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West Virginia Announces Bill Stewart Resignation At Late Friday Press Conference

With the way the West Virginia world has turned this week, it was only fitting the Bill Stewart era came to a close at a 9 p.m. press conference on a Friday night. After reports began leaking indicating Stewart would step down on Friday afternoon, athletic director Oliver Luck met with the media late Friday evening to make the move official and introduce Dana Holgorsen as the Mountaineers next head coach. The announcement ends a whirlwind week that began with rumors of Stewart's attempt to undermine Holgorsen by leaking "dirt" to the media.

The press conference revealed little we didn't know already. Having Stewart around amidst a flurry of rumors became too much of a distraction, according to Luck, and the move had to be made now, not at the end of the year as planned. Luck and Stewart had discussions about the rumors circulating, though the West Virginia athletic director would not address the rumors or what, if anything, was gleaned from the meetings.

At the end of the week, the decision was made to part ways with Stewart and promote Holgorsen to head coach, triggering an incentive in his contract that bumps his 2011 salary to $1.4 million. Holgorsen said he plans to handle the offensive coordinator and head coaching duties this season, and trusts the rest of the staff to share some of the offensive duties when necessary. He doesn't yet know who will fill the open position on the staff, either.

It was a messy week in Morgantown, though the sideshow provided much-needed offseason entertainment for casual observers. The coach-in-waiting scenario most thought would fail did just that, but failed in such a spectacular and unexpected way that in my just kill the term and position. With a bumpy ride in the rear-view mirror, West Virginia now moves forward with Holgorsen at the helm, and can begin the healing process from whatever wounds this past month left.

For more on the Mountaineers, be sure to head over to Smoking Musket.