A Championship Program
West Virginia has gone to five consecutive New Year’s Bowls for the first time ever; only Southern Cal has done the same. Winning four of the past five BIG EAST titles, Mountaineer football has spent 41 consecutive weeks in the Top 25. Three consecutive Top 10 finishes are a WVU record, as are the Mountaineers’ three- (41-8) and four-year (49-14) records and six consecutive bowl bids.
That tradition dates all the way back to 1922 and a victory in the East-West Bowl in San Diego. WVU has 26 all-time bowl appearances, eight in the last decade, and Mountaineer fans faithfully follow their team anywhere in America, selling out bowl after bowl. That support and national prestige give the Mountaineers an edge on the field.
West Virginia football has a national presence. The Mountaineers were on ESPN more than any other college team last season, and WVU games were the top-rated Thursday and Friday night broadcasts in ESPN history. More than 1/4 of all the nation’s households are in BIG EAST territory, and Mountaineer coverage spans worldwide through one of the nation’s largest radio networks and Internet partners.
That coverage brings recognition and attention to Mountaineer athletes and coaches. Dan Mozes won the Rimington Trophy as the nation’s best center, and nine WVU players were on the all-BIG EAST team, with Patrick White as conference player of the year. Mozes and superback Steve Slaton each earned consensus All-America honors, the first set of WVU teammates ever. Slaton finished fourth in Heisman Trophy balloting; he and White, the most exciting duo in college football, are top contenders for all-everything this year.
MILAN PUSKAR STADIUM
Game days in Morgantown are filled with electricity and excitement in one of the wildest facilities in college football.
When 60,000 fans pack Mountaineer Field at Milan Puskar Stadium, the double-deck structure rocks, from the time the nationally famous marching band starts its pregame performance until the team takes to the field to sing “Country Roads” after each home victory.
Every fan has an unobstructed view of the playing field and plenty of restrooms, concession and souvenir stands add to fan comfort. Lights for night games, the video scoreboard, suites, club boxes, handicapped seating and plenty of room for all-out tailgating add to the stadium's list of first-class accessories.
West Virginia has ranked at the top of BIG EAST attendance every year since the league began, with more than nine million fans watching a game in person since Mountaineer Field opened 28 years ago. Season ticket sales continue to skyrocket; this year, only repeat orders were accepted for the hottest ticket in town.
With support like that, it’s no surprise that WVU has won more than 71% of its home games.
Mountaineer Field at Milan Puskar Stadium - there’s no place like home.
The Milan Puskar Center becomes a second home to the Mountaineer football family. From the minute you enter under the bright blue canopies, you are surrounded by the tradition and history of WVU football. National awards, bowl mementos, captain’s plaques and team photos are on display all around the building, decorated everywhere with the West Virginia logo.
The top floor holds offices for the coaching staff, state-of-the-art meeting rooms for each position group, a complete kitchen and dining room for training table, the brand-new Reynolds Academic Performance Center with a majestic view of Mountaineer Field from its balcony, the video technology center and a Team Room, complete with 160 theater-style seats. Film sessions, team meetings and press conferences are easily conducted in this comfortable auditorium.
On the ground floor is the spacious Mountaineer locker room, and the adjoining freshman locker room where that group can bond as teammates. Just off the locker room is the Players’ Lounge, where WVU gridders can relax, play pool, arcade and video games, and watch big-screen television. Surrounding that are the coaches’ locker rooms, a fully-stocked equipment center, an athletic training facility complete with every type of rehab equipment, a hospital-quality X-ray unit and a SwimEx rehab pool.
As a player, you take full advantage of some of the finest facilities anywhere.
WVU fans young and old are in love with the new Brohard Hall of Traditions at the stadium that opened last fall. Filled with interactive displays, videos, photos, records and information, the Hall of Traditions is the place to connect with more than a century of Mountaineer football.
Being constructed this summer, the Reynolds Family Academic Performance Center - more than five times the size of the existing study center - occupies nearly 5,600 sq. ft. on the upper floor of the Puskar Center. The facility will feature 30 computer stations, four tutoring rooms, eight small-group study stations and a library-style open area for non-structured, individual or small group academic work.
West Virginia has one of the safest and most comfortable playing surfaces anywhere in football with the installation this summer of FieldTurf Duraspine.
Receiving rave reviews for its softness, durability, safety factors and lack of abrasiveness, FieldTurf looks, feels and plays like a natural grass surface without the expense of upkeep, giving WVU one of the safest and best playing surfaces in college football.
CAPERTON INDOOR PRACTICE FACILITY
Football practice is not just a fair-weather proposition, thanks to the Caperton Indoor Facility, located adjacent to the Puskar Center and Mountaineer Field.
Opened in August, 1998, the versatile modern indoor workout space is equipped with a 90-yard FieldTurf playing surface with seven yards of safety zone surrounding the entire field. Total length from wall to wall is 105 yards, with more than 75,000 square feet of practice room. Skylights provide natural lighting and just out back is easy access to WVU's 170-yard grass practice field. Locker rooms, a fully equipped training room and storage space are added features; baseball and soccer can practice there too.
Adjacent to Mountaineer Field and the Caperton Indoor Facility is an extra-long natural grass practice field. This 170-yard facility, complete with lights, provides a great natural surface fully irrigated and seeded with bluegrass. Two sled pads and a sand pit are extra features in the practice area, giving the Mountaineers the ability to prepare for upcoming games on natural grass with no inconvenience.
