Any sports fan can look back and think of the “glory days” of his or her favorite team.

Steelers fans may look back to the 1970s and the “Steel Curtain” defense, along with Hall-of-Fame quarterback Terry Bradshaw, which won four Super Bowls in six years. Younger fans may look to the mid-2000s when Ben Roethlisberger and another dominant Pittsburgh defense helped win two more titles.

Penguins fans could point to the early 1990s, when Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr won two Stanley Cups. Others would pick the Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin era that has seen three championships in the last eight years.

Older Pirates fans can look to the days of Bill Mazeroski, Roberto Clemente and Willie Stargell, which brought three World Series titles to Pittsburgh from 1960-’79. Younger Pirates fans ... can also look back to those days because there isn’t a whole lot of glory since then.

For me, though, it was the mid-2000s run by the WVU football team that saw three-straight 11 win seasons, something that the program had never seen in its prior 115 years.

Led by quarterback Pat White and running back Steve Slaton, those three years were magical despite not winning a national championship.

Which brings me to the unfortunate circumstances that happened Tuesday night, when former WVU coach Rich Rodriguez was fired from Arizona for alleged sexual misconduct and that the university was “concerned with the direction and climate of the football program.”

After it was announced Rodriguez was fired, he released a statement of his own, admitting to having an affair with someone not affiliated with the university and trying to repair the relationship with his wife and children.

However, Rodriguez denied alleged workplace misconduct that involved a former administrative assistant. Rodriguez said the there was a $7.5 million lawsuit threatened, but after going through an investigation, the university “determined there was no truth to her accusations and found me innocent of any wrongdoing.”

Still, Rodriguez was let go, and the futures of several other former WVU players and coaches are in jeopardy. Garin Justice, who was a tackle on the Sugar Bowl championship team in 2005, was recently hired as the offensive line coach from Florida Atlantic. Jahmile Addae, a safety on that team, is the safeties coach for the Wildcats.

Former coaches Calvin Magee and Rod Smith are also on the staff. Billy Kirelawich, a University High graduate, is the director of football operations.

While Rodriguez fell from grace with WVU fans following the Pitt debacle in 2007 and subsequent departure to Michigan, he still helped bring many positive and fun memories for WVU fans and the program.

Like him or not, he helped the Mountaineers become nationally relevant and is still part of the reason so many fans now demand more than seven-win seasons.

Those are a few reasons why the latest news is disappointing. Rodriguez will struggle to find another job, at least in the near future. The man who helped invent the read-option and bring modern offenses to life may be out of the game forever because of — alleged — bad and inappropriate decisions.

Follow Sean Manning on Twitter @SeanManning_DP. Email: smanning@dominionpost.com.