The Times West Virginian

Sports

December 11, 2012

Former Pitt star falls in love with WVU girl

MORGANTOWN — It is a romance made in Almost Heaven, a modern-day Romeo and Juliet.

If it should blossom all the way to marriage, the only man who possibly could have performed the ceremony has left us, Richard Dawson of “Family Feud.”

It is as unlikely a matchup as you could possibly imagine, beginning more than a year ago as a Facebook flirtation and building into something no one could have ever imagined ... a man and woman falling for each other even though they represent the two sides of the Backyard Brawl.

And this is not just any two young people. Lauren Statler is the niece of one of West Virginia University’s most prominent alumni and donors, Ben Statler.

So who did she wind up in a relationship with, as they put it on their Facebook pages?

None other than a former University of Pittsburgh football player whose name is well known in these parts — Scott McKillop.

Just as Lauren Statler is not just from any WVU family, McKillop is not just another former Pitt football player.

He was the leading tackler out of his linebacker spot in the most devastating defeat the Mountaineers ever suffered, falling 13-9 to Pitt as a four-touchdown favorite when on the doorstep of a national championship in 2007.

And his role as West Virginia villain is even stronger from a comment he made at that time, for he is the Panther who said to columnist Joe Starkey of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: “I (expletive) hate West Virginia. I can’t stand the state. I just don’t like the university.”

He said it, and at the moment he said it, he meant it. Now he lives with it, although his stand has obviously softened some over the time he went off to play professional football with the San Francisco 49ers and the Buffalo Bills.

So there you have it, that Scott McKillop dating a WVU graduate student who is the niece of a one-time West Virginia coal miner who started his own mining company, PinnOak Resources LLC. Statler and his wife, Jo, shared their success in life in 2007 by giving WVU the largest single gift it had ever received, $25 million for cancer research, academic enhancements and athletic improvements.

Then this year he and Jo topped even that with a $34 million gift to build a new research facility on the Evansdale Campus and create the Statler Research Scholars, which will provide scholarships and research support for 20 or more undergraduate engineering majors.

The gift also endows three faculty chairs in energy research and funds graduate research fellows.

Needless to say, this is a romance like few others.

Text Only
Sports
  • Kicker sees second chances after gondola accident

    Maikon Bonani knows all about second chances.
    The native of Brazil is back with the Titans for a second year with the kicker job wide open for the taking, and he’s the only guy in training camp with any NFL experience if kicking in a preseason game counts.

    August 1, 2014

  • Steelers sign Suisham through 2018 season

    Shaun Suisham doesn’t seem to mind kicking at Heinz Field.

    August 1, 2014

  • A healthy Trickett gives WVU chance to win

    You might recall that Pat White’s career as West Virginia quarterback began when Adam Bednarik was injured in the Louisville game of White’s freshman year, opening the door for him to come on and lead one of the greatest comebacks in school history.

    August 1, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: Lingering injury keeps Barber out as season begins

    He was off on the sidelines on the first day of practice, where he’ll be for quite a while now, wearing the red jersey that signifies a player is unable to practice due to injury.

    August 1, 2014

  • Post 17 makes short work of Wheeling to advance to nightcap

    Post 17 Fairmont scattered 16 hits and plated double-digit runs in a 10-2 rout of Post 1 Wheeling Friday afternoon at Hawley Field.

    August 1, 2014

  • WVU #6 SHORTS -TS.jpg WVU opens practice with different feel: VIDEOS AND PHOTOS

    West Virginia University football coach Dana Holgorsen was happy with his team’s first practice of the 2014 season.
    Of course, he would note, “Everybody in the country has a good first day.”
    But somehow, this was different.
    Very different.

    August 1, 2014 9 Photos

  • Post 17 #18-Post 29 catche copy.jpg Post 17 picks up much-needed win over Elkins

    After a rather sloppy Area tournament, Post 17 Fairmont managed to turn things around Thursday afternoon at Hawley Field in Morgantown, staying alive with a 4-2 win over Elkins in the American Legion state baseball tournament.
    While it’s usually hitting that gets Fairmont by, Thursday it was the pitching and the defense.

    August 1, 2014 5 Photos

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: Social media adds another thing to watch for coaches

    As someone who has gotten himself in enough hot water with a misplaced Tweet, when West Virginia University quarterback Clint Trickett hit the send button on July 17 sending out to the cyberworld what should have remained there with him on the couch on which he was sitting, I could feel his pain.

    August 1, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: Bobby Bowden won the bad-and-good battle with rival Lou Holtz

    The recent announcement that West Virginia University is resuming a football relationship with North Carolina State triggered a most memorable bad-news, good-news battle.
    It was between two legendary coaches, WVU’s Bobby Bowden and N.C. State’s Lou Holtz back there in the 1970s.

    August 1, 2014

  • WVU basketball non-conference schedule released

    After playing challenging schedules along with the tough Big 12 road, West Virginia University has backed off some this season on its non-conference schedule that was released Thursday.
    West Virginia is coming off a 17-16 season in which it failed to reach the NCAA Tournament and lost to Georgetown in the first round of the NIT.

    August 1, 2014

Featured Ads
NDN Sports
House Ads
Auto Racing Breaking News
Auto Racing Standings