The Times West Virginian

WVU 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
WVU Sports
  • ‘Cheating pays’ remark should draw attention

    When Bob Bowlsby, the outspoken commissioner of the Big 12, presented his opening-day picture of the future of college sports in Dallas for the annual media day gathering, his bleak comments were not unexpected.

    July 23, 2014

  • WVU, N.C. State to meet in football

    Following a trend of creating non-conference games against regional opponents, West Virginia University has reached agreement with North Carolina State to play a home-and-home football series in 2018 and 2019.

    July 23, 2014

  • WVU, Tennessee finalize 2018 meeting

    West Virginia University and Tennessee have finalized their season-opening, Sept. 1, 2018, meeting in Charlotte, N.C., at Bank of America Stadium.
    Both teams will receive $2.5 million for the game and have a chance to earn up to $3.2 million with ticket incentives.
    Each team will buy 12,500 tickets and set aside 2,000 of its allotment for students.
    The game, played on the home field of the Carolina Panthers of the NFL, is being put on by the Charlotte Sports Federation.

    July 23, 2014

  • Holgorsen’s program hits turning point

    You can almost sense, as you watch West Virginia University football coach Dana Holgorsen sit before the gathered Big 12 media contingent answering questions in the Omni Hotel in Arlington, Texas, that he senses his program has reached a turning point.

    July 23, 2014

  • Fleming, Billy.jpg WVU’s Fleming signs contract with Yankees

     Second baseman Billy Fleming of the West Virginia University baseball team has signed a professional contract with the New York Yankees, foregoing his upcoming senior season.
    “Ever since I was a little kid, it’s been my dream to play professional baseball,” Fleming said. “It is still surreal that I get to chase my dream, but I am ready to get after it. I loved my three years at WVU and want to thank all the coaches that made it possible for me to achieve my dream.”

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Big 12 Media Days Foo_time(1).jpg Trickett’s play key factor for Mountaineers’ success

     In the end, it comes down to the quarterback.
    Always has with Dana Holgorsen, always will.
    Quarterback is the offense with the West Virginia University coach. When he does well, the team wins – almost always.
    When he does poorly, the team doesn’t stand much of a chance.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Growing demands on college athletes concerns Wyant

    Fred Wyant, one of the greatest quarterbacks in West Virginia University’s history, has lashed out at today’s growing demands on college athletes.
    The 80-year-old Star City resident led the Mountaineers to a 30-4 record as the starter from 1952-1955. Percentage-wise, it’s clearly the best-ever record by a QB in school annals.
    Wyant, a member of the WVU Sports Hall of Fame, came here after graduating with honors from Weston High School. That’s where WVU coach Art “Pappy” Lewis signed him to a four-year scholarship.

    July 23, 2014

  • Holgorsen’s program hits turning point

    You can almost sense, as you watch West Virginia University football coach Dana Holgorsen sit before the gathered Big 12 media contingent answering questions in the Omni Hotel in Arlington, Texas, that he senses his program has reached a turning point.

    July 22, 2014

  • Growing demands on college athletes concerns Wyant

    Fred Wyant, one of the greatest quarterbacks in West Virginia University’s history, has lashed out at today’s growing demands on college athletes.

    July 22, 2014

  • WVU’s Fleming signs with Yankees

    Second baseman Billy Fleming of the West Virginia University baseball team has signed a professional contract with the New York Yankees, foregoing his upcoming senior season.

    July 22, 2014

Featured Ads
WVU Sports Highlights
NDN Sports
House Ads
NCAA Breaking News
NCAA Photos