HOME ~ College Football History
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
Baseball and basketball soon followed and many other diverse sports --
from boxing and wrestling to volleyball and
soccer -- 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.
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.
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
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
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.