by Jim Buzzerd
The West Virginia University football team has been participating in spring drills since March 21 and will culminate with its annual Gold-Blue Spring Football Game, presented by Encova, on Saturday, April 22, at 1 p.m., at Milan Puskar Stadium. Game tickets are available in advance for $10 each and can be purchased online at WVUGAME.com or by calling 1-800-WVU GAME. WVU students will be admitted free by showing their valid student ID at the stadium gates upon entry.
To be honest, I have spent very little time following the Mountaineer football team this spring. That is in large part because the disappointing trajectory of the program. My interest will surely be ramped up by the September 2 opener at Penn State, but I’ll be going into that game with a lot of apprehension that the Mountaineers will be unable to compete.
It’s normal for the quarterback battle to get the most attention in spring and fall camps and that is the case this season at WVU. Leading into spring practice, head coach Neal Brown also made it clear he was comfortable with junior Garrett Greene or redshirt freshman Nicco Marchiol as the team’s top choice, and he felt no need for the Mountaineers to add a quarterback through the NCAA Transfer Portal. Brown has hinted that a starter won’t be named until August.
“I wouldn’t say this if I didn’t feel it — I’m excited about what both of them can do, because their really good stuff is really good,” Brown said Thursday following WVU’s ninth practice of spring football. “We’re trying to put them in situations where if they screw up, at least we’re learning and we’re trying not to make the same mistake.”
West Virginia basketball coach Bob Huggins made a splash in the transfer portal last week landing Arizona point guard Kerr Kriisa, rated as the fourth best portal player available by Rivals. Xavier, Mississippi, Arkansas and Nebraska were reportedly the other top contenders to land Kriisa. Kriisa has international team experience, playing for the senior and junior national teams for Estonia.
Kriisa, who has two seasons of eligibility remaining, joins former Manhattan guard Omar Silverio as verbal commitments to WVU’s 2023-2024 recruiting class. Jose Perez, who will be eligible to compete for the first time at WVU next season, announced he will return to Morgantown for his final season of eligibility.
West Virginia athletics director Wren Baker was forced to find a new women’s coach when Dawn Plitzuweit left abruptly for the same job at Minnesota. Last Wednesday, Mark Kellogg was formally introduced as the seventh head coach of West Virginia women’s basketball at the WVU Coliseum, marking the start of his first Division I head coaching job.
Kellogg comes to Morgantown from Stephen F. Austin, where he left behind a successful eight-season stint as the Ladyjacks’ head coach. SFA won at least 23 games in each of Kellogg’s last seven seasons, and he compiled a 195-55 record during his tenure.
“The question I’ve gotten several times already is why West Virginia? My initial, quick thought is why not? I almost took it personal like why are you asking me that? This place is so special and it’s been so special,” Kellogg said. “There’s such a history here on both sides of the basketball programs. That’s unique and special. It is the flagship university of the state and I have not been a part of that. To recruit to the Flying WV, that is a national brand and excites me to recruit players that can compete at the highest level and win championships.