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Diversified Energy cuts ribbon on Bridgeport headquarters for gas well retirement company

BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. — Diversified Energy says a new Bridgeport headquarters for one of its subsidiaries will help the company keep its commitment to retire 200 gas wells a year.

A ribbon cutting ceremony was held Friday for Next LVL Energy’s new headquarters and training facility.

“Diversified Energy’s continued investment in well retirement operations demonstrates our long-standing commitment to be responsible stewards of assets from acquisition through retirement,” Diversified Energy co-founder and CEO Rusty Hutson, Jr. said. “We’re proud to build the premier plugging company in the Appalachian region and this new headquarters will only further integrate these operations into the heart and soul of our daily strategy, benefiting our existing operations, the environment, and the local communities we’re proud to call home.”

The company said the new Bridgeport headquarters will serve as a base for efficient plugging rig deployment. A training center at the site will be used for staff development.

Gov. Jim Justice was on hand for Friday’s ceremony.

“It’s amazing if you step back and think about all the contribution Diversified is making across the state,” said Gov. Jim Justice during Friday’s ribbon cutting event. “What’s Rusty’s doing is remarkable beyond belief and I’m really proud this company never forgot where home is.”

A Friday news release from the company said with its purchase of Next LVL Energy and other assets it has become the largest asset retirement provider in the Appalachian region

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Three JMU students die in West Virginia crash

MATHIAS, W.Va. — A Thursday night crash in Hardy County claimed the lives of three James Madison University students.

According to the Hardy County Sheriff’s Department, five male students, all 19-years-old, were in a vehicle that was traveling south on state Route 259 near the community of Mathias at around 10:30 p.m. The vehicle left the highway and struck a tree.

Three of the five died at the scene. Authorities said the driver and one of the passengers was taken by helicopter to a nearby hospital. They are both in critical condition.

JMU Vice President for Student Affairs Tim Miller released a statement to the campus community in connection with the crash.

“It is with a heavy heart and sadness I write to inform you of the loss of several JMU students from a tragic car accident that occurred last night in West Virginia,” Miller said. “In addition to those we have lost, other students from our community involved in the accident sustained life-threatening injuries and remain hospitalized.”

The sheriff’s department told one media outlet there were no skidmarks on the highway. There was also no evidence that an animal had been struck.

The wreck happened near the state line with Virginia. James Madison University is located in Harrisonburg, Va. about 18 miles from the state line.

The names of those involved were not immediately released.

 

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Desperation setting in for Mountaineers with plenty at stake Saturday against Oklahoma

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — West Virginia is halfway through the Big 12 portion of its schedule and has played every team in the conference with the exception of Iowa State.

Oklahoma is at the same stage within league play and Kansas State is the only conference foe the Sooners have yet to meet.

As the Mountaineers (13-9, 2-7) and Oklahoma (12-10, 2-7) prepare for Saturday’s 8 p.m. meeting inside the WVU Coliseum, both do so as teams considered squarely on the NCAA Tournament bubble, despite having combined for a 4-14 record in Big 12 play.

“I would hope that they understand the position they put themselves in,” West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins said. “We have enough veteran guys that they should understand. We have enough guys that have played in NCAA Tournaments who should be excited about playing in the NCAA Tournament, and we have enough guys who a year ago did not that it should be a tremendous motivating factor for them.”

In the latest bracketology Friday morning from ESPN’s Joe Lunardi, the Mountaineers are among the last four teams in the NCAA Tournament field, while the Sooners are in the group of first four out. Although Lunardi’s projections have no bearing on at-large teams chosen for the NCAA Tournament, they have become a talking point over the last couple decades and consistently received notoriety as the start of postseason play draws closer.

“I sent that to the team yesterday or the day before,” said WVU guard Erik Stevenson, who leads the team with a scoring average of 14 points. “I pay attention to it a lot and I’ve paid attention to it since I was 10 when I was making a bracket.”

On the surface, Saturday looks to be a swing game for both teams, with the loser likely needing no fewer than five more wins the rest of the way to feel good about their postseason prospects.

One of the Sooners’ two victories in Big 12 play came against the Mountaineers when Oklahoma prevailed 77-76 at the Lloyd Noble Center three weeks ago. Oklahoma has won seven straight meetings with West Virginia and eight consecutive regular season contests.

The last three have come with Porter Moser as head coach after he replaced Lon Kruger following Kruger’s retirement at the end of the 2020-21 season.

