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The Evolution of Bill Stewart

He may not soon be appointed to be White House Press Secretary, but the evolution of Bill Stewart's public persona has been noticeable just a week into fall camp.

A great deal of the criticism of HCBS last year came not from his coaching (though, there's obviously criticism for that, too), but from his dealings with the media and television cameras. There were press conferences that required sunglasses because they were so sunny, there were press conferences that baffled the mind (Lubricate Me!), and then there were press conferences that seemed to be more like a friendly get-together than, you know, a press conference. Either way, Coach Stewart was pictured as "too nice," someone that wasn't about to say anything negative. Remember the nickname "Smilin' Bill from New Martinsville?"

While he may have only been saying those things, people translated that personality to his coaching. We were soft because HCBS was soft. And when you're only winning nine games, that's not a good perception to foster.

But, this year is different.

Let's be clear: Coach Stewart will always see the glass as half-full. Hell, he may see it as 3/4 full. But this year, his interactions with the press have seen more honest and reflective.

He's not simply gushing to gush. He's telling us how it is. If he's pleased with something, he'll tell us he's pleased. If he's disappointed or mad, we actually get to hear those words come out of his mouth. If you want proof, check out his press conference from this past Sunday (far right column).

HCBS will always focus on the positive -- that's just who he is. He won't degrade, demean, or lambast. That will be left to some other coaches in this country (I won't mention any names, *cough* Rodriguez *cough*). But this year, he's started to handle the media better, and that is definitely a step in the right direction.

Now if he could only get his damn headset to work.