There are still a few things that West Virginia University head football coach Bill Stewart still must learn about new offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen.
"I'm going to find out how good of a golfer he is in May,'' smiled Stewart, referring to next month's fund-raising events around the Mountain State.
Stewart along with men's basketball coach Bob Huggins, women's basketball coach Mike Carey, athletic director Oliver Luck, student-athletes and school officials gathered at the Charleston Marriott for the annual Mountaineer Athletic Club Scholarship Dinner. The event raises money for the 500 athletes who participate in the school's 17 varsity sports.
This will be Stewart's final season as the WVU head coach. Holgorsen was hired in December as the offensive coordinator for the 2011 season and will be promoted to head coach the following year. Stewart is expected to transition to a another university post.
The Mountaineers coaching staff, especially on the offensive side of the ball where no one remains from last year, has undergone a major overhaul.
"Guys are working hard,'' said Stewart of the staff. "You go through spring and you get to know each other and how guys work. It's jelling very, very well. They're good coaches and they know the game. They coach with a lot of enthusiasm and a lot of that rubs off on the players. That's what I like.''
Stewart said he is looking forward to the 2011 season, in which the Mountaineers must replace eight starters on defense and adjust to Holgorsen's new offensive schemes.
"It's exciting and it's going to be a lot of fun,'' he said. "I think we have a chance to be a pretty good football team. I really do. I don't know right now, but the proof will be in the pudding once we get through spring ball.
"See how hard they work in the summer because that's when you really bond as a team. Everyone's away from campus and the football team's there lifting and they're running that law school hill. That's when you find out about your chemistry. That's the biggest thing we have to do. Our senior and junior leaders have to bring these young guys along and make sure that chemistry is going to be there.''
The new offense has everyone abuzz, even Stewart.
"The thing I really get excited about is how our young men are taking to the actual knowledge of it,'' he said. "The ins and outs of it. They're learning every day. They're getting better what we did from Day 1, Day 2, Day 3 as they should.
"It's been really neat to see the tempo. It's a little bit faster. We're getting the ball to a lot of people in great spots. We're hitting deep balls, we're hitting crossing routes and swing passes out of the backfield.''
There are only five spring practices left before the Gold-Blue Game on April 29, which marks the end of spring drills.
WVU plans to honor Garrett Ford, a former player and longtime athletic department official, at the Gold-Blue game. Former Mountaineer coaches Bobby Bowden, Jim Carlen, Frank Cignetti and Don Nehlen are scheduled to attend the festivities.
"How many victories is that?'' said Stewart "Two Hall of Fame coaches. I'll just be like one of the worshipers trying to get an autograph or two.''
There was no news on the Noah Cottrill front Monday from Huggins.
Cottrill, an incoming freshman guard who led Logan to the Class AAA state championship and was the state player of the year after the 2009-10 season, was suspended indefinitely last October for "conduct unbecoming of a Mountaineer.''
There have been rumors swirling since the spring about Cottrill's possible return.