Is WVU On The Doorstep Of Its Next Golden Era?

Is WVU On The Doorstep Of Its Next Golden Era?


Is West Virginia perched to enter its next Golden Era of athletics?

Could be.

Overall, there haven’t been too many Golden Eras of athletics at the state university.

Oh, there haven’t been Golden Eras of football and golden eras of men’s basketball, but in truth it isn’t often that they excel at both at the same time.

Think about it for a moment. The Golden Era of basketball for WVU was from 1958 to 1962 through Hot Rod Hundley, Jerry West and Rod Thorn, the basketball team reaching an NCAA final and compiling a 131-22 record, which is an .856 winning percentage.

But during that time football was staggering along at 19-28, including the only winless season in school history — save for an 0-1 record in its first year of 1891 — when it went 0-8-2 under Gene Corum in 1960.

Shane Lyons with WVU women’s basketball coach Mike Carey

And in what well may have been the Golden Age of football back in the Roarin’ 20s, from 1922 to 1925 under Ira “Rat” Rodgers and Clarence “Doc” Spears, when the football team was 33-3-2, the basketball team went 40-33.

The 1924 team, under Francis Stadsvold, did put together maybe the best record WVU ever had at 14-2, the only two losses being at Kentucky, by a 24-21 score — honest — and to Washington & Jefferson, by a 23-21 score — honest again.

It was a different game then.

The closest thing to a true Golden Era in WVU sports history was one that ended in the school’s most burning defeat, coming from 2005 through 2007 when the football team went 11-1, 11-2 and 11-2 … that second loss in 2007, of course, being the upset defeat to Pitt when WVU was looking at a chance to win a national championship.

At the time they were going 33-5 and winning three bowl games, including the memorable victory over Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl, John Beilein was having his successful run as basketball coach, going 73-31, including the devastating losses to Texas on a last-second shot and to Louisville in overtime in consecutive NCAA Tournaments.

Somehow you get the feeling now that WVU is standing on the edge of a big-time run in college athletics … in football, men’s basketball, women’s basketball and rifle while growing in the other sports.

What does it take to stitch together a Golden Era?

It begins with coaching, requires star players and support from the university.

In Bob Huggins, WVU basketball is in Hall of Fame-bound hands and Mike Carey has taken a downtrodden women’s basketball program and accomplished big things that may be bordering on great things next season.

As for football, Dana Holgorsen has yet to distinguish himself among the nation’s elite coaches, but he is radiating a sense of confidence that he has assembled the kind of team he wants to have and is bringing it into a Big 12 that at least doesn’t offer Heisman Trophy candidates at the quarteback position … other than his own.

He has to prove he can win big games, but with Will Grier at quarterback, with David Sills returning with his gift for scoring touchdowns and with David Long on the other side of the ball with his gift for stopping them, Holgorsen may just be sitting on a gold mine.

The stars he has twinkle as brightly as any in the college, and Huggins is probably far better off than anyone realizes as they pay attention to his personnel losses rather than his additions.

West Virginia guard Tynice Martin walks off the court

True, replacing Jevon Carter, who may be one of the top 5 and certainly one of the 10 players at WVU all-time, is no easy chore but Huggins has a group of sophomores about to become juniors who just may blossom beyond recognition.

That includes Beetle Bolden, Wesley Harris and Lamont West, surrounding potentially one of the dominating players in the game in center Sagaba Konate, who almost certainly will return for this final year of grooming.

With Brandon Knapper’s freshman year lost to injury, you have prepared a redshirt point guard while Teddy Allen has a valuable year of experience and maturity.

What makes it intriguing, though, is a solid group of newcomers who may make up the best recruiting class Huggins has brought in — Wisconsin’s Mr. Basketball, Jordan McCabe, to share the point with Knapper and free Bolden to fill Daxter Miles’ role; power forward Derek Culver, guard Trey Doomes and center Andrew Gorden.

As for Carey, he gets back a National Player of the Year candidate next year in Tynice Martin, who limped through this redshirt season after breaking a bone in her foot at a summer Team USA tryout, to go with a strong returning cast that promises to be ready to make an NCAA run.

With baseball on the rebound and the likes of golf and tennis and volleyball and gymnastics growing in stature, WVU may just be ready to blossom as a national power across the board.

Home forums Is WVU On The Doorstep Of Its Next Golden Era?

This topic contains 9 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by stills55 stills55 .

Viewing 10 posts - 1 through 10 (of 10 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #57504

    Bob Hertzel
    Rank: Sophomore

    Is WVU On The Doorstep Of Its Next Golden Era? Is West Virginia perched to enter its next Golden Era of athletics? Could be. Overall, there haven’t be
    [See the full post at: Is WVU On The Doorstep Of Its Next Golden Era?]

