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West Virginia Mountaineers

The West Virginia Mountaineers football team represents West Virginia University (also referred to as "WVU" or "West Virginia") in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) of college football. Dana Holgorsen is WVU's current head coach, the 33rd in the program's history. West Virginia plays its home games on Mountaineer Field at Milan Puskar Stadium on the campus of West Virginia University in Morgantown, West Virginia. The Mountaineers compete in the Big 12 Conference.

With a 712–471–45 record, WVU ranks 14th in victories among NCAA FBS programs, as well as the most victories among those programs that never claimed nor won a National Championship.West Virginia was originally classified as a College Division school in the 1937 season, becoming a University Division school from 1939–72. WVU received Division I classification in 1973, becoming a Division I-A program from 1978–2006 and an FBS program from 2006 to the present. The Mountaineers have registered 80 winning seasons in their history, including one unbeaten season (10–0–1 in 1922) and five 11-win seasons (1988, 1993, 2005, 2006, 2007). The Mountaineers have won a total of 15 conference championships, including eight Southern Conference titles and seven Big East Conference titles.

Early years (1891–1920)

WVU's inaugural football team, 1891.

The West Virginia University football program traces its origin back to November 28, 1891 when its first team fell to Washington & Jefferson 72–0 on a converted cow pasture.Despite its humble beginning, West Virginia enjoyed a 25–23–3 overall record prior to 1900, which proved to be a fruitful century of Mountaineer football. The early 1900s brought about early successes for the program, namely during the 1903 and 1905 seasons when WVU posted records of 7–1 and 8–1 respectively.WVU produced a 6–3 record in the 1904 season, despite losing to Penn State, Pitt, and Michigan by a combined score of 217–0.The 1908–20 period produced the four-year head coaching tenures of C.A. Lueder (1908–11) and Mont McIntire (1916–17, 1919–20), representing the longest coaching tenures during this early period of Mountaineer football. Lueder's Mountaineers produced a 17–13–3 record, while McIntire's teams produced the most success of any Mountaineer team prior to 1921, compiling a 24–11–4 record including a 8–2 finish in 1919.That same Mountaineer team also produced West Virginia's first ever Consensus All-American and potential College Football Hall of Fame inductee, Ira Errett Rodgers. Rodgers scored 19 touchdowns and kicked 33 extra points for WVU in 1919 season, leading the nation with 147 total points. Rodgers also threw 11 touchdown passes that season, an unheard of feat at the time and a Mountaineer record until 1949.

First glimpses of success (1921–49)

Old Mountaineer Field, constructed by the University following the successes of the 1922 football season.

The Mountaineers enjoyed their first period of success during the 1920s, coinciding with the successful coaching tenures of Clarence Spears (1921–24) and Ira Errett Rodgers (1925–30, 1943–45). Under the tutelage of Spears, West Virginia compiled a 30–6–3 record with its best performance coming in the 1922 season. The 1922 edition of the Mountaineers remains the only team in West Virginia history to produce an unbeaten season, finishing with a 10–0–1 mark.Spears's Mountaineers surrendered only 34 total points in 1922, posting six consecutive shutouts to finish the regular season.The 1922 season also produced notable victories against rival Pitt and against Gonzaga in the East-West Bowl, the program's first bowl game appearance. Offensive tackle Russell Meredith garnered First-Team All-American honors. In homage to the successes of the 1922 season, West Virginia University undertook construction of what became the first incarnation of Mountaineer Field.