Academics are at the forefront of the success enjoyed by the Mountaineer football program, because Director of Athletics Ed Pastilong and Coach Bill Stewart make academics a priority.
Eighteen football players were named to the BIG EAST all-academic team, marking the 13th straight year WVU has led the league, and the Mountaineers’ graduation rate exceeds that of the general student body. Nearly half of the team earned a place on the Athletic Director’s Academic Honor Roll, and tutoring and career counseling are readily available.
As soon as a recruit signs to play for the Mountaineers, he is encouraged to attend orientation sessions, to learn more about the Morgantown campus and, most important, register for classes. Freshmen attend mandatory study halls, and all student-athletes get advice on scheduling courses in their degree programs each semester during pre-registration.
During the semester, class and study hall attendance are checked regularly, periodic grade reports are obtained from instructors, and parents, coaches and players are kept up-to-date on their academic progress.
Associate athletic director Garrett Ford and student services counselors Sandy Cole-DeMent and Donnie Tucker make their mission clear: making sure every Mountaineer football player has the best possible chance to earn his college degree.
You’re not in high school any more. Adjusting to the class load, campus life and the demands of a Division I athlete require more sophisticated study skills than many young people develop before coming to college.
That’s why Coach Stew has maintained the Mountaineer Mentors program, teaming student-athletes with retired educators to help enhance their time management and study skills one-on-one. Students get hands-on advice on how to organize their studies and approach class assignments and projects, meeting with their mentors several times a week. It’s a great way to boost your academic achievement and confidence in the classroom.
Critical to gaining a college education is having the right place to study. One of the best learning spots in America will open on the WVU campus in October in the Reynolds Family Academic Performance Center
More than five times the size of the existing study room at the stadium, the Reynolds Academic Performance Center will occupy nearly 5,600 sq. ft. on the upper floor of the Puskar Center. The facility will feature 30 computer stations, four tutoring rooms, eight small-group study stations and a library-style open area for non-structured, individual or small group academic work.
The Reynolds Family Academic Performance Center enhances WVU’s commitment to academic excellence and the well-rounded student-athlete, as well as serving as a key recruiting tool for prospective Mountaineers. The leadership commitment for the facility was made by Robert L. Reynolds, a Clarksburg, W.Va., native and WVU graduate who currently serves as Vice Chair and Chief Operating Officer of Fidelity Investments in Boston, Mass.
The academic center will provide a quiet atmosphere where tutors in any subject, academic counseling and one-on-one help are available for students who need it. Athletes can use the stadium study areas, as well as those at the Coliseum, between classes or after practice in the evenings, with flexible hours tailored to make the most of a student-athlete's limited time.
Athletic Director’s Academic Honor Roll
Implemented in 1989 by current athletic director Ed Pastilong, the Athletic Director's Academic Honor Roll was initiated to honor deserving WVU student-athletes who achieve a 3.0 or better grade-point average each semester. In addition to the honor roll, a 4.0 club and a team award for the highest GPA were instituted. In 2005-06, more than 50 student-athletes earned a 4.0 GPA, including Jay Henry, Kash Kiefer and Reed Williams.
Since the program began, more than 3,000 Mountaineers have been honored, including a record 274 during the spring semester, 2001. The average total of student-athletes earning Athletic Director’s Academic Honor Roll is recognition is 150.
Want a chance to prove yourself in big-time college football? No better way to do it than at West Virginia in one of the nation’s best walk-on programs. Since 1980, dozens of players who came in as walk-ons have earned scholarships, starting berths and prestigious honors for the Mountaineers.
West Virginia is the place where dozens of players have grabbed opportunities and turned them into achievements and even NFL careers. You, too, can take advantage and make your mark through Mountaineer football.
There’s nothing like a Mountaineer workout to help an athlete reach his potential.
Training in the spacious 22,000-square-foot strength center at Mountaineer Field, the options are almost endless. West Virginia players can utilize more than 20 tons of weights and dumbbells, HammerStrength equipment, cardiovascular pieces, squat racks and Olympic power platforms, supervised by a pro-level staff up-to-date in training techniques and skill development.
WVU has one of just two facilities in college football with a 1/13th mile track and a three-lane 40-yard straightaway, all of it circling inside the weight room. The Caperton Indoor Practice Facility is an all-weather environ for year-round conditioning, and in the heat of summer, there’s no challenge like running the infamous Law School Hill.
From the glass weight room, you look right out onto the playing field - no better motivation to get in shape for Mountaineer football.
The WVU strength staff has a passion for developing the complete athlete, focusing on optimum performance on the field. Mountaineer power is not just lifting weights; it’s boosting the total package, as athletes are educated and trained in every aspect of speed improvement, agility, quickness, flexibility, explosion and nutrition.
Next comes specific training in upper body strength and enhancing the lower body “power zone.” All of that goes hand in hand with WVU’s skill development program, preparing through position-specific drills for performance enhancement.
Your strength coaches understand the proven keys to success: speed, agility, flexibility, strength and power. They teach, train, set goals and insist on doing things the right way, giving each Mountaineer his own program for improvement. Every school in America develops its athletes from the neck down, but at WVU, you build excellence in both the mental and physical aspects of the game.
You’re not in it alone. Toiling together builds a team, through lifting, the Mountaineer Olympics, the Tour of Duty and workouts. Shared sweat brings camaraderie; you are soon convinced that you can depend on the hard-working guy next to you to hold the rope.
Mountaineer strength is an intense, every day commitment. There is no such thing as a part-time champion.