    #57499

    TonyAlto
    Rank: All-American

    Are our 2 other West Virginians not coming back?
    From this analysis sounds like Huggins won’t
    need them!

    #57502
    Shepherdstown
    Shepherdstown
    Rank: All-American

    I agree that we may be coming into a golden era. Granted several pieces have to fall in place, but the talent is in place.

    The most up in the air team might be football since our defense is going through some transition and experiencing injuries and a few transfers. The offense has the experience and exceptional talent at QB and receivers. The running backs and tight ends are intriguing. My concern for both is the line play and depth with talent. Solve those and stay out of injuries and we might finally grab the gold ring in the Big 12.

    Huggins always has the men competitive, but I think the talent coming back coupled with who is coming in should provide for an interesting season next year. This is assuming the new guys all buy into the program quickly and the returnees improve over last year. Taking Beetle off of Point should give him the freedom to shoot more effectively and having Brandon Knapper in last year should ease the transition of a new point guard. Add in McCabe and who knows what might be produced. We need the forwards to shoot better. If Allen could develop a jump shot or a 3 point range that would make him a very hard player to guard. If the bigs coming in can provide the needed depth we might be better than last year. Having Huggins in charge is the most important factor of all.

    The women were not by the injury big which most likely kept the from the NCAA tournament. Losing Teana, Kristina, and Chania will be tough to handle, but Ashley showed that she is more than ready to take over point. If Tynice comes back completely healthy and if Katrina can be more consistent with her shooting watch out. A big problem I see though is trying to replace Lanay Montgomery from the previous year. Teams came back on us by driving the paint more than anything else. We were also outsized by a Baylor and Oklahoma if not more Big 12 teams. Getting some more height and muscle in the middle would go a long way. Carey does a great job with what he Hs, but the thought of a full roster is scary.

    I hated to see Sammie Henson leave, but the guy coming in seems like he might get the job done. Soccer is strong and the Gymnastic team looked good the two times I was fortunate to cover them.

    #57514

    TonyAlto
    Rank: All-American

    Who wrote this article!!?
    Hertzel or Hunter?
    Looks more like a Hertzel gem!

    #57515

    Bob Hertzel wrote the story. I posted it to the site, and forgot to change out the author when I did so. My mistake, sorry about that. Hertz did the work, so he deserves the credit.

    #57519

    TonyAlto
    Rank: All-American

    Bob Hertzel wrote the story. I posted it to the site, and forgot to change out the author when I did so. My mistake, sorry about that. Hertz did the work, so he deserves the credit.

    Thanks for clearing it up!
    His style his so evident!

    #57520

    JAL
    Rank: Sophomore

    The 2007 loss to Pitt is likely to long remain the worst loss in WVU sports history, impossible to explain. The 1968-59 basketball loss in the championship game to Cal. was not as bad because Cal was a very good team. Nice look back at history

    #57523

    Ccteam
    Rank: Heisman Winner

    The Pitt game is a contender for the most disappointing loss, but I witnessed a loss in Rod’s first year to Temple that was just a horrid, putrid, poorly played game that I would categorize as the worst WV loss I have ever witnessed.

    #57653

    Hokie Mark
    Rank: Redshirt

    ESPN: Why West Virginia could have college football’s top offense in 2018
    http://www.espn.com/blog/ncfnation/post/_/id/140631/why-west-virginia-could-have-college-footballs-top-offense-in-2018
    Grier, Sills V two of the best in the country at their positions. Now Simmons can contribute at WR. TE in good shape, too. I’m just glad VT caught you guys last year rather than this year (and by the time the Hokies play y’all again, these guys will be gone). Anyway, best wishes on winning the Big XII, but more importantly… beat Tennessee!

    #57811
    stills55
    stills55
    Rank: Freshman

    ESPN: Why West Virginia could have college football’s top offense in 2018
    http://www.espn.com/blog/ncfnation/post/_/id/140631/why-west-virginia-could-have-college-footballs-top-offense-in-2018
    Grier, Sills V two of the best in the country at their positions. Now Simmons can contribute at WR. TE in good shape, too. I’m just glad VT caught you guys last year rather than this year (and by the time the Hokies play y’all again, these guys will be gone). Anyway, best wishes on winning the Big XII, but more importantly… beat Tennessee!

    Thanks! A win over the vols would be huge for both holgorsen & the program. wvu fans are getting rather tired of just eeking along and collapsing at the end with bowl embarrassment. Hopefully we turn the corner this year.

Viewing 10 posts - 1 through 10 (of 10 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

Home forums Is WVU On The Doorstep Of Its Next Golden Era?