Huggins couldn’t recall a similar theme or reasoning for the Sooners’ success of late in the series.

“It’s unusual for me not recall what happens, but I guess I’ve kind of blocked it out,” Huggins said.

In the earlier matchup this season, both teams shot well over 50 percent and combined for 93 second-half points. The two biggest factors in the outcome were free-throw shooting and rebounding. Oklahoma made 18-of-25 foul shots to WVU shooting 8 for 16, while the Sooners had a 29-19 edge on the boards.

Trailing 70-69, WVU forward Tre Mitchell made 1-of-2 free throws, and shortly after he tied the game, point guard Joe Toussaint missed two foul shots with 1:05 remaining. On the ensuing possession, the Sooners’ Jalen Hill made two free throws, and after Stevenson tried a low percentage 3-pointer that was off the mark, Hill made two more free throws.

“We’ve been so terribly inconsistent in so many ways,” Huggins said. “Times defensively we’ve been pretty good and other times it’s been like we didn’t even really want to be there. We don’t have a leader. We really don’t. We just don’t have that strong leadership and the guy who drags everybody in and says, ‘this has to stop now.’ We don’t have bad guys. They’re good people and for the most part they give you some effort. Maybe not quite as much as what you want. But we don’t have that hard-assed guy like we had before. We’ve had guys that would go in the huddle and I wouldn’t have to say a word.”

In the Mountaineers’ most recent outing, Tuesday’s 76-72 loss at an undermanned, but 15th-ranked TCU squad, West Virginia fell behind early and never led, though the game never got away from Huggins’ team.

Still, WVU fell to 1-4 in Big 12 road games, continuing a trend of of competitive losses away from home in league play.

“There were a lot of heart to heart conversations. They didn’t come to play,” Huggins said. “They know they didn’t come to play. We were bad. We had very little enthusiasm. There was nobody in there and then all of a sudden there were 4,000 students in there. We just didn’t step up and meet the challenge.”

Oklahoma guard Grant Sherfield (25) works past a defender in the second half during a college basketball game between the Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the West Virginia Mountaineers at Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Jan. 14, 2023.

TCU, for the second time in as many games against the Mountaineers, shot better than 50 percent from the field.

“Way too many points in the paint [48] and way too many easy points,” Stevenson said. “That’s how they won the game. Not by shooting the ball from the outside.” 

Mitchell, second on the Mountaineers with an average of 12.3 points, had a strong showing in the earlier meeting with the Sooners. He made 7-of-8 shots and had a team-high 16 points, joining Toussaint (14), point guard Kedrian Johnson (13) and forward Emmitt Matthews Jr. (11) as WVU’s double-figure scorers that day.

The Sooners were led by guard Grant Sherfield, who scored 22 against the Mountaineers and averages 16.9.

Hill follows at 10.3 and brothers Tanner Groves (10.1) and Jacob Groves (7.6) give the Sooners a pair of viable front court options. Freshman guard Milos Uzan averages 6.4 points and was a big factor in the first meeting with 11 points and nine rebounds.

Oklahoma is 1-4 since its triumph against the Mountaineers, going winless in Big 12 play over that time, but also handling a top 10 opponent in Alabama, 93-69. On Wednesday, the Sooners suffered a home loss to Oklahoma State, ensuring the Cowboys of a regular season sweep.

“We have to win,” Huggins said. “It’s going to be that way the rest of the way. We need to win. There’s no sense lying to them.” 

NOTE: Saturday’s game was originally scheduled to air on ESPN2, and still will, though with a twist. The start of the contest will be shown on ESPNEWS as ESPN2 this week added a broadcast of a 6 p.m. NBA game between the Los Angeles Lakers and New Orleans Pelicans with the Lakers’ LeBron James closing in on the NBA career scoring record. When the NBA game ends, likely at some point during the first of the contest in Morgantown, ESPN2 will switch to the broadcast of Oklahoma vs. WVU.

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Senators ask how $28 million in covid money went first to governor’s fund and then to baseball project

Senators are trailing the Justice administration’s transfer of the remaining $28 million in federal covid relief dollars to a fund controlled by the Governor’s Office, which then put millions of dollars from that transfer toward construction of Marshall University’s new baseball field.

Randy Smith

“Isn’t that money laundering?” asked Senator Randy Smith, R-Tucker.

No, responded Berkeley Bentley, general counsel for the Governor’s Office.

