in his writing, but the dots are readily connectable at a casual glance [emphasis added]: 

Two sources said the contract has been awaiting signatures for weeks, but has been tabled as the athletic department determines who has and has not participated in fabricating stories about Holgorsen and compromising the coaching transition.

WVU Athletic Director Oliver Luck would not acknowledge on the university's search and suspicions, which are said to be more specific than expansive.

For more on this latest tableau out of Machiavellian Morgantown, join SB Nation's The Smoking Musket.

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