Although neither Holgorsen nor Stewart had been a major college head coach when promoted, Holgorsen has his own offensive philosophy, as did Rodriguez when he came to WVU similarly from a coordinator's job at Clemson. Both are hands-on play-callers in somewhat unique systems.
Stewart's first error - and a very large one - was in hiring an offensive coordinator who hadn't even called plays with any regularity, bringing in Jeff Mullen from the quarterback coaching job at Wake Forest ... and then Mullen set out immediately to change WVU's offense to more pass-oriented concepts, even though run-first star quarterback Pat White was entering his senior season.
WVU started 1-2 in 2008 under Stewart and the rest, as they say, is history.
Last December, after Luck had decided the Mountaineers "weren't getting the results" and the season ticket-record base had begun to erode, the AD told Stewart to tell Mullen and offensive line coach Dave Johnson that they were being fired.
Stewart didn't tell them. Wouldn't. Insubordination? Johnson was a Mountaineer center when Luck was the quarterback. "I put my hands on Dave's butt every day for three years, in seems like," Luck said recently. The AD himself eventually had to tell a confused and inquiring Johnson the bad news.
Maybe Luck should have had a pretty good inkling back then how this "shared responsibilities" deal was going to go with Stewart as a lame duck. The distaste had become far more than the "distraction" to which Luck referred in announcing Stewart's departure on Friday night.
An ugly bowl loss to North Carolina State was Stewart's last game - and perhaps also should have foretold why a move needed to be made sooner than later.
What happened Friday was best for all - WVU, Holgorsen, Luck, Stewart.
On the January 2008 morning he was promoted from interim status following a Fiesta Bowl romp over Oklahoma, Stewart said if it ever reached the point where things weren't right in the program, he would step down.
Well they weren't, and he did, albeit with a twist of the arm and a nice financial settlement of at least $1.5 million.
In the 51/2 years left in his six-year contract, Holgorsen is due about $11.9 million. WVU has to hope he stays for that - and doesn't get booted from anywhere except maybe the sideline after arguing about a bad call by Big East officiating - because the program needs some real stability now.
As for Stewart, don't be surprised if after this season he is a college assistant coach somewhere. The guy is a lifer, and he knows the game. If he didn't, he wouldn't have been able to stay on the sidelines for more than three decades in some quality programs, including more than a decade at WVU.
Stewart is the 23rd major college coach to be out of a job for the 2011 season (a number that has reached an incredible 68 over three years). His ouster at WVU has similar roots to so many coaching moves in recent years.
Luck was a new AD, and Stewart wasn't his "guy." The bottom line is that Stewart learned painfully what so many coaches have. The program wasn't his; it's the school's.
If Holgorsen doesn't quite yet understand that he's in charge of a state's obsession, he soon will.
Contact Sports Editor Jack Bogaczyk at ja...@dailymail.com or 304-348-7949.