Berkeley Bentley

Bentley was testifying before the Senate Finance Committee, which wanted to know more about the transfer’s reasoning and validity.

He told senators that the state faced a deadline to spend the remaining $28 million from federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act funds.

The state incurred that amount in costs for pandemic-related expenses for corrections and homeland security, he said. Then the state reimbursed its own expenses by using the federal covid money.

Facing the deadline, Bentley told senators, the administration found it simplest to transfer the reimbursed money into the Governor’s Office Gifts, Grants and Donations Fund.

“Once allocated, those CARES-eligible expenses — the $28.3 million — became state dollars, for lack of a better word,” Bentley said. “We spent the CARES money on CARES-eligible purposes, reimbursing the state. That becomes subject to state law, not the federal CARES requirements.”

Among that fund’s distributions following the transfer to the governor’s fund was $10 million to Marshall University to support construction of a new baseball stadium.

Senators seemed to think that money trail had a dogleg.

Senate Finance Chairman Eric Tarr repeatedly asked if the state’s expenses were for corrections then why didn’t the reimbursement go to corrections.

Eric Tarr

“You’re telling me that you can reimburse, related to any expense the state would have with covid, that the governor can move that money anywhere it wants and say it’s covid-related?” asked Tarr, R-Putnam.

Noting that corrections has staffing shortages that have resulted in a separate, ongoing state of emergency, Tarr went farther.

“Then the governor’s staff claimed that covid-related expenses came from corrections for those monies that we appropriated to them in that state of emergency, and when you transferred the last $28 million — which doesn’t come close to covering any of those corrections expenses, the governor decides to put it into a discretionary account and start putting into astroturf on baseball fields,” Tarr said.

“I want to ask you what part of that is appropriate.”

Bentley replied, “When the state reimburses itself, there is no direction under federal or state law that directs where that money goes.”

Tarr followed up. “You didn’t reimburse those expenses that came from corrections. You reimbursed it to the governor’s discretionary account. And that money — some of it’s still sitting there, much of it’s not — went to a baseball field and other expenses. Is that accurate?”

Bentley: “So far, those are the transfers that I’m aware of out of the fund after the transfer was made.”

Tarr: “There was no transfer to corrections whatsoever out of that money?”

Bentley: “There has been no transfer to corrections for that.”

The Senate Finance Committee also got testimony from state Auditor J.B. McCuskey, whose office had questioned the transfer to the governor’s discretionary fund.

J.B. McCuskey

“Was that a usual request that you would have seen coming from the executive?” Tarr asked.

“No,” McCuskey said.

The auditor later provided more context. “We see our role in this process as ensuring that all of these things are done legally and properly, but I think more importantly is ensuring there’s a record of what happened so that people in rooms like this can know what happened later. So we asked for a legal and accounting opinion.”

The Governor’s Office referenced opinions by outside counsel as well as a nationally-known accounting firm. McCuskey noted that at the time of the transfer to the governor’s discretionary fund, the auditor’s staff would have had no way of knowing the final transfer to the baseball project was ahead.

McCuskey suggested a more logical transfer might have been to accounts under the authority of corrections.

Jeff Sandy

Later in the hearing, senators asked Homeland Security Secretary Jeff Sandy about the funding transfer. Sandy had described receiving about $52 million from CARES, including $41 million for medical expenses.

Tarr wanted to know how corrections could have gotten that money back while the $28 million went elsewhere. “How is the additional $28 million related to other expenses?”

Sandy didn’t know right off hand. “I cannot answer that, sir,” Sandy replied. “I can give you that answer, but I cannot today.”

Well into the day’s testimony, Senator Smith was still trying to make it all make sense. “I’m trying to wrap my head around how a baseball field would fall under covid funds,” he said. “How, legally, could we use covid money for a baseball facility?”

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Runaway found with ‘barely a scratch on him’

JUMPING BRANCH, W.Va. — Summers County Sheriff Justin Faris tells MetroNews an 11-year-old boy from Jumping Branch is going to be okay after running away from home and spending the cold night exposed to conditions.

Jayden Reese

A large search party found the boy Friday afternoon. Sheriff Faris said he was relieved and thankful.

“We were really starting to get considered and I could see it other officer’s faces. The longer it takes in something like this the lesser chance you have for a happy ending. It was getting into the real dark time.”

Jayden Reese suffered some hypothermia but was otherwise in pretty good shape. He was checked out at a nearby hospital.

