THE REASON West Virginia football coach Bill Stewart retained his head coaching status for another season is simple.
WVU athletic director Oliver Luck felt Stewart earned one more year.
Sure, there were other considerations. But the bottom line was Luck felt Stewart deserved to be eased out rather than summarily dismissed.
Now, though, comes the tough part: making the setup work with head-coach-in-waiting Dana Holgorsen on board. It's been much discussed in our Mountain State streets. It's been a hot sports radio show topic. On Wednesday, I appeared on ESPN's "College Football Live" and it was even a topic there.
So I placed a call to Luck.
If you followed this week's developments, you know the terms of Holgorsen's contract were released. Within that, it was spelled out that Holgorsen, during his initial season as offensive coordinator, "shall have managerial authority over the offense, including, but not limited to, offensive play calling, offensive personnel decisions [and] hiring and firing of offensive assistant coaches."
Stewart has always worked on the offensive side of the ball (as well as on special teams). Mountaineer defensive coordinator Jeff Casteel is clearly in command of the defensive side of the ball.
So what will Stewart do to earn that $950,000 salary?
"To me, he'll do what every head coach does," Luck said. "Every coach has a little different approach, but I anticipate him being involved with the offense, defense and special teams.
"Will he call the plays? No. Has he in the past? I don't think so."
Stewart certainly had the option, though, to change plays on offense and switch defensive sets. That liberty is now out the window.
"I'll be the first to say I don't know how involved he's been the last few years on offense," Luck said. "I don't sit in the coaches meetings. But I know this will be a different offense, something Stew isn't necessarily familiar with."
Special teams? Well, last season Stewart delegated most of those assignments. According to football sports information director Mike Montoro, Stewart handled WVU's punt team. Dave McMichael, who has been released, handled the offensive special teams (kickoff return, field goal and extra points), while Steve Dunlap handed the defensive special teams (kickoff coverage and against field goals, punts and extra points).
Maybe Stewart will get more involved there.
The coach, however, has always called himself the CEO of the program. Said a good boss delegates authority. Now, however, there is little to delegate.