The West Virginia Athletic Department officials weren't even willing to wait to return to Morgantown, W.Va., for the announcement but made it Thursday in Arizona before the team returned to campus.
"He obtained this position the old fashioned way, he earned it," said West Virginia Athletic Director Ed Pastilong. "Billy led us to our biggest football victory in the school's history against Oklahoma and he, his coaching staff and his support staff are outstanding Mountaineers, leading us through a tough time."
Stewart, 55, was made interim coach after Rich Rodriguez left West Virginia to take over the football program at Michigan. He has been with West Virginia since 2000 and was associate head coach this past season. His previous head coaching experience was 1994-96 at Virginia Military Institute where he was 8-25.
West Virginia wrapped up an 11-2 season Wednesday with a 48-28 win over Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl. The Mountaineers won the 2007 Big East Conference title but probably cost themselves a BCS championship spot by losing 13-9 to Pittsburgh in their regular-season finale.