MAC Coaches Caravan Hits Road

MORGANTOWN — Fans of West Virginia University will get a once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity to meet and speak with their favorite Mountaineers’ coach when the annual Mountaineer Athletic Club’s Coaches Caravan visit Wheeling, Parkersburg and Martinsburg this week.

“As a head coach you spend a lot of time on the road recruiting and playing games,” WVU football coach Dana Holgorsen explained during last year’s gala at J.P. Henry’s Restaurant in Parkersburg.

“This gives us a chance to spend some time with the people who invest a lot of money in our program.

“Money that every program needs in order to travel to visit a recruit or upgrade facilities that might be the difference in getting a recruit to come to our school.”

The week begins in Wheeling today with Director of Athletics Shane Lyons and several coaches — including Holgorsen and men’s basketball head coach Bob Huggins — stopping at River City Ale Works for a 5:30 p.m. meet-and-greet.

That same group will then head down Interstate I-79 and across U.S. Route 50 west to Parkersburg 24 hours later to spend time rubbing elbows – and answering questions – to approximately 300 fans of the Mountaineers at J.P. Henry’s Restaurant on W.Va. State Route 7.

“We consider these events to be just as important to the success of our programs as the games themselves,” Lyons said. “The lifeblood of our success is the money we receive from events like these.

“Our fans are important to us. These events give us an opportunity to show the fans what they mean to our programs. Our coaches love them despite the fact that they take them away from their players and the recruiting trail.”

The busy week ends for the group on Wednesday when it travels to the eastern panhandle for a 5:30 p.m. stop at the Purple Iris.

Following a week off the road show continues with stops for the 5th Annual WVU Classic at the Pete Dye Golf Club on May 20-21, followed by stops in Princeton (Tuesday, May 22, Chuck Mathena Center) and Beckley (Wednesday, May 23, Calacino’s).

Lyons and his staff will finish up in the Mountain State’s capital city on June 7-8 when they take part in the 36th Annual WVU Classic at Berry Hills Country Club.

“It’s a busy time,” men’s basketball coach Bob Huggins said. “But, as coaches, we understand the importance of these events to our fans and our programs. It also affords us (the coaches) some time to bond and compare notes from the previous seasons.”