The Times West Virginian

WVU Sports

March 9, 2010

FURFARI COLUMN - Interest in WVU basketball is at peak pitch

MORGANTOWN — Interest in men’s basketball was never higher than it has been this year.

So it certainly is not surprising that the Mountaineers, 24-6 for the regular season and nationally ranked in the Top 10, set an all-time attendance record at the Coliseum turnstiles.

Matt Wells, director of WVU sports marketing, said the 14 home games draw 173,281 fans. That total averages out to 12,377 per contest. WVU students averaged about 1,800.

All three of those are all-time highs including standing-room-only crowds of more than 15,000 for Pitt, Villanova and Ohio State games.

The previous records for home attendance were in 1981-82.

West Virginia drew 170,762 for 15 games that year. The average was 12,307 per contest.

Wells said, “We are very pleased that we had so many fans at the games this season. And we hope that even more will turn out next year and set more records.”

Bob Huggins, in his third year as the head coach, has said Mountaineer fans are truly loyal and supportive.

“They come out to see the Mountaineers perform,” he said. “Our fans don’t really care who we’re playing.”

Making the attendance records even more impressive is the fact that the fans had to travel in the long stretch of snow and freezing temperatures that Morgantown had not seen in several years.

Make no mistake, there was great interest in WVU men’s basketball in 1942 when coach Dyke Raese’s Cinderella team won the National Invitation Tournament title in New York. That picked up again after World War II with Leland Byrd and Fred Schaus (head coach from 1955-60) leading the way.

Mark Workman was a standout at center in the mid-1950s with the legendary Hot Rod Hundley, Jerry West and Rod Thorn following into the 1960s.

But all of those superstars played in 6,500-seat Mountaineer Field House. Now fans are filling the 14,000-seat Coliseum, which opened in 1970, at a record rate. Tickets have become scarce.

Text Only
WVU Sports
  • smallwood-wendell(1)-2.jpg Charges against Smallwood dropped

     West Virginia University running back Wendell Smallwood took to Twitter mid-afternoon Tuesday to express his feelings after charges of witness intimidation against him were dropped by the state of Delaware.
    It took him only three words to say what was on his mind: “God is Good.” Smallwood is now free to return to West Virginia and rejoin his Mountaineer teammates when they open camp for the 2014 season Thursday.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Charges against Smallwood dropped

    West Virginia University running back Wendell Smallwood took to Twitter mid-afternoon Tuesday to express his feelings after charges of witness intimidation against him were dropped by the state of Delaware.

    July 29, 2014

  • Were Bowlsby’s fears about college athletics’ future justified?

    I have never met or even talked to Bob Bowlsby, commissioner of the Big 12 Conference.
    But I did read a lengthy story on his 45-minute address to reporters last week on Media Day in Dallas, Texas. Among other things, Bowlsby forecast a startling change threatening the existence of intercollegiate athletics as we have known for these many, many years.

    July 28, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: Big 12 provides plenty of optimism

    This past week the Big 12 held its annual media gathering in Dallas and served up a heaping portion of optimism for the 2014 season that is now upon us, West Virginia University opening its preseason practices on Thursday.
    This is a time of year when no one has lost a game, not even Charlie Weis at Kansas, and it’s a time of year when opinions are more plentiful than tattoos in an NFL locker room.

    July 27, 2014

  • Seider's brother commits to WVU

    West Virginia University’s football team has received a commitment from one of its own.

    July 26, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: Big 12 provides much optimism heading into 2014 season

    This past week the Big 12 held its annual media gathering in Dallas and served up a heaping portion of optimism for the 2014 season that is now upon us, West Virginia University opening its preseason practices on Thursday.

    July 26, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: WVU needs White to follow in former receivers’ footsteps

    A year ago Clint Trickett took a lot of grief as the once potent West Virginia offense came unraveled, but there is more that than meets the eye.
    The criticism was not unfounded, of course, although behind each incomplete pass there was the pain Trickett was suffering through to throw it, his rotator cuff in need of surgery.

    July 26, 2014

  • Forsey posts Top 10 finish at World Championships

    Freshman Jillian Forsey of the West Virginia University cross country team finished ninth at the 2014 IAAF World Junior Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Oregon.
    Forsey, a native of Stephenville, Newfoundland and Labrador, was representing Team Canada. She was the first Canadian to cross the finish line in the women’s 5,000-meter run, finishing in ninth place overall in 16:02.55.

    July 26, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: Wyant talks about ‘Pappy’ Lewis and other items of interest

    I saved some other interesting observations from the recent interview with Fred Wyant which you may find worth reading.
    He believes a college football coach ought to recruit a quarterback he wants, give him some help, then turn virtually everything over to him and let him go.

    July 26, 2014

  • Forsey posts Top 10 finish at World Championships

    Freshman Jillian Forsey of the West Virginia University cross country team finished ninth at the 2014 IAAF World Junior Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Oregon.

    July 25, 2014

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