West Virginia Mountaineers

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West Virginia Mountaineers
Logo
University West Virginia University
Conference Big 12
MAC
Great America Rifle Conference
NCAA Division I
Athletic director Oliver Luck
Location Morgantown, WV
Varsity teams 17
Football stadium Milan Puskar Stadium Mountaineer Field
Basketball arena WVU Coliseum
Baseball stadium Hawley Field
Mascot The Mountaineer
Nickname Mountaineers
Fight song Hail, West Virginia (official)
Take Me Home, Country Roads (unofficial)
Colors
     Old Gold       Blue[1]
Website www.wvusports.com

The West Virginia Mountaineers are the athletic teams of West Virginia University. The school is a member of National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I. The Mountaineers have been a member of the Big 12 Conference since 2012.[2] At that time, the Mountaineers joined the Mid-American Conference as an affiliate member for men's soccer.[3] The two major sports at the university are football (played at the Mountaineer Field) and basketball (played at the WVU Coliseum), although many of the other sports have large followings as well. The West Virginia University athletic program also has the honor of being the only school in the nation in 2007 to win a BCS game, a NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament game, and a NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament game.[4]

Football[edit]

Football is the most popular sport at WVU. The West Virginia Mountaineers football team represents West Virginia University in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) of college football. West Virginia plays its home games on Mountaineer Field at Milan Puskar Stadium on the campus of West Virginia University in Morgantown, West Virginia. The Mountaineers compete in the Big 12 Conference.

With a 712–471–45 record as of the conclusion of the 2013 season, WVU ranks 14th in victories among NCAA FBS programs, as well as the most victories among those programs that never claimed nor won a National Championship. WVU received Division I classification in 1973, becoming a Division I-A program from 1978–2006 and an FBS program from 2006 to the present.[5] The Mountaineers have registered 80 winning seasons in their history, including one unbeaten season (10–0–1 in 1922) and five 11-win seasons (1988, 1993, 2005, 2006, 2007).[6] The Mountaineers have won a total of 15 conference championships, including eight Southern Conference titles and seven Big East Conference titles.

Stadium: Mountaineer Field
Head coach: Dana Holgorsen
Conference: Big 12
All-time record: 701–456–45 (.583)
Bowl record: 14-17
Conference titles: 15 (8 Southern Conference, 7 Big East Conference)
Consensus All-Americans: 11
BCS Bowl Game Record: (3-0)
Highest Coaches Poll ranking: #1 (2007)
Highest AP Poll ranking: #2 (2007)
Highest final top 25 ranking: #5 (1988 & 2005)

Baseball[edit]

Playing Facility: Hawley Field (1,500)
Head Coach: Randy Mazey
Most Victories: 40 (1994)
NCAA Tournament Appearances: 11
Last NCAA Appearance: 1996
All-Americans: 20
Players In The Majors: 20

Men's basketball[edit]

Playing Facility: WVU Coliseum (14,000)
Head Coach: Bob Huggins
Most Victories: 31 in 2010
Big East Conference Champion: 2010
NCAA Tournament Appearances: 24
Last NCAA Appearance: 2011
NCAA Final Four: 1959, 2010
NIT Appearances: 15
Last NIT Appearance: 2007
NIT Championships: 2 (1942, 2007)
All-Americans: 13
Drafted Players: 28
Players In The NBA: 12

Women's basketball[edit]

Playing Facility: WVU Coliseum (14,000)
Head Coach: Mike Carey
Most Victories: 29 in 2010
NCAA Tournament Appearances: 9
WNIT Appearances: 2
Last NCAA Appearance: 2013
All-Americans: 3
Drafted Players: 2
Players In The WNBA: 1

Cross country[edit]

Head Coach: Sean Cleary
BIG EAST Conference Champions: 2007
NCAA Regional Champions: 2004,2008
NCAA Appearances: 8
NCAA Top 10 finishes: 4: 2007,2008,2009,2011
Highest NCAA Finish: 4th
Last NCAA Appearance: 2013
All-Americans: 13

Gymnastics[edit]

Competition Facility: WVU Coliseum (14,000)
Head Coach: Jason Butts
Most Victories: 26 in 1992
NCAA Tournament Appearances: 3
AIAW Appearances: 1
Last NCAA Appearance: 2000
All-Americans: 4

Rifle[edit]

For rifle, a sport in which fewer than 40 NCAA member schools participate, the Mountaineers are a member of the single-sport Great America Rifle Conference and have won the most NCAA Rifle Championships of any school at 16.[citation needed]

