EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSSTEWART REMEMBERED
from Eyewitness News Online
WVU Coach Laid To Rest In New Martinsville
Reported by: Mark Martin
Videographer: Matt Durrett
Web Producer: Mark Martin
Also Contributing: Leslie Rubin
Reported: May. 26, 2012 12:26 AM EDT
Updated: May. 26, 2012 10:00 AM EDT
New Martinsville , West Virginia
Bill Stewart relished being from New Martinsville and a (Ohio) Valley boy.
Stewart, who guided WVU football during the seasons of 2008, 2009 and 2010, was laid to rest in his hometown on Friday.
The Mountain State continues to be in a state of shock concerning Stewart's sudden passing. He died of a heart attack on Monday while golfing at Stonewall Resort. Stewart was 59.
As WVU's head coach, he guided the Mountaineers to 28 victories in three seasons.
He was a 1970 graduate of Magnolia High School and spent one season with the WVU football program under the guidance of Bobby Bowden.
Stewart chose to transfer after one season and play at Fairmont State, where he enjoyed an outstanding career as an offensive lineman.
Following his playing days, he coached at old Sistersville High School before landing his first college coaching job at Salem.
He left West Virginia to be a graduate assistant at North Carolina and then returned the following year as an assistant at Marshall.
From there, Stewart coached at William & Mary, Navy, North Carolina, Arizona State and Air Force. He landed his first head coaching position in 1994 at VMI and led the Keydet program for three seasons.
Stewart then spent two years in the Canadian Football League before coming back to the Mountain State in 2000 as an assistant to legendary coach Don Nehlen. The following season he joined Rich Rodriguez's staff as an assistant.
Stewart was under Rodriguez for seven seasons. When Michigan lured Rodriguez away, Stewart was named interim head coach and led the Mountaineers to a monumental victory over Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl. A few hours later, he was hired as the school's 32nd head coach.
The visitation and funeral for Stewart were in Morgantown. His burial was in New Martinsville.
A community celebration of his life took place before the burial at Alumni Field - the home of the Magnolia Blue Eagles. It's the place where Stewart's love for football was launched.
Stewart is survived by his wife, Karen (who he proposed to on the 50-yard line at Alumni Field); one son, Blaine and a brother, Ted.
He is also survived by several other relatives and an abundance of coaches, players and friends whose lives he touched throughout the course of his professional career.
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