Wheeling Cardinals

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Wheeling Cardinals
Logo
UniversityWheeling University
ConferenceMountain East Conference
NCAADivision II
Athletic directorRudy Yovich
LocationWheeling, West Virginia
Varsity teams16
Basketball arenaMcDonough Center
Baseball stadiumJ.B. Chambers Baseball/Softball Complex
Soccer stadiumBishop Schmitt Field
MascotIggy the Cardinal
NicknameCardinals
ColorsRed, Gold, and Black
         
Websiteathletics.wju.edu

The Wheeling Cardinals are the athletic teams that represent Wheeling University, located in Wheeling, West Virginia, in NCAA Division II intercollegiate sports. The Cardinals compete as members of the Mountain East Conference for all 21 varsity sports. Wheeling was an early member of the Mountain East following the 2013 demise of the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WVIAC), of which the university had been a member since 1957.

History[edit]

Wheeling University competes in NCAA Division II as part of the MEC. It had been a member of the WVIAC from 1957 to 2013. In June 2012, the nine football-playing schools in the WVIAC announced their intention to break away and form a new conference, which then became the MEC.[1] Although the university was initially left out of the split, it would soon receive an invitation to become a charter member of the new conference.

The university amassed 47 WVIAC titles during its tenure in that conference, and also boasts 40 Academic All-Americans.

Varsity teams[edit]

The Van Horne Grandstands, part of WU's outdoor athletic complex.

List of teams[edit]

Individual sports[edit]

Rugby[edit]

Rugby, formerly offered as a club sport from 1967 to 1994, was restarted after an 18-year hiatus in December 2011. The university restarted its rugby program in part because the increasing popularity of rugby in Jesuit high schools meant that offering college rugby would be one way to attract more students.[2] The rugby team is a full varsity men's sport and provides scholarships for athletes.[3] The team is coached by Eric Jerpe, who has previously held various leadership positions, including with the Pittsburgh Harlequins, as manager of the US U-17 national team, and as a member of the USA Rugby board of directors.[4]

Wheeling played its first rugby sevens tournament in September 2012, where Wheeling finished fourth in the MAC Sevens despite fielding a team composed entirely of freshmen.[5] Wheeling notched its first win in fifteens on September 8, 2012, when Wheeling defeated the West Virginia Mountaineers 10–6 at home in front of a large crowd at James Larosa Stadium.[6]

Wrestling[edit]

In January 2013, athletic director Danny Sancomb announced that Wheeling would be adding wrestling at the school's 20th intercollegiate sport.[7] Wheeling native and Cornell graduate, Sean Doyle was hired to build the program to compete in the fall of 2013.[8] All-American wrestler JD Ramsey was hired as a Graduate Assistant, while Matt Littleton and BJ Hedger were hired to serve as volunteer assistants in the first year. The first recruiting class of 29, includes wrestlers from 7 different states and the team will compete as an NCAA Division II program immediately.[9]

The university has designed a new wrestling facility, which will be ready for use in the fall of 2013. With athletic aid available, the program is positioned to become competitive in a short period of time.[10]

Volleyball[edit]

The lady Cardinals captured the school's very first NCAA Division II National Championship on Dec. 12, 2015. The teams record for the 2015 season was 39-4.

Football[edit]

In 2017 the athletic department announced that the University would be adding football with an exhibition schedule in 2018. Zac Bruney the Offensive Coordinator at Ohio Dominican University was named the program's first head coach on July 7th 2017.[11][12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Rine, Shawn (August 20, 2012). "Cards, Toppers Set To Jump Into New League". The Intelligencer & Wheeling News Register. Wheeling, WV. Retrieved August 21, 2012.
  2. ^ Rugby Mag, Wheeling Jesuit Hires Varsity Rugby Coach, Jan 6, 2012, http://www.rugbymag.com/college-news/3052-wheeling-jesuit-hires-varsity-rugby-coach.html
  3. ^ Pittsburgh Press, Eric Jerpe named Director of Rugby at Wheeling Jesuit University, http://www.pittsburgh-press.com/article.cfm?id=4201&sport=0&news=1
  4. ^ "Eric Jerpe named Director of Rugby at Wheeling Jesuit University". Wheeling Jesuit University. Retrieved March 26, 2012.
  5. ^ Rugby Mag, First Run-Out for Wheeling Jesuit, Sep 1, 2012, http://www.rugbymag.com/men's-di-college/5675-first-run-out-for-wheeling-jesuit.html
  6. ^ Rugby Mag, Wheeling Wins Varsity Opener in Dramatic Fashion, Sep 8, 2012, http://www.rugbymag.com/men's-di-college/5712-wheeling-wins-varsity-opener-dramatic-fashion.html
  7. ^ http://athletics.wju.edu/news/2012/12/21/Wrestling_1221123637.aspx
  8. ^ http://athletics.wju.edu/news/2012/12/21/Wrestling_1221123402.aspx
  9. ^ http://athletics.wju.edu/news/2013/8/12/GEN_0812135753.aspx
  10. ^ http://athletics.wju.edu/news/2013/7/26/Wrestling_0726133103.aspx
  11. ^ "Wheeling Jesuit University to Launch Football Program". Wheeling Jesuit University. Retrieved 2018-02-16.
  12. ^ "WJU Tackles Coaching Selection – Names Martins Ferry Native Zac Bruney Football Coach". Wheeling Jesuit University. Retrieved 2018-02-16.

External links[edit]