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Instead of having a defensive coordinator, West Virginia will attempt to have multiple coaches lead the defense. Defensive line coach Jordan Lesley will now oversee the front end of the WVU defensive, and former Mountaineer safety Jahmile Addae will handle the back end of the defense. Dontae Wright will coach the safeties and Jeff Koontz will coach the inside linebackers and oversee the special teams unit. Former WVU defensive coordinator Jeff Casteel has also been elevated from analyst to position coach. These last-minute coaching adjustments are the result of defensive coordinator Vic Koenning being forced out of his position last week due to allegations of unwanted comments.
West Virginia’s offensive line just got one man deeper after adding transfer Ja’Quay Hubbard from Virginia. Hubbard redshirted in his freshman year with the Cavaliers, but appeared in two games, including the season opener against Pitt on special teams. He also saw time on the offensive line in UVA’s week two game against William and Mary.
Interior and exterior work continues on West Virginia’s Milan Puskar Center complex renovation project. When finished, an additional 13,700 square feet will be added to the existing structure, expanding it to nearly 86,000 square feet.
This week’s Mountaineer Insider Podcast features the return of college football writer Phil Steele to discuss the 2020 college football season. Steele, whose popular college football preview magazine is now out, said he is bullish on Neal Brown and the Mountaineers this fall.
Three members of the West Virginia football team were named to the Wuerffel Trophy Award Watch List, which honors college football players for their contributions in community service. The Mountaineers nominated for the award are quarterback Jarret Doege, wide receiver Sam James, and safety Sean Mahone.
There is a lot to be excited about when it comes to Mountaineer basketball this season. ESPN’s college basketball expert Dick Vitale continues to tout Bob Huggins’ 2020-21 West Virginia team. Vitale said that this year West Virginia is “a hoops team that will be a major factor on the national scene and the Big 12 Conference.” He also mentioned the Mountaineers’ two forwards, Derek Culver and Oscar Tshiebwe, giving WVU “a strong inside duo.” Vitale then made it a point to ask why Huggins is not yet in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.
The West Virginia men’s basketball team has secured a second verbal commitment for the 2021 recruiting class. 6-foot-3 point guard Kobe Johnson announced his intention to become a Mountaineer last week. Johnson also had offers from Akron, Bowling Green, Cleveland State, Duquesne, Kent State, Miami (OH), Ohio, Toledo, Valparaiso, and Youngstown State.
Last week, veteran West Virginia women’s basketball coach Mike Carey started a basketball season like no other. Voluntary activities have begun for his 20th Mountaineer team. He was forced to pause workouts in June due to COVID-19 fear and test results of his players.
West Virginia Athletics
The WVU Coliseum, one of the country’s premier venues for college basketball, will now have a custom and multi-faceted center-hung scoreboard, in-bowl fascia ribbons, and new sound and lighting systems. Milan Puskar Stadium is gaining a substantially larger south endzone LED videoboard. Check out the renderings!
The West Virginia University golf team was named an All-Academic Team by the Golf Coaches Association of America. The Mountaineers earned the recognition for the fourth consecutive season after posting a 3.46 team grade-point average for the 2019-20 season.
Phoenix Sun and former West Virginia star Jevon Carter helped his team get a win in its return scrimmage with the Utah Jazz, just over a week out from the NBA’s official return in Orlando. Carter saw significant time on the floor at the guard position logging 20 minutes. He finished with 10 points, three rebounds, an assist, and a block.
Former Mountaineer women’s soccer player Bianca St. Georges has fallen just short in her quest to win the NWSL Challenge Cup title with the Chicago Red Stars. St. Georges started for the Red Stars in Sunday’s cup final, but they fell to the Houston Dash, 2-0.
Around the Big 12
Though the Big 12 has yet to decide on non-conference play for the upcoming football season, two teams in the conference are now scheduled to open their seasons a week earlier. Oklahoma announced Saturday that it will play its opener Saturday, August 29th at home against Missouri State. Kansas also made a similar announcement Saturday by adding Southern Illinois to its schedule on August 29th.
The Big 12 Conference placed eight standouts on the watch list for the Maxwell Award, which goes to the most outstanding player in college football. Baylor quarterback Charlie Brewer, Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger, Iowa State quarterback Brock Purdy, Kansas State quarterback Skylar Thompson, TCU quarterback Max Duggan, Oklahoma State running back Chuba Hubbard, Kansas running back Pooka Williams, and Oklahoma State wide receiver Tylan Wallace were named to the watch list.
A total of 22 players from eight Big 12 schools are represented on 17 Major League Baseball teams. The former Mountaineers on MLB rosters are first baseman Ryan McBroom with the Kansas City Royals, Jedd Gyorko with the Milwaukee Brewers, and John Means on the 10-day injured list for the Baltimore Orioles.
Around the NCAA
With the country continuing to face coronavirus fear, the state of the college football season remains uncertain, and a standard fall schedule seems unlikely as August approaches. Here are the latest updates from the college football world.
With widespread fear still prevalent around the country, West Virginia University has announced continued adjustments on campus for the fall semester. One of the most notable changes is that the start of the semester will be pushed back one week, with classes now starting on-campus on August 26th. The in-person commencement ceremony for the fall semester has been canceled, as well as the already postponed ceremony for the spring 2020 graduating class, which means that it is very unlikely that the University will ever give these graduating classes a real commencement ceremony.
Duality in sports can be magical, and that happened on Thursday when in a very short span of time two very different sport team names, both representing Washington, were announced.
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