West Virginia Mountaineers

West Virginia Mountaineers Football History

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Mountaineer athletic history dates back to a blustery fall day in 1891 when a less-than-well-organized group of University students gathered in a cow pasture outside of town to take on Washington & Jefferson in a new sport called football.

Baseball and basketball soon followed and many other diverse sports -- from boxing and wrestling to volleyball and
West Virginia football historysoccer -- have been a part of the Old Gold and Blue over the years. Today, the West Virginia University Department of Intercollegiate Athletics sponsors 16 athletic teams and former Mountaineers number in the thousands and live throughout the world.

This web site is designed to help prospective student-athletes become better acquainted with West Virginia University athletics.

Mountaineer Traditions

Old Gold and Blue

West Virginia University�s official school colors were adopted by the school�s upperclassmen in 1890, according to West Virginia University: A Pictorial History, 1867-1979. The color choices were taken from the West Virginia state seal. The correct reference to West Virginia University�s color scheme is Old Gold and Blue, not Blue and Gold.

The Mountaineer

One of the most beloved of all West Virginia athletic traditions, The Mountaineer first appeared at WVU sporting events during the 1936-37 school year. The Mountaineer is selected each year by the Mountain, the school�s prestigious senior honorary. The Mountaineer�s costume is tailored to fit each winner, and male Mountaineers customarily grow beards during their tenure to go along with a coonskin cap and a rifle.

School Fight Song

Hail West Virginia!
It's West Virginia, it's West Virginia,
The pride of every Mountaineer,
Come on you old grads, join with us young lads.
It's West Virginia now we cheer!
Rah! Rah! Rah!
Now is the time boys to make a big noise.
No matter what the people say,
For there is naught to fear, the gang's all here,
So hail West Virginia, hail.

Take Me Home, Country Roads

West Virginia adopted nationally known recording artist John Denver as one of its own following his May, 1971 release of the hit single �Take Me Home, Country Roads.� Denver was on hand to dedicate new Mountaineer Field in 1980, and �Country Roads� has proudly become a game-day anthem at Mountaineer Field.

�The Pride of West Virginia�

Throughout its 100-year history, the Mountaineer Marching Band has evolved into an active, high-spirited organization with great tradition. The esprit de corps of the group, its tradition of excellence in performance, and the enthusiastic audience response to the sight and sound of the 350-plus member band have made it recognized throughout the nation as one of America�s truly great marching bands. West Virginia�s pre-game arrangement has been a Mountaineer Field fixture for more than 30 years.

The Formation of the State

The signature formation of �The Pride of West Virginia� is the creation of the state near the end of �Country Roads.� Football game days come alive when �The Pride� takes on the shape of West Virginia during �Hail West Virginia� and marches end zone to end zone to the delight of Mountaineer fans.

The Flying WV

One of the most popular items to emerge from the Don Nehlen era of Mountaineer football was the �Flying WV�, which has since been adopted by the University as the school�s official logo. It is copyrighted and manufacturers must obtain a license for its use. Since its creation more than 20 years ago, the �Flying WV� has become one of the most recognizable marks in college sports.

The Backyard Brawl

West Virginia�s annual football and basketball games with Pitt are referred to as �The Backyard Brawl� because of the close proximity of the two schools. West Virginia University and the University of Pittsburgh have been playing football games for 94 straight years, representing the nation�s 14th oldest football rivalry. The two basketball teams have played 163 times since 1904.

Roll out the carpet!

One of college basketball�s great traditions was introduced by Fred Schaus at West Virginia University in 1955. It was during that time that Schaus and Mountaineer supporter Alex Mumford came up with the idea of rolling out an elaborate gold and blue carpet for the Mountaineer players to run out on during pregame warm-ups. In addition, Mountaineer players warmed up with a special gold and blue painted basketball.

West Virginia University continued this tradition during the George King era until it was interrupted in the late 1960s. Former Mountaineer player Gale Catlett reintroduced the carpet when he returned to West Virginia in 1978, and it has since become the highlight of pregame introductions at the WVU Coliseum.

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