“There was a barely a scratch on him. He walked through pitch dark without a light and I don’t know if he has a scratch on him,” Faris said.

The search started late Thursday and broke off at 4 a.m. Friday. The volunteers reassembled at first light and went out again. Faris said at one point they had more than 100 volunteers and they were able to do a grid search.

Reese was actually found near his home. He was hiding from search party members. Faris said he traveled several miles through the night.

“He was found near his residence but he had actually been all over the area. He had traveled several, several miles over 21 hours,” Faris said.

The cold weather brought the biggest concern and Reese wasn’t well clothed. He had on blue shorts, a camouflaged jacket with no shirt underneath, and a pair of Muck boots when he disappeared.

Faris said they’ll sort out why the boy ran away from home later. He said right now the most important thing is that he’s okay.

Faris praises first responders, police agencies and the volunteers who were part of the response.

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MEC roundup: Glenville State men capture quality win over Falcons; Charleston, West Liberty clash Saturday

Several teams eclipsed the century mark en route to victories Wednesday in Mountain East Conference action.

A look back at a few games as well as what’s to come this weekend:

Men’s Basketball

GLENVILLE STATE 85, Fairmont State 84, OT: Neither team held a lead larger than seven points throughout a tightly-contested regulation.

The Pioneers (13-8, 9-6) trailed by two late in the regulation when Jacquez Yow missed a 3-pointer with 28 seconds left, but Jordan Turbo Smith corralled the offensive rebound. Off of the extra possession, Yow earned a trip to the foul line and converted both free throws, tying the game at 76.

Glenville State then outscored Fairmont State 9-8 during extra time, with four different Pioneers scoring in the extra session.

Four GSU players scored in double figures, with Freddie Word’s 20 points leading the way. Trevor Chandler and Smith Turbo each scored 18 points. 

For Fairmont State (16-5, 11-4), Isaiah Sanders led all scorers with 23 points.

WEST LIBERTY 102, West Virginia State 97: West Liberty connected on 10 of its last 11 free throws to hold off a late run by West Virginia State. WLU led by much as 16 with 17-plus minutes left.

The Hilltoppers (18-3, 13-2) had a 92-82 lead with less than 5 minutes remaining. However, the Yellow Jackets (15-6, 9-6) trimmed the deficit to 92-90 with 1:58 left.

WLU ultimately did enough late to escape Institute with the victory.

West Liberty’s starting lineup combined for 68 percent of its points. Junior Bryce Butler scored a game-high 26. 

The Yellow Jackets’ Samier Kinsler had a team-high 24 points in defeat.

Women’s Basketball

CHARLESTON 86, Wheeling 72: The Golden Eagles notched their third straight victory.

UC used a 7-0 in a 1:30 in the middle of the second quarter to extend its lead to 40-28 with 3:29 left in the opening half. 

However, Wheeling outscored Charleston 12-9 in the waning minutes of the quarter, trimming the Golden Eagles’ halftime advantage to 49-40.

The Cardinals began the second half outscoring UC 16-6 over the opening 6:26 of the third. However, the Golden Eagles would reclaim the lead by using a 10-4 advantage in the final 3 minutes.

In the final quarter, UC outscored Wheeling 19-12 to pull away.

Five Golden Eagles scored in double-figures, including Markyia McCormick’s 19 points off the bench. Wheeling’s Lauren Calhoun posted 20 points and 11 rebounds in the loss.

What’s ahead

Charleston vs. West Liberty: The top two MEC teams in men’s and women’s basketball will face off Saturday afternoon at West Liberty. The men’s teams are the top two in league with a combined record of 36-6, including 25-5 in league play.

The men’s game will feature the league’s top scoring offense, West Liberty, which averages 100 points, against the best scoring defense in Charleston, which is holding teams to 73 points on average.

On the women’s side, both teams have won three straight games. The Golden Eagles are 7-4 on the road but have lost two of their last three road games. The Hilltoppers have won three straight home games.

The women’s matchup tips off at 2 p,m., and the men follow at 4 p.m.

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Employees rally to save a power plant and their jobs

ST. MARY, W.Va. — Employees of the Pleasants Power Station are making their best pitch to save the plant and their jobs. The present owner of the plant intends to close it at the end of May after they were unsuccessful in trying to sell the coal fired facility.