Playing Facility: WVU Shell Building
Head Coach: Jon Hammond
Most Victories: 19 in 1964
NCAA Appearances: 25
NCAA Team Championships: 16
National Individual Champions: 20
NCAA All-Americans: 65
Olympians: 13
Awards: CaptainU College Coach of the Year

Women's Rowing[edit]

Playing Facility: WVU Boathouse
Head Coach: Jimmy King

Men's Soccer[edit]

Playing Facility: Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium (1,600)
Head Coach: Marlon LeBlanc
Most Victories: 15 in 2006
NCAA Tournament Appearances: 11
Last NCAA Appearance: 2010
All-Americans: 5
Mountaineer Professionals: 12

Women's Soccer[edit]

Playing Facility: Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium (1,600)
Head Coach: Nikki Izzo-Brown
Most Victories: 18 in 2002, 2007, 2010
BIG EAST Conference Champions: 2007, 2010, 2011
BIG 12 Conference Champions: 2012, 2013, 2014
NCAA Tournament Appearances: 15
Last NCAA Appearance: 2014
All-Americans: 3
Academic All-American: 4
Mountaineer Professionals: 2

Men's Swimming[edit]

Playing Facility: WVU Natatorium (500)
Head Coach: Vic Riggs
Most Victories: 13 in 2007
Big East Conference Champions: 2007
NCAA Qualifiers: 19
NCAA All-Americans: 2
Olympians: 1

Women's Swimming[edit]

Playing Facility: WVU Natatorium (500)
Head Coach: Vic Riggs
Most Victories: 9 in 1990
NCAA Qualifiers: 14
NCAA All-Americans: 4
Olympians: 1

Women's Tennis[edit]

Playing Facility: Mountaineer Tennis Courts
Head Coach: Miha Lisac
Most Victories: 21 in 1990

Women's Track[edit]

Playing Facility: Mountaineer Track, Shell Indoor Track
Head Coach: Sean Cleary
Assistants: Shellyann Galimore Erin Oreilly
Olympians: 4
NCAA National Champions: 3
NCAA All-Americans: 31

Women's Volleyball[edit]

Playing Facility: WVU Coliseum (14,000)
Head Coach: Jill Kramer
Most Victories: 35 in 1979
NCAA Tournament Appearances: 0
Last NCAA Appearance: NA
NIT Appearances: 1
All-Americans: 0
All-East: 2

Wrestling[edit]

Founded: 1921
Dual Meets and Tournament Facility: WVU Coliseum (14,000)
Head Coach: Craig Turnbull
Most Victories: 14 in 1976 and 1990
NCAA Individual Appearances: 67
Best NCAA Finish: 6th in 1991
All-Americans: 16
National Champions: 3
EWL Champions: 18
  • Prior to joining the Big 12, West Virginia wrestled as a member of the Eastern Wrestling League as the Big East was a non-wrestling conference.

NCAA Division I: NACDA Learfield Director's Cup[edit]

See footnote[7] and NACDA Directors' Cup
WVU Directors' Cup Standings
Seasons National Rank Conference Rank
1993–94 67th 6th
1994–95 92nd 10th
1995–96 63rd 6th
1996–97 72nd 11th
1997–98 41st 2nd
1998–99 60th 6th
1999–00 77th 10th
Seasons National Rank Conference Rank
2000–01 70th 7th
2001–02 76th 9th
2002–03 84th 11th
2003–04 71st 8th
2004–05 59th 3rd
2005–06 52nd 2nd
2006–07 57th 4th
Seasons National Rank Conference Rank
2007–08 30th 2nd
2008–09 50th 3rd
2009–10 37th 2nd
2010–11 40th 3rd
2011–12 45th 3rd

Notable non-varsity sports[edit]

Rugby[edit]

The West Virginia Rugby Football Club was established in 1974, and is the oldest established club sport at WVU.[8] In the fall of 2013, WVU won the Keystone Conference and qualified for the American Collegiate Rugby Championship, where they lost to Kutztown in the quarterfinals. In the spring of 2014, WVU reached the D1-AA national playoffs, where they defeated Princeton 41–24, but lost in the quarterfinals 34–14 to San Diego.[9] The Mountaineers play their home games at the Mylan Park Athletic Field Complex. The Mountaineers have been led by Head Coach Glover since spring of 2013.[10]

Pageantry[edit]

Mascot[edit]

West Virginia Mountaineer

The Mountaineer was adopted in 1890 as the official school mascot and unofficially began appearing at sporting events in 1936.[11] A new Mountaineer is selected each year during the final two men's home basketball games, with the formal title "The Mountaineer of West Virginia University." The new Mountaineer receives a scholarship, a tailor-made buckskin suit with coonskin hat, and a period rifle and powder horn for discharging when appropriate and safe. The mascot travels with most sports teams throughout the academic year. While not required, male mascots traditionally grow a beard. Jonathan Kimble, a Franklin, WV native (pictured) is the new 2012-2013 WVU Mountaineer, Kimble officially took over as the official mascot at the annual spring football game.

