I’m Gonna Come At You Like A Spider Monkey!

The Man

When I got a text around 5:30 a.m. yesterday morning stating that Head Coach Bill Stewart, “HCBS”, got the job I was asleep. When I woke up and could fully comprehend what this meant, I smacked myself in the forehead. The initial reaction was, “Are Garrison and Pastilong on their periods?” Because this seemed like an emotional hire that didn’t make a whole lot of sense.

While I may be known for flipping out about once every hour, I decided to stop and really think about HCBS. It was a hell of a game but can he get it done for an entire season? Does he have enough experience and wherewithal to handle everything being a head coach at a big school entails? Why was his record so bad at VMI?

Then, HCBS started speaking at his press conference and I was sold. While I was filled with emotion, not completely sober, and was all hopped up on Mountain Dew, every sentence made me a believer. I could now understand why the players love Smilin’ Bill from New Martinsville so much.

He truly loves West “BY GOD” Virginia, West Virginia University, and all his players. You can see the emotion on his face and hear it in his voice. HCBS is a sincere man that will treat the young adults in this football program like they are his own kids. What parent would not want their child in that type of environment?

Remember, Rodriguez lucked into White, Slaton, and Schmitt. Our recent success, the national exposure of the Big East, and a high powered spread offense that throws the ball down field will peak the interest of big time recruits. All HCBS needs to do after that is be himself and we will continue to land the Noel Devines of the world.

This may not be the “splash” hire everyone was looking for, but we Mountaineers are different. When Asshole Rich Rodriguez, “ARR”, left what were we all screaming: Where is his loyalty? Does he have any integrity? Just be honest with us you (expletive of your choice)? We will never have to ask those questions of HCBS as he has already won as many BCS bowl games as ARR.

I just want to end this glowing endorsement of our new coach by asking a simple question: what would you give to see the Mountaineers win the National Championship? I know I would give almost anything to see that happen and HCBS gives us the best chance to win it next year.

If he becomes Larry Coker after that then so damn be it, because Coker was not that bad. Check out his bio here (Larry Coker) and tell me you would not take those results. Stop criticizing right now and just wait for the results. I feel deep down inside that we will all be very happy with what transpires.

He is down home and folksy and there absolutely nothing wrong with those qualities. Smilin’ Bill from New Martinsville is my coach and I could not be happier or more proud to be a Mountaineer.


31 Responses

  1. Amen, bro. ARR could be applied to HCBS too, as in, the Anti-Rich Rodriguez.

    You pose the question everyone must be asking themselves – why the bad record at VMI? I don’t know squat about VMI, but I read earlier today that VMI has not posted a winning record since, I believe, 1981. So it would seem many have tried and failed to win there. Doesn’t mean Stew’s a bad HC.

  2. Excellent post!

    Either way, the way this guy handles the press, his unique and genuine homespun ways, his non-grumpy, non-beat-my-own-guys-to-a-pulp-with-hate demeanor are a breath of fresh air.

    Keep the talent happy. Worry about two years from now when it’s time to worry about two years from now (but, I think HCBS, aka the Andry Griffith of College Football Coaches, will surprise folks). I’m sure he’s watched every head coach he’s worked under since VMI very closely to see what works and what doesn’t. Some damned fine head coaches at that.

    Besides, I’d like to hear every grumbler over the hire if the school had overlooked the guy who led them to beat Oklahoma and hired a marquee name who lost the Friends of Coal Bowl. This team responds to this guy and we have another year of chances with most of them. And, you can say what you want about who wrote what play and who called what play, the players to a man said they were motivated by Coach Stew and that’s who they wanted.

    Really, at that point, why piss off talent like this team?

  3. You’re right, no one has won at VMI. That 8-25 statistic may as well get thrown out the window.

  4. Amen! Preach it brother!

  5. During the news conference after the game, I heard the players calling Coach Stewart, “Woody”.

    The resemblance IS uncanny.

  6. “: What would you give to see the Mountaineers win the National Championship?”

    We did give… It’s called the Pitt game. How many variables have to fall EXACTLY right for a team like ours to even be in contention for the NC? The stars were aligned this year. Next year will be full of the same promise as this year (schedule, pre-season ranking, etc.), but who thinks that there will be as many one-loss teams?