Craig Straight has worked at the plant for more than 23 years and is a third generation employee. Speaking on Friday’s MetroNews Talkline, he said they don’t believe the attempt to sell the facility came at the right time. He said the attempt to sell came as Covid created chaos in the business world and soon afterward Russia invaded Ukraine and wrecked the market for natural gas in Europe. Both events caused the sudden inflation of coal prices on the spot market and killed any hopes of selling the plant for the time being.

 

But Straight said things have now changed and the prices of coal has eased a bit.

“What we’re hoping for is one of the previous suitors will find a coal contract and negotiate and purchase the plant,” Straight told MetroNews.

Workers have another plan they are also hoping will hold up. They want to use a case before the West Virginia Public Service Commision in which the Consumer Advocate’s analysis indicated the plant was a valuable resource to keep power to West Virginia customers available and affordable.

“The consumer advocate, whose sole purposes is to protect the rate payers of West Virginia, testified they believed it was in the best interest of the rate payers for Mon Power and Potomac Edison which serve the eastern panhandle and northern part of the state to purchase the Pleasants Power Station to add to their generation. We’re concentrating now on pursuing that PSC case,” he explained.

But the aging coal fired facility gets a lot of grief as companies attempt to turn away from traditional fossil fuels and look toward alternatives for the future. The trend toward green energy has weighed hard on facilities like Pleasants. It’s the reason the present owner wants to shed the asset, but Straight said the nation isn’t ready to run solely on wind and solar–or even natural gas at this point.

“You only have to go back to the bomb cyclone of the Christmas holiday weekend to see what’s happening to our country. PJM, the grid operator for this region, at one point was 2,000 megawatts shy of what they needed to meet peak load that day. If Pleasants was already closed, they would have been an additional 1,300 megawatts shy,” he said.

Straight said the plant is capable of powering more than one Million homes. The facility is also equipped with the Selective Catalytic Restriction System or “SCR” commonly called a “scrubber” to clean pollutants from emissions as they are released. Other plans are forced to buy credits for such pollution while Pleasants’ SCR system is capable of actually creating those credits. He said they are encouraging Mon Power’s purchase would enable the company to keep the reliability and capacity of not only the Pleasants Power Station, but also their Fort Martin Power Station. Also a coal fired facility, Fort Martin does not have the SCR technology and must currently buy the credits.

The Pleasants Power Station, according to the workers provides 154 jobs to the region. It’s Pleasants County’s single-largest tax payer with $1.7 Million annual contribution to the local school system. Straight said the plant generates $460 Million in economic development to the state and creates more than 700 coal jobs for West Virginia by annually burning three Million tons of West Virginia coal.

But even with those stats, Straight said the bigger worry is the plant represents the fabric of the community which they don’t want to lose.

“We’re not just taxes and jobs or concrete and steel. This plant means something to our community. It’s woven into the fabric of our community. It’s more than just a power station,” he explained.

Straight said they have created a Save Pleasants Power Facebook page in hopes of rallying support to sell and save the plant.

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The 2023 West Virginia International Auto Show is back in the Capital City

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia’s International Auto Show is back for the first time since the pandemic.

The show opened Friday with several hundred new vehicles from different manufacturers will be on display for auto enthusiasts, with multiple manufacturers showing off their new and improved electric vehicles.

The West Virginia Auto Dealers Association is sponsoring the auto show, and event producer for the WVADA, Peter Alexander, said the event is critical for the dealers.

“This is absolutely critical for the dealers, to get back and to let the public know we are back in business,” he said.

Alexander added that the event is different from the previous years.

“Two or three years without a car show, the difference in cars now, if you walk through the front area, those are all EVs (electric vehicles), an EV Hummer, an EV Audi, an EV Subaru, these are just phenomenal products,” he said.

Alexander said this is a great place to compare vehicles if you’re in the market to buy.

“The real reason for an auto show is if you are in the market, this is a great place to compare side by side instead of having to go to all the dealerships. The products are all laid out here, and all you are going to do is get information on them; this isn’t a selling event; people aren’t going to pressure you to buy,” he said

The event will run through Sunday at the Charleston Coliseum and Convention Center.

Story by Chayce Matheny

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House votes to ban gender-affirming treatment for minors

After more than an hour of debate, West Virginia delegates passed a bill that would ban aspects of gender affirming care for minors.

House Bill 2007 was passed 84-10 with six members absent. The bill now goes to the state Senate for consideration.

