Coaches Caravan returns

PARKERSBURG – Have a question about the upcoming football season at West Virginia University?

Or, maybe, you’d like to spend some time talking about the Mountaineers’ athletic program with Director of Athletics Oliver Luck. Then, again, maybe your goal is to just go out and have yourself a good time with other fans of the old gold and blue.

Whatever the reason the place to be will be J.P. Henry’s Restaurant tonight as the Mountaineer Athletic Club’s Coaches Caravan pays its annual visit to the Mid-Ohio Valley.

“I think one other time we had this in May,” said event organizer Eric Fitzer. “I think it’s a good thing because we have had people in the past that could not attend because it fell during spring break and they were going to be out of town.”

A limited numbers of tickets are available for the event and can be purchased at J.P. Henry’s located on W.Va. 2 North or at Intra State Insurance located on Rosemar Road. Single tickets cost $50 and corporate tables are available at $300 (blue) and $600 (gold).

Gold sponsors for this year’s get together include Mr. Bee Potato Chip Company, Bonds Drug and Tailgators, Derow Enterprises, Family Carpet/Hughes Properties, Global Commodities, Highmark Blue Cross/Blue Shield of WV, Intra State Insurance, Snyder of Berlin/Pierce Food Company, SleddCo, WV Paving, Inc., and Tim Akers/Rob Nolan. Blue sponsors are American Clean Air, Chancellor Insurance, Cutlip Warner Development, DeBarr Trucking, Hornor & Harrison, Woodcraft Supply, Chapman Printing, D.J. Wingroves & Son Jewelers, Gary Lombard/1975 Peach Bowl Team, Tri State Roofing, Winans Sanitary Supply, Astorg Motors, St. Joseph Ambulance Service and Craig Riedel/Certified Appraisals.

In addition to funding scholarships for WVU student-athletes, Mountaineer Athletic Club members play a pivotal role in the enhancement, construction and maintenance of first-class facilities and in the establishment and operation of key services and support functions for the athletic department.

All monies raised from the event will go to support the MAC.

Once again serving as the Master of Ceremonies for the event will be Tony Caridi, who serves as the voice for both the football and men’s basketball programs, while Luck, head football coach Dana Holgorsen and men’s basketball head coach Bobby Huggins are expected to be among those in attendance.

Others expected to attend include men’s soccer coach Marlon LeBlanc, head volleyball coach Jill Kramer, assistant men’s basketball coach Billy Hahn, Jon Hammond-head coach of the Mountaineers’ National Champion Rifle team-former assistant football coach Steve Dunlap and assistant athletic director in charge of marketing and sales Matt Wells.

More names could be added including former-Parkersburg South/West Liberty University standout Ron Crook, who took over the offensive line coaching duties when former-coach Bill Bedenbaugh left to return to Oklahoma.

Parkersburg will serve as the second of six stops by the Coaches Caravan. The first stop took place in Wheeling at Oglebay Resort on Wednesday with other visits slated for Martinsburg (Holiday Inn) on May 15, Princeton (Chuck Mathena Center) on May 22, Daniels (The Resort at Glade Spring) on May 23 and in Clarksburg (Village Square Conference Center) on June 5.

The WVU Classic is slated to be held in Charleston on June 6-7. A two-day affair, the Classic includes a fashion show, tennis and golf tournaments, pairings party and an awards reception.