'West Virginia Mountaineers Football'

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West Virginia University is a public land-grant school that was established in 1867 in Morgantown, West Virginia. The nickname of the football team is the West Virginia Mountaineers. In 1891 a group of students assembled in a cow pasture to play the new sport called football against Washington andJefferson College. They did not win this first game but the second game in WVU history was a huge 12 - 0 victory over Mt. Pleasant. This set the stage for a string of football victories lasting well over a century. In fact, WVU has the most wins of any NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision team that has never been a national champion. Before being classified as a FBS team, they were in the University Division from the 1930s until 1972. Then they were assigned to Division I and Division I-A until 2006, and they compete in the Big East Conference.



Rich Rodriguez was the Mountaineers head coach from 2001 until 2007 when he left to coach the University of Michigan team. Bill Stewart was selected as the interim head coach for the prestigious Fiesta Bowl in January 2008. The stunning 48 - 28 upset win over the number 3 ranked Oklahoma Sooners ensured Stewart's appointment as the permanent 32nd head coach. Both the offensive and defensive most valuable players for the Fiesta Bowl played for WVU. They were Pat White and Reed Williams, respectively. The team continues to do well, especially against their main conference rival, the Panthers of the University of Pittsburgh.

The mountains of West Virginia inspired the Mountaineers nickname and a "mountaineer" has been the mascot since 1890. Each year students vie for the coveted job as the mascot by maintaining a minimum grade point average, writing essays and attending tryouts. The job comes with a scholarship not to mention access to major televised sporting events with a perfect view from the sidelines. The costume is made to fit each winner and most male mascots grow a beard to enhance the rugged appearance of the coonskin cap and fringed costume. He leads the team onto the field for every game where he fires his rifle into the air.



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