Geno Chiarelli

“Even if the surgeries aren’t happening now, it doesn’t mean they won’t be happening next year if we don’t do something,” said Delegate Geno Chiarelli, R-Monongalia. “We have the rare opportunity to be preemptive. We can be proactive instead of reactive. That’s the kind of conservative legislators that our citizens want.

“This body effectively banned abortion last year, and now there’s more of us than there were before. There’s a clear appetite for this kind of legislation, and I encourage you all to vote yes.”

The original version of House Bill 2007, “Prohibiting certain medical practices,” focused on irreversible gender-affirming surgery. A revised version advanced this week by the House Judiciary Committee also includes gender-altering medication.

Evan Hansen

“It’s not just about the surgery,” said Delegate Evan Hansen, D-Monongalia. “It’s about the ability of our doctors and our medical professionals to provide a wide range of gender-affirming care to our youth without forcing our doctors to withhold healthcare that’s now available to our kids.”

Supporters pointed generally toward news coverage of gender-affirming procedures elsewhere and said the policy is meant to ensure West Virginia doesn’t face growing acceptance of the treatment.

Mike Honaker

“We are taking on the issues of the social winds that are blowing across this country,” said Delegate Mike Honaker, R-Greenbrier. “And we’re not only trying to react, but we’re trying to get a step ahead and preemptively take steps in advance of the danger that is coming.”

Critics of the bill have said such surgery doesn’t occur in West Virginia because medical providers already have  policy against it. On the issue of medicines such as hormone blockers, critics have said the government is getting in the way of decisions that should be among medical professionals, youths and their families.

Shawn Fluharty

Delegate Shawn Fluharty asked a series of questions of House Judiciary Chairman Moore Capito about whether the surgery even happens in the state.

“Can you provide us from any evidence from Judiciary committee or otherwise that these surgeries are even taking place in West Virginia?” asked Fluharty, D-Ohio.

Moore Capito

Capito, R-Kanawha, responded, “There was no testimony provided in committee that there are surgeries taking place.”

John Williams

Delegate John Williams, D-Monongalia, pushed back on that point. “I want to make crystal clear one aspect of this bill that keeps being repeated over and over again. There are no surgeries happening in the state of West Virginia. None. None,” he said.

And Delegate Danielle Walker, D-Monongalia, contended the main reason for the bill is political.

Danielle Walker

“Once again, we have politics over people. We have put politics over healthcare. We have put politics over bodily autonomy. We have put politics over parental consent. We have put politics over the privacy of patients,” Walker said.

“We have put politics over evidence-based healthcare. We ahve put politics over families. We have put politics over our children. We have put politics over the trans community. We have put politics over the trans youth in our mountain state.”

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Jeff Hostetler, Mike Carey entering West Virginia Sports Hall of Fame in May

— by Doug Huff, WVSWA

WHEELING, W.Va. — A 15-year National Football League player who quarterbacked a winning Super Bowl team and the winningest all-time, in-state college basketball coach will be inducted into the West Virginia Sports Hall of Fame.

Jeff Hostetler and Mike Carey will be enshrined by the West Virginia Sports Writers Association at the 76th annual Victory Awards Dinner on May 7 at the Embassy Suites in Charleston.

Before his 15-year NFL career, Hostetler made a two-year impact at West Virginia after transferring from Penn State. His place in WVU lore was set from his very first game in 1982 when he went to Norman, Okla., and stunned nationally No. 9 ranked Oklahoma, 41-27 by passing for 321 yards and four touchdowns to earn national Player of the Week accolades. He led the Mountaineers to the 1982 Gator Bowl and engineered a come-from-behind 20-16 victory over Kentucky in the 1983 Hall of Fame Bowl.

Jeff Hostetler scrambles outside the pocket during his days playing at WVU. Photo courtesy of WVSWA

The Holsopple, Pa., native, and 1983 team captain, had an 18-6 team two-year record and placed seventh in the 1983 Heisman Trophy balloting after passing for 2,345 yards and 16 TDs as a senior. He was selected the 1983 Amateur Athlete of the Year by the W.Va. Sports Writers Association.

He left school ranking among WVU’s single season leaders, and career leaders, in total offense, passing yards, completions, attempts, touchdown passes and passing efficiency. He set a school career record for interception avoidance.

He played in the 1984 postseason Hula and Japan Bowls.

Hostetler was also an exceptional student and graduated with a 3.85 GPA in Finance. He was named to the 1984 GTE/CoSida Academic All-0America team and won the National Football Foundation postgraduate scholarship.

