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WVU Coaches To Visit Wheeling

Coaching legend Switzer to appear

April 15, 2012
By RICH GIBSON , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

WHEELING - West Virginia University athletics director Oliver Luck will be joined by head coaches Dana Holgorsen, Bob Huggins and Mike Carey when the Mountaineers' Spring Caravan makes a stop at Oglebay Park next month.

The fete is scheduled for Wednesday, May 2 at Oglebay's historic Pine Room where Ohio Valley WVU supporters will be able to enjoy a dinner and ensuing program with four of the university's major sports figures. Activities begin at 5:30 p.m.

The WVU Caravan is making several spring stops around the Mountain State, including the May 2 banquet at Oglebay.

The evening will be enhanced by an appearance by legendary University of Oklahoma and Dallas Cowboys head coach Barry Switzer who will be representing the Big 12. Switzer will officially welcome WVU to the Big 12 in addition to staging a meet-and-greet with banquet attendees.

It was also announced the Belmont/Mountaineer Athletic Club will be holding its 17th annual Scholarship Dinner in conjunction with the WVU Caravan.

''The Mountaineer Athletic Club has been gracious in partnering with BMAC in this endeavor to provide an outstanding schedule of administrators and WVU coaches at this year's function,'' BMAC official John Budinscak said. "We're certain this dinner and program will be among the most popular ever held in the Ohio Valley. We anticipate a large turnout of Mountaineer fans. We encourage them to wear Blue and Gold attire for the event."

Reservations are required. Tickets are $50 per person which includes dinner, a special program, and opportunity to listen to and exchange feedback with Luck and the Mountaineers coaching family.

Sponsorships are also available at next month's event. To purchase tickets or for more info, contact the MAC office toll-free at 1-800-433-2072. Tickets are also available locally through BMAC by phoning (740) 695-2944 or 695-4262.

Switzer is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame. His Sooner teams captured national titles in 1974, '75 and 1985 during his 16 seasons as head coach at the Norman, Oklahoma-based university.

Over that period, Switzer's Oklahoma gridders won an amazing 93 percent of their conference games, compiling a stellar 150-11-1 record.

Luck was named WVU athletics director in June, 2010, making him the 11th person to hold that title. Luck succeeded long-time popular AD Ed Pastilong, a Moundsville native.

Luck is a former quarterback for the Mountaineers, spanning 1978-81. During his tenure, Luck engineered a Mountaineers' Peach Bowl upset of Florida's Gators in 1981.

Luck was a second round draft selection of the Houston Oilers with whom he played four seasons. He later became a sports executive, serving in a number of different capacities before eventually returning to WVU.

One of Luck's four children, Andrew, capped an outstanding collegiate career at Stanford and is expected to be a top selection in this month's NFL draft.

Huggins' remarkable coaching career includes more than 700 victories and numerous accolades. He was introduced as WVU's 21st men's basketball coach in April of 2007.

Huggins guided WVU to one of the school's greatest seasons in 2009-10 when the Mountaineers recorded a school record 31 victories, qualifying the the Final Four before suffering a semifinal loss to Duke.

Before returning home to Morgantown where he was a two-time Academic All-American performer for the Blue and Gold. In high school, Huggins was a three-year all-Ohio selection under his father, legendary Charlie Huggins at Indian Valley South High.

Holgorsen, in his first season as WVU football coach, directed the Mountaineers to a 10-3 record, the season culminating in a BCS Discover Orange Bowl appearance against Clemson.

Holgorsen's offense was recognized among the country's most prolific. The Mountaineers boasted only the fourth set of 1,000-yard receivers in college football. Additionally, WVU was one of only two schools (Houston) to have a 4,000-yard passer (Geno Smith) and two 1,00-yard receivers.

Prior to arriving in Morgantown, Holgorsen was offensive coordinator at Oklahoma State, Houston and Texas Tech. During his career, Holgorsen's teams have made 11 bowl appearances. Three of his top pupils (Michael Crabtree, Graham Harrell, Wes Welker) are in the National Football League.

Carey , during 11 seasons at Morgantown, has amassed more than 200 career victories at WVU including a school-record 29 victories during the 2009-10 season. That team included Steubenville Big Red product Liz Repella. A Clarksburg native, Carey has steadily built the Mountaineers program into one of the nation's elite.

This past winter, Carey's team handed Final Four runnerup Notre Dame a rare loss at South Bend. Carey's Mountaineers teams have been NCAA postseason participants four consecutive years and six of the past seven.

Carey was a four-year basketball letterman at Salem College, earning WVIAC Freshman of the Year accolades in 1977. He was the WVC scoring champion as a sophomore enroute to scoring over 2,000 career points.

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