Logos[edit]

Designed by sports artist John Martin, The "Flying WV" is the most widely used logo in West Virginia athletics. It debuted in 1980 as a part of a football uniform redesign by Coach Don Nehlen, and was adopted as the official logo for the University in 1983.[12][13] While the "Flying WV" represents all university entities, unique logos are occasionally used for individual departments. Some examples include the script West Virginia logo for the WVU Department of Intercollegiate Athletics, and the interlocking WV logo used in baseball.[14]

Songs[edit]

The official fight songs of West Virginia University are "Fight Mountaineers" and "Hail, West Virginia." "Hail, West Virginia." was composed by WVU alumni Earl Miller and Ed McWhorther in 1915 with lyrics by Fred B. Deem. The "Pride of West Virginia" Mountaineer Marching Band performs the second verse of "Hail, West Virginia" as part of its pregame performance at Mountaineer football games. The band's pregame arrangement of "Hail, West Virginia" was arranged by WVU's 7th band director - Dr. Budd Udell. The line "Others may be black or crimson, but for us it's Gold and Blue." is in reference to Washington & Jefferson College, an early rival.

In addition to the official fight songs of West Virginia university, the fan response to John Denver's "Country Roads" (arrangement by Dr. James Miltenberger) has made it the unofficial song of the university and the state of West Virginia.

The West Virginia University Alma Mater was composed in 1937, and is sung before every home football game.

Colors[edit]

The upperclassmen of 1890 selected the official colors of "old gold and blue" from the West Virginia state seal.[11] While the official school colors are old gold and blue, a brighter gold is used in official university logos and merchandise. This change in color scheme is often cited for the lack of a universal standard for colors during 19th century when the university's colors were selected. Additionally, the brighter gold is argued to create a more intimidating environment for sporting events. The university accepts "gold and blue" for the color scheme, but states clearly that the colors are not "blue and gold", to distinguish West Virginia from its rival school the University of Pittsburgh.

Marching band[edit]

The West Virginia University Mountaineer Marching Band is nicknamed "The Pride of West Virginia". The 390-member band performs at every home football game and makes several local and national appearances throughout the year. The band was the recipient of the prestigious Sudler Trophy in 1997.

Sports traditions[edit]

Firing of the Rifle[edit]

The Mountaineer mascot carries a period rifle and powder horn for firing a shot to signal the opening of several athletic events. The Mountaineer points the gun into the air with one arm and fires a blank shot, a signal to the crowd to begin cheering at home football and basketball games. The Mountaineer also fires the rifle every time the team scores during football games.

Formation of the state

Formation of the State[edit]

The Pride of West Virginia forms the outline of the state of West Virginia during the pregame show of all home Mountaineer football games. The outline of the state moves down the field during the playing of "Hail West Virginia", and the shape inverts to face the student side of the stadium when the crowd begins the "Let's Go...Mountaineers" chant.

Cheers[edit]

The "Let's Go...Mountaineers" cheer originated at home football games as a competition between opposite sides of the stadium.[11] The student side of the stadium chants "Let's Go...", and the pressbox side responds "Mountaineers". The chant can continue for long periods of time, as each side of the stadium tries to keep the chant from fading. The cheer has spread to other athletic events including basketball and soccer.

Carpet roll at a basketball game

The "WVU First Down" cheer is used when fans are expecting a first down call during a football game. Prior to the announcement, fans put their arms in the air and yell while waiting for the call. After the announcement, the fans lower and raise their arms three times while simultaneously yelling the initials "WVU". Then, the fans clap and signal to the end zone while cheering "first down!"

Carpet roll[edit]

In 1955, Fred Schaus and Alex Mumford devised the idea of rolling out an elaborate gold and blue carpet for Mountaineer basketball players to use when taking the court for pre-game warm-ups. In addition, Mountaineer players warmed up with a special gold and blue basketball. The University continued this tradition until the late 1960s when it died out, but former Mountaineer player Gale Catlett reintroduced the carpet when he returned to West Virginia University in 1978 as head coach of the men's basketball team.

