Bill Stewart, the affable former head coach of the West Virginia Mountaineers, died today of an apparent heart attack while playing golf today. Stewart was 59 years old. Stewart was an assistant under Rich Rodriguez and took over the head coach responsibilities when Rodriguez let to become the head coach at Michigan. In three seasons at the helm, West Virginia never won fewer than nine games, but the program failed to win the Big East and he was replaced by now head coach Dana Holgorsen.
Stewart will always be remembered for his impassioned speech in the locker room before West Virginia's 2007 Fiesta Bowl matchup with Oklahoma. Filling in as the interim coach at the time, Stewart essentially won the head coach job by leading the Mountaineers to a 48-28 blowout win over Oklahoma. After that game, he was all but a shoe in for the job. He was universally liked by opposing coaches and by virtually all who encountered him. He will be missed.