No team is complete without a great leader.
Luckily for West Virginia football, they’ve had plenty. It’s time to close out the All-Mountaineer Team selection by deciding which head coach is the best in program history.
Like always, stop below today’s poll for a quick refresher on the tenure of each Mountaineer head coach.
Bobby Bowden (1970-1975): Before his historic tenure at Florida State, Bowden called the plays at West Virginia for six seasons and led the Mountaineers to a 42-26 record in that span. He is the first head coach to lead the Mountaineers to multiple bowl games, making the Peach Bowl in 1972 and 1975, getting the victory in their second appearance.
Frank Cignetti (1976-1979): After Bowden’s departure for Tallahassee, Cignetti headed the Mountaineers for four seasons — reaching as high as 17 in the AP poll in 1977.
Don Nehlen (1980-2000): The most tenured coach in Mountaineer history, Nehlen brought 149 victories home to Mountaineer nation, winning 61.4-percent of his games. He led the Mountaineers to two undefeated seasons in 1988 and 1993, as well as a national championship bid with the 1988 squad. While the first 11 years of his WVU tenure were spent as an independent program, the Mountaineers joined the Big East and took home a conference title in just their third year. He closed out his time in Morgantown with an historic win in the 2000 Music City Bowl, when his team upset Ole Miss, 49-38.
Rich Rodriguez (2001-2007): Without a doubt the most polarizing coach in program history, Rodriguez put out some of the most exciting squads to ever play in Morgantown. After winning just 3 games in his first season with West Virginia, Rodriguez went on to finish with winning records over the next six seasons, bringing home four Big East titles and two bowl wins. He controversially departed the program after his 2007 squad was eliminated from national title contention.
Bill Stewart (2008-2010): Although his time at West Virginia was short, Bill Stewart left a strong imprint on the memory of Mountaineer fans everywhere. His time at the helm began in chaos after Rich Rodriguez’s departure, as he was forced to turn what seemed like a disappointing season into one for the ages — which he did, when he led WVU to a blowout victory in the 2008 Fiesta Bowl. He put together three more winning seasons at West Virginia and another bowl win the next year before his time in Morgantown came to an end.
This is the final poll for the All-Mountaineer Team. Be sure to stop back tomorrow to see the full results of the poll.