The Times West Virginian

Bob Herzel

November 18, 2009

HERTZEL COLUMN: Pitt’s faith in head coach paying off

MORGANTOWN — Let us, for a moment, take a step back away from the West Virginia University football program, give the latest loss a chance to seep in. Let us take a few deep breaths, maybe even count slowly to 10.

We understand the dissatisfaction, for we were spoiled by the success, no matter how it was achieved, from the Rich Rodriguez era and, to be honest, with the inevitable departure of the talent he brought in, talent we now are watching play on Sundays, a decline in performance was inevitable, no matter who was hired.

Bill Stewart was the man, and at this moment, despite a 7-3 record, there are rumblings across the state of West Virginia that his hiring was a mistake, that it should be corrected at the conclusion of the current season.

Without taking sides in that discussion, we would instead like to simply offer an example where, in a similar situation, a school opted to stand behind its coach and things worked out grandly. We don’t have to take you far to see the outcome of that school’s patience with and faith in its coach.

It’s just 80 miles up I-79 North, where the University of Pittsburgh’s alumni and fans had a one-way ticket out of town for Dave Wannstedt, right up until he came to Morgantown and beat Rodriguez’s Mountaineers to ruin the dream of a national championship game in 2007.

Wannstedt, it will be recalled, took over a team that had gone 8-4 and played Utah in the Fiesta Bowl, an alumnus returning home to replace the unpopular Walt Harris. He came in with his own ideas, built out of years of coaching in the shadow of greatness, an assistant with Jimmy Johnson at the University of Miami and in Dallas with the Cowboys, an NFL coach with the Chicago Bears and Miami Dolphins.

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Bob Herzel
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    At first glance, it appears that they do not go hand-in-hand, a pair of rules changes the NCAA’s Legislative Council approved this week, sending them off for what seems to be smooth sailing toward becoming rules.

    April 18, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: WVU gymnast hopes to stick her final landing

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    April 17, 2014

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    April 16, 2014

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    April 15, 2014

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    From Dana Holgorsen’s viewpoint, which was standing right behind the offense, West Virginia’s Gold-Blue Spring Game on Saturday was a rousing success for it showed very little of what the Mountaineers will be in this coming season, probably not even showcasing the man who will direct the offense in the quarterback position.

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    April 13, 2014

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