Reaction to the Death of Bill Stewart
- By Michael Fragale
- May 21, 2012 04:40 PM
West Virginia University President Jim Clements
“Mountaineer nation is truly saddened today to learn of the untimely passing of Coach Bill Stewart. Our hearts go out to the Stewart family and Bill's many friends. He was a compassionate, energetic, and kind person. He loved his family dearly and was extremely community-oriented and very giving of his time. He will be greatly missed.”
West Virginia Director of Athletics Oliver Luck
“Coach Stewart was a rock-solid West Virginian and a true Mountaineer. His enthusiasm and passion for his state’s flagship University was infectious. We join all Mountaineers in mourning his passing.”
West Virginia University Football coach Dana Holgorsen
"Like all of us in the West Virginia community, I am shocked and saddened by the passing of Coach Stewart. The State of West Virginia, our University and our football program has lost a true Mountaineer who gave his native state university a decade of coaching service and a lifetime of guidance and inspiration to thousands of young men over a 33-year career. Though Coach Stewart achieved many great milestones on the field, we will most remember his kindness and compassion. Our football family expresses our deepest sympathy to Karen, Blaine and the extended Stewart family."
West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin
"Coach Stewart brought a new found pride to the Mountaineer faithful as he led the football team in both competition and character. Joanne and I are deeply saddened by the sudden loss of Coach Stewart and offer our sympathies to his family. Together, we ask that Mountaineers everywhere keep the Stewart family in your thoughts and prayers during this sad time."
Former West Virginia football coach Don Nehlen
“I’m very saddened. I hired Bill in my last year when I was close to retiring. Bill was such a great Mountaineer and a great addition to our staff. It was a terrific hire -- he did a great job not only for me, but for Rich and as a head coach. Bill was such a great husband and a great father. Bill Stewart was a great Mountaineer. My heart goes out to Karen and Blaine.”
Cheryl Jones, RN, director of WVU Children’s Hospital and a friend of the Stewart family
“Coach Stewart meant the world to all of us at WVU Children’s Hospital. He was selfless of his time and always had the children’s best interest at heart. He brought himself and the players to visit the kids and families because he wanted to not for show or because he had to. Coach Stewart visited us on scheduled times but also came whenever a child or family requested his presence. He always acted like he knew everyone he came in contact with personally and made every child and adult feel like they were the most special person in the world. He brought the players over before every home game and always stayed longer than expected. He was a great friend to Children’s Hospital and was truly an ambassador between WVU Athletics and WVU Children’s Hospital.
His strong character, values and kind manner lifted one’s spirit. He will be missed by all who knew him and his friends in Children’s Hospital. My prayers are with Karen and Blaine during this very difficult time.”
Running Back Steve Slaton
"A true gentleman, friend, man, coach, teacher, husband, etc., is how I view Coach Bill Stewart. I'm at a loss for words to express how much respect I have for this man, every conversation that I have had the
chance to be involved with him he made me feel as an equal. I am honored to have had him as a friend and coach. I know every player that has had the opportunity to be around him would say the same. Mountaineer Nation has lost one of it's biggest fans. My prayers are with the entire Stewart family."
Athletic Director Emeritus Ed Pastilong
“Billy was a wonderful family man and my sympathies go out to the entire Stewart family. He loved his wife Karen and son Blaine, he loved God and he was a tremendous human being devoted to the profession of coaching and teaching. He was a true West Virginian and led WVU to a great Fiesta Bowl victory over Oklahoma, which is still the most significant win in school history. He won 28 games in three years, and recruited some excellent student-athletes, and I will never forget how he loved the Ohio Valley and his New Martinsville heritage.”
Note: Additional statements will be added as we receive them.