Fanbase[edit]

The WVU student section perform the first down cheer at a home football game.

In a state that lacks professional sports franchises, the citizens of West Virginia passionately support West Virginia University and its athletics teams.[15] West Virginia fans are nationally known for following their Mountaineers to bowl games and games throughout the country. West Virginia games also have received high TV ratings throughout the years. Men's basketball head coach Bob Huggins, a former Mountaineer basketball player who was born in Morgantown, stated that the "strong bond between the university and the people of West Virginia" is a relationship that is difficult for non-natives to understand.[15] Former basketball player Da'Sean Butler cited the fan support as a factor in his decision to play for WVU, saying "everybody loves our school to death" in reference to the fan base in West Virginia.[16]

West Virginia fans have also been recognized for their hospitality. In the first football game played by the University of Connecticut following the death of Jasper Howard, a banner displayed at Mountaineer Field in the Connecticut entrance tunnel read "Today we are all Huskies". Connecticut fans described the warmth of the environment as impressive, citing the number of WVU fans who offered condolences.[17] In a letter to WVU, then UConn head football coach Randy Edsall wrote:

"The response that you gave our team before and after the game was tremendous and greatly appreciated. The pregame moment of silence and team handshake was the most moving experience I have ever had in my 29 years of coaching football."[18]

Student Section[edit]

Some WVU fans, primarily in the student sections, have developed a reputation for unruly behavior, being compared to "soccer hooligans" by GQ magazine.[19][20] At some events, there have been cases of objects thrown onto the field or at opposing teams.[21][22] There were previously also issues with small-scale fires, most notably of couches, being set after games; over 1,100 intentionally ignited street fires were reported from 1997 to 2003.[19] The tradition of igniting furniture continues to this day, including the celebration after the WVU basketball team won the Big East title. Fires have sometimes occurred in response to non-sporting events, such as following the announcement that Osama bin Laden had been killed.

Notable Athletes[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "WVU Communications Guide" (PDF). West Virginia University. 2009. p. 10. 
  2. ^ "Big 12 adding WVU, will stay 10 strong". ESPN.com. 
  3. ^ Carvelli, Michael (2012-04-03). "West Virginia men's soccer team to join the Mid-American Conference next season". The Daily Athenaeum. Retrieved 2012-04-09. 
  4. ^ Blue&Gold News
  5. ^ DeLassus, David. "West Virginia Historical Data". College Football Data Warehouse. Retrieved September 13, 2014. 
  6. ^ DeVault, Mark. "WVU Season-by-Season". WVU Stats (West Virginia University Department of Intercollegiate Athletics). Retrieved September 13, 2014. 
  7. ^ "NACDA official website". Retrieved 2010-11-28.  See also: National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA).
  8. ^ WVU Men's Rugby. Retrieved October 9, 2014.
  9. ^ 2013-14 Men's DI-AA College National Championship. Retrieved October 9, 2014.
  10. ^ "WVU National Playoff Bracket Set!", WVU Men's Rugby, April 17, 2014.
  11. ^ a b c "Living Here: WVU Traditions". West Virginia University. Retrieved August 6, 2010. 
  12. ^ Stump, Jake. "The Legend of the Flying WV". West Virginia University Alumni Magazine. West Virginia University Alumni Association. Retrieved 4 January 2013. 
  13. ^ Forinash, Danny (2005-08-04). "A Mark to Remember: Flying WV". WTRF-TV. Retrieved 2008-11-21. 
  14. ^ "Branding and Communications at WVU". West Virginia University. Retrieved August 6, 2010. 
  15. ^ a b Vaccaro, Mike (April 3, 2010). "For WVU fans, it's all about Mountaineers". NY Post. Retrieved Aug 2, 2010. 
  16. ^ Dunlap, Colin (March 19, 2010). "Love affair with state drives West Virginia". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved Aug 2, 2010. 
  17. ^ "Howard honored with moment of silence". ESPN. Retrieved Aug 2, 2010. 
  18. ^ "UConn coach thanks WVU, fans for support". The Charleston Gazette. Retrieved Aug 2, 2010. 
  19. ^ a b Sports Fans"GQ Names the Top Ten Worst College". 
  20. ^ "Rowdy West Virginia student section under fire". 
  21. ^ Miami Coach suing West Virginia "Miami Coach suing West Virginia". 
  22. ^ "WVU Fans Like to Throw Things on the Court". 
  23. ^ "Greg Jones Wrestling". WVU Athletics. Retrieved 2014.