MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - Not long ago, July 1 was contractually designed to be the first day of the rest of Ed Pastilong's life.
The day before was to be his last as West Virginia University's athletic director after 21 years in charge. The following would be his first as the athletic director emeritus, the beginning of a two-year road to retirement.
And as recently as a week ago, it looked as if it would be that way. WVU President Jim Clements was making very strong and very public indications he'd hire Pastilong's replacement in time and all parties would honor the plan put in place by Clements' predecessor, Michael Garrison.
Then last Thursday, and only a day after interviewing for the job, Oliver Luck was hired, though with one condition. Luck would take six months easing into his job while helping along a stadium project with the Houston Dynamo franchise he serves as president and general manager.
That means July 1, while still technically the first day of the emeritus era, is still just another Thursday for Pastilong.
"For me, when I park my car and walk in, what I want to do is be where Oliver wants me to be," Pastilong said. "I want to see what Oliver and the president see when he comes in and I want to see what they want me to do in terms of transition, maintaining, etc. I do not want to get in anyone's way. You can't have two guys walking down the hallway at once. From that moment, he's the director and Ed is emeritus."
That's the change. For the purposes of titles and letterhead, there will be a new name atop the athletic department for the first time since Pastilong succeeded the late Fred Schaus in 1989.
Pastilong will also receive a $100,000 bonus for finishing his athletic director contract as well as a $50,000 raise to $225,000 for the next two years.
The new chain of command will get a workout with immediate and imminent issues and WVU will require a day-to-day presence even while Luck, who will make $390,000, is in Houston.
Enter emeritus Pastilong. Conference membership and expansion are the primary preoccupations requiring constant attention and projection.
"These situations that unfold over a long period of time, once the first move is made, then things progress very rapidly," Pastilong said. "Once the first school commits, there's be a major shift and it'll be over quickly."