Year in Review Pod Special – The Gold and Blue Nation Podcast
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Ceili McCabe’s record-setting run at the national track and field championships closed the book on competition for Mountaineer athletes during the 2021-22 academic year. On the latest edition of The Gold and Blue Nation Podcast, presented by Pritt & Spano, the Gold and Blue Nation crew is reliving our favorite moments from the year that was.
Listen to the show at the top of this page or on your preferred podcast platform.
These are our favorite moments from 2021-22:
A Hall Call for Huggs
Senior Producer Jamie Green: It was long overdue, but Bob Huggins finally got the call from the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in April. After more than 900 wins, Huggins will join elite company of some of basketball’s greatest of all time. Huggins’s resume speaks for itself with more than 300 wins at two different schools, 24 NCAA Tournament appearances and two trips to the final four with Cincinnati and WVU. But Huggins’ influence on his home state goes way beyond coaching. His dedication to finding a cure for cancer through the Norma Mae Huggins Endowment Fund is a hall of fame cause on its own. His signature fundraising event, the Bob Huggins Fish Fry, which raises money for cancer research and the Remember the Miners Foundation, turned 10 last winter. Huggins embodies the meaning of being a true Mountaineer. He’ll officially be enshrined in the hall of fame in September.
A Hometown Connection
Mountaineer Football Insider Anjelica Trinone: Watching WVU wrestler Peyton Hall reach the podium at the NCAA Tournament was a special moment for me because we are from the same hometown. My high school doesn’t produce Division I athletes often, so to see a former Golden Bear having success as a student-athlete while also having the opportunity to cover it was a full circle moment. He finished eighth and earned All-America status for a second-straight season. He also took a trip back to Oak Glen and presented the assistant wrestling coach, Jessie Mahan, with a check through the Big 12 Champions for Life program. To see Peyton excelling on both sides of being a student-athlete was something that brought me, and our hometown, a lot of pride.
A Big Win in the “BasketBrawl”
Digital Content Manager Sam Coniglio: After a year away from the Coliseum, both the fans and I made our way back to watch Bob Huggins’s squad take on Pitt — in record numbers. For the first time in history, WVU sold out the Coliseum in November as optimism and excitement for the upcoming season were both starting to build. The Mountaineers coasted by the Panthers without much effort, but it was clear that the rivalry was not lost on the players, many of whom were new to WVU. The true highlight for me, however, was the fan experience. This was my first time in a packed Coliseum since March 2020, and with our team in all corners of the country covering all sorts of WVU events, I had the challenge (and privilege) of sitting on the court to shoot highlights. When the Coli’ was empty shortly after the final buzzer, my ears were ringing like I had just left a Metallica concert. It was that rowdy in there. Oh, and WVU earned its 100th victory against Pitt on the basketball court. Not bad.
Senior Day Triumph for WVU Hoops
Reporter Ryan Decker: My favorite moment from this past academic year was the men’s basketball team’s celebration following the final game of the regular season. The 70-64 win over TCU was a great, and needed, way to end the regular season. It marked the end of a seven-game losing streak, and served as a fun sendoff for five seniors. But the real highlight of the day was the team rushing into the student section after the win. You don’t see stuff like that very often, and given what the win meant to the team, and what the students continuing to show up to each home game meant to the players, it was a great moment.
An Unforgettable Night for WVU Men’s Soccer
Executive Producer Nick Farrell: My top moment from 2021-22 was one of the first big sporting moments of the academic year: WVU men’s soccer’s stunning 2-1 upset over then-No. 3 Pitt. The match had some great buildup, as you’d expect with a Backyard Brawl, and it was nearly a sellout, which felt so foreign after a year of competitions in nearly empty stadiums. If the win over Marshall the previous spring was the moment Dan Stratford “arrived” at WVU, the victory over the Panthers was the night his program proved just how good it could become. From the moment he returned to campus in 2020, Stratford vowed to build a top-10 men’s soccer program at his alma mater. That triumph over Pitt was the first major victory in a season that ended with the program’s first appearance in the national quarterfinals in four decades. The entire season was an incredible ride, including NCAA Tournament wins over Virginia Tech at home and Tulsa on the road, but that victory over Pitt was the night that started it all.
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