    I hope I’m wrong and we can plow through next year with even more confidence…but that’s asking a lot for any team. Hope springs eternal.

  7. Only thing that can be done now is hope for the best, relish the Fiesta Bowl victory and back new head Coach Bill Stewart.

  8. I could not agree with you more, 5th year. And consider this: as I have been saying to many friends since the Smilin’ Bill’s hire, there would have been trepidation regarding anyone we hired.

    The only sexy candidate was Jimbo Fisher, who a) wasn’t really available, and b) despite his rep at LSU, has really not turned around FSU’s offense, which speaks volumes about how schemes are still really all about the players playing them. Doc Holliday, although a proven recruiter, has never been a head coach. Terry Bowden has been out of the coaching game 10 years, and has a folksiness that isn’t as appealing as Stewart’s. And Butch Jones has just one year of head coaching job experience and he went 8-5 in the MAC (…in five years actually, he may be much more qualified for this job).

    So, really each of these guys would have scared me a litlle, just as Stewart does. But Stewart knows the team, has the team’s trust and confidence, has been a head coach, and seems to have a ready-made advisor in Don Nehlen should he need any help in structuring the program. The more I think about it, the more I think Stewart is an excellent choice, and if it doesn’t work out, he said himself he wouldn’t have to be told to leave and besides, five years isn’t going to reduce us to mediocrity, or make this job any less attractive.

    What I think gets lost in thinking about head coaching is realizing how much of that job is really administrating. The HC gets too much of the glory, and too much of the blame. It all starts with the staff, and I think it is clear that we have a very good group of of coachs right now. What Stewart does with the staff will be critical. If a majority of the staff stays I think we will be in the running for the top spot next season.

    (And who knew that OC Calvin Magee had some tweaks that Rod hadn’t thought of, or was too stubborn to use! Wouldn’t it be great if he stayed on and continued to expand our offense? …more likely he is gone and the task will fall to Rod Smith and I am comfortable with that…I also would like DC Jeff Casteel to stay on, which I would think a good move for him because if he moves to Ann Arbor and tries to run the 3-3-5, the first head to roll would be his if it didn’t work out)

    So, good riddance ARR…may you go 28-21 in your first four years, as you did here, and may you lose every game against Ohio St…at which time you might be available for that Indiana Univeristy job…

  9. What would I give for WVU to win a national championship? Not everything. In fact, I’d rather my alma mater won the Meineke Car Care Bowl led by a man of Bill Stewart’s quality than the national championship under a mercenary the likes of Petrino, Saban, or (now apparent) ARR. I’m proud that my alma mater chose to reward loyalty, character and integrity (and a BCS bowl win, to boot) to Bill Stewart. He seems to have that intangible leadership quality of gettint people to want to please him, and that’s not something to dismiss lightly. He got more out of this team Wednesday night than ARR ever did.

    Now here’s an interesting hypothesis re Butch Jones: I read the other day where he signed an extension to his contract with Central Michigan for the next five seasons. Stewart’s contract at WVU is for five years. Jones was interviewed twice, but only has one year of head coaching experience. In five years, both Jones’ and Stewart’s contracts will be up for renewal, and Stewart will be 60 years old, a nice retirement age. Coincidence? Probably. But I can’t rule out the possibility of some long range planning. I’ll be keeping an eye on Central Michigan’s fortunes for the next five years.

  10. Update re the assistants:


    Not good news… 😦

  11. Nice quote from the Norma Oklahoman:

    “West Virginia went from button-down taskmaster Rich Rodriguez, whose team in his last game played tighter than naval knots and lost to Pitt, to Grandpa Bill Stewart, whose practices were more summer camp than boot camp, leading to the Mountaineers knocking the stuffing out of the Sooners.

    Maybe Stoops could be a little more like Stewart. How could it hurt?”


  12. The fact that every assistant coach is choosing Rodriguez over Stewart, save for Kirlavich and Tony Dews (who were most likely not invited to join Michigan), tells me we’re in trouble.

    If we were going to lose all our assistants, we might as well have hired an outsider. This decision was not well thought out.