He’s a member of the WVU Sports Hall of Fame, the WVU all-time team, and was named an inaugural member of the Mountaineer Legends Society.

Nicknamed “Hoss” by Mountaineer fans, he was selected by the New York Giants in the third round (59th pick) of the NFL Draft and won two Super Bowls with the team. He took over the starting quarterback spot from an injured Phil Simms in 1990 and led the Giants to the NFC title and a 20-19 victory over the heavily-favored Buffalo Bills in Super Bowl XXV. The only state product to quarterback a Super Bowl win, he completed 20 of 32 passes for 222 yards and one TD. He also was a member of the winning 1987 Super Bowl XXI team which defeated the Denver Broncos, 39-20.

His 15-year career included stops with the Giants (1984-92), Los Angeles/Oakland Raiders (1993-96), and Washington Redskins (1997-98). A 1994 Pro Bowl selection for the Raiders, his career NFL totals included 16,430 passing yards and 94 touchdowns.

The resident of the Morgantown area joins his former WVU coach, and father-in-law, Don Nehlen in the Hall of Fame.

“Wow, what a surprise and special honor,” Hostetler said when informed of his selection. “I’m honored to join a great, special group from the state I love and where I decided to make my home.”

Carey, meanwhile, earned his fame on the college coaching sidelines, both for women’s and men’s basketball on two different levels.

The Clarksburg native retired in 2022 as the winningest women’s coach in West Virginia University history. He recorded a 21-year record of 447-239 (.652) in NCAA Division 1 play in the Big East and Big 12 Conferences. Previously, he was the men’s coach at his alma mater, Salem College, where he posted a 13-year record of 288-102 (.738) in the West Virginia Intercollegiate Conference and the NAIA.

His overall record of 735-341 (.683) is the winningest in-state college basketball mark.

“I was fortunate to coach my entire career in West Virginia,” Carey said. “This is a great honor and I’m very proud but I have to give thanks to the Salem and WVU officials who gave me the opportunities. Eddie Pastilong (WVU Athletic Director) and David Hardesty (WVU President) took a chance on me and I had a great staff.”

The WVU women’s basketball program only had three post-season appearances before Carey took over in 2001-02 and led the Mountaineers to 16 post-season spots including 13 in a row from 2007-19. His WVU record includes 18 winning seasons, 11 NCAA Tournaments with 10 second round berths, 5 WNIT berths including two finals, 14 seasons of 20 or more wins, 131 weeks of national rankings, and 45 wins over nationally ranked foes including seven in the Top 10.

He coached 10 players who earned 20 All-America honors, 10 WNBA players and 74 all-conference athletes while 20 Mountaineers scored over 1,000 career points.

Carey was named Big East Conference Coach of the Year in 2004 and 2010 with a 29-6 overall record. He garnered Big 12 Conference Coach of the Year in 2014 with a school record 30-5 season including 16-2 for the Big 12 regular season title. His 2017 team won the Big 12 Tournament crown.

At Salem, he was assistant men’s coach from 1987 until 1989, when he started a 13-year head coaching career that included 12 winning seasons, seven postseason berths (two NAIA and five NCAA Division II) and won five West Virginia Conference titles. Three times the WVIAC tournament champion, his Tigers were twice participants in the Division II Elite Eight, ranked No. 1 nationally during two seasons and played in the Division II Final Four in 1997.

A four-time WVIAC Coach of the Year, he was also twice named NCAA Division II East Region Coach of the Year. His final five Tiger teams went 138-20. He also served as Salem athletic director from 1989-2000.

Before his college coaching career, Carey spent seven years coaching girls and boys in high school–at Flemington and at Liberty, his alma mater.

A member of the Salem University Athletic Hall of Fame, he was a prolific Tiger basketball scorer with over 2,000 points from 1977-80 and was named WVIAC Freshman of the Year, led the conference in scoring as a sophomore, and was named all-conference and team MVP as a junior.

At Liberty High School in Clarksburg, the three-sport performer was named 1st team Class AAA basketball all-state as a senior when he led the state in scoring with a 33.2 per game average. His No. 32 jersey No. was retired at the school.

Carey resides in Bridgeport.

A digital plaque listing, with photos, of the inductees into the W.Va. Sports Hall of Fame since 1950 can be found at wvswa.org.

The post Jeff Hostetler, Mike Carey entering West Virginia Sports Hall of Fame in May appeared first on WV MetroNews.

Source: WV MetroNews