    Barwis is a West Virginia guy, and I feel just as betrayed by him. Rod Smith, supposedly came to WVU because he was from WV. Bruce Tall is good buddies with Stewart. Yet, they all chose Rod.

    We’ll be looking for another coach in 5 years, tops.

  13. Another amen, bro! Let’s all have some faith. Word has it that Stewart was the best recruiter on the staff.

    And in closing one final word: character.

    RR did not have it. Stewart obviously does.

  14. Not too surprised by the assistants, even the WV guys. Some of this is personal loyalty to RR – to each his own, I guess. (Rod Smith I believe was RR’s quarterback at Glenville State.) Some of this is “Omigosh, I’m gonna coach at Michigan!”

    I hope Stew can now bring in some high quality assistants from outside, let ’em coach up the team and have a successful 2008 season, and show everyone that the program has not imploded.

  15. And the Post-Gazette is reporting that Kirelawich was offered at Michigan, but said no thanks. For what it’s worth.

  16. Dear Coach Stewart,

    I really think you should hire Bill Legg away from Purdue to be your offensive coordinator.

    Purdue fans.

  17. Knew it would happen!! Local TV station states “New coaches past comes back to haunt him, News at 10”

  18. it sucks we are losing so many, especially mcgee. my husband and i met him last year and fell in love with him as he was so kind to our family as we toured the facilities.

    BUT we gotta trust our players. And the players unanimously echoed that Coach Stew was the man.

    I trust our kids on this one. They think with their hearts not wallets.

  19. Michigan is only confirming that they’ve hired McGee and Gibson. They are not commenting on the ESPN.com article I posted about earlier this evening. See the Sports Illustrated story at:


  20. Everyone knew the assistants were all going long before the Fiesta Bowl. No coach that we could have hired would have prevented it.

    HC success at this level is about 40% recruiting, 25% hiring to surround yourself with people better than yourself and 35% game management / coaching skill (which is motivation & knowing your team and the opposing teams well enough to exploit their weaknesses through your teams talents in play calling). The percentages can be monkeyed with to any degree, but you get my point. Can HCBS lure assistants more talented than he is? Can he and a talented assistant Recruit and prepare a complete Defensive squad by September? I think most of us agree that he can motivate and game manage. He certainly isn’t the type to be too proud to hire someone better than him (intimidating), as RR would be and he isn’t to egotistical to ask for help from a genius assistant (as RR would be).

    This is neither a vote for or against him, but I agree his record at VMI should be thrown out. They’ve never been able to win there and I should add something that nobody has mentioned. His 8-25 record at VMI also included a school record for points scored per game and the schools longest winning streak since 1930-something! His judgment in taking the job in the first place is questionable. Other than that, we can agree to throw it out.

    I’m still confused by the EP & the admin and trying to form a solid opinion that will be useless once I have it. Anything to add?

  21. Jeff Casteel is staying. This is great news; WVU’s defense won the game Wednesday with their dominance on Oklahoma’s first two possessions. Bradford and the Sooners were rocked and never fully recovered.


  22. Wow. Thanks, BC

  23. Yeah, thanks, BC…that got me all choked up again. Don’t think I’ll ever watch My Owen Schmitt in that interview with dry eyes.

  24. I can’t believe I just teared up AGAIN when that video from the post game interview of Owen Schmitt came up. Thanks to BC and thanks to Matt Zervos. That is a great video, you should send to the Coach Stewart.

    I hope my Baltimore Ravens draft Owen so I can see him on Sundays.

  25. NO! Schmitt Is goin Dahn Pittsburgh the STEELERS !

  26. GREAT JOB!

  27. I think they should make an inspirational movie out of Owen’s story. He and his mom driving around leaving his highlight tape at different colleges and then getting the chance to do what he did at WVU. Then the final season losing his head coach and being a leader to help us win the Fiesta Bowl. RUDY WHO?
    Owen, Owen, Owen…….
    Gonna miss that kid.

  28. Schmitt’s first name is actually spelled Own.

    Just ask the sooners…

  29. […] Come At You Like A Spider Monkey! Posted on January 13, 2009 by 5th Year Senior Note: This piece originally ran on January, 4, 2008, after our amazing bowl win against Oklahoma. The fact that I […]

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