MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — West Virginia University announced Monday plans to add a men’s golf team by 2015, giving the school a sixth men’s sport as mandated by the Big 12.

MetroNews file photo

WVU athletics director Oliver Luck announced plans to field a men’s golf team starting in 2015.

Men’s tennis, cross-country, and indoor/outdoor track and field and men’s gymnastics also were considered, though for several months athletics director Oliver Luck has suggested golf was the frontrunner because it is relatively inexpensive and can be stocked with in-state recruits. WVU cited 108 high schools in West Virginia competed in boys’ golf during the 2012-13 school year, with 1,016 participants.

WVU previously fielded a men’s golf team from 1933 to 1982, and Luck said golf’s statewide popularity made it “a perfect addition” for the athletics department.

“A lot of thought, time and effort went into this decision as far as cost, travel and infrastructure goes,” Luck said, “and I believe the strong tradition and history of Big 12 golf will only enhance our chances of building a championship program.”

The announcement coincided with PGA Tour players arriving for the Greenbrier Classic in White Sulphur Springs, where Luck was on hand Monday night.

Luck said he plans to hire a coach by March 31, 2014, with golf beginning competition as an NCAA varsity sport July 1, 2015.

“We’re looking for someone who can build a program that can be competitive in the conference,” Luck said during a media teleconference. “We’ve received a handful of resumes and overtures, but we’re a long way from posting the position.”

Men’s Division I golf receives a maximum of 4.5 scholarships—the same as tennis, while track allows 12.6. In estimating the school will have all scholarships funded by 2017, Luck put the fully implemented cost of a men’s golf program at $257,162 annually.

Luck said WVU golf alumni had pledged more than $1.5 million toward reintroducing the program.

“(Those pledges) played a pretty good-sized role—it’s hard to ignore that factor,” he said. “Certainly we want to endow all of our scholarships, which is a massive goal.”

The West Virginia Golf Association’s executive director, Ken Tackett, was delighted to see WVU reintroduce golf at the state’s flagship university.

“Golf has established itself as one of the main sports in West Virginia, with a thriving junior golf program, competitive amateur competitions and a PGA Tour event,” Tackett said. “With the success of the game in our state, it is only fitting that our largest university provide an opportunity for our top junior golfers to stay in West Virginia and compete at a Division I level.”

The Big 12 also requires six women’s sports, of which WVU already competes in 10.

Luck said the school is engaged in discussions with golf courses around the state to determine practice and match locations.

“I’m not a golfer myself, so when people ask me what kind of courses we should play on, I have no idea,” he joked.

bubble graphic

18

bubble graphic

Comments

  • Alum

    I sure hope WVU doesn't play at Pikewood.

    • Alum

      I see the Corps of Engineers hit a bit too close to home, but I am not the least bit surprised.

  • scotthighgrad

    why not add mens track and field...it would help recuirt fast kids for football!

  • Joe

    Big Larry.....honestly, you are missing your true calling. Big Pharma would pay you boku bucks to have conversations with their patients in clinical trials for anti-depressive medications.

  • Bob Melphis

    Your welcome Allan,
    Keep pumpin' out the pro JR tripe for that fish wrap you work for.

    • Allan Taylor

      Is that a digital fish wrapped in HTML?

  • Maurice

    Should have added mens track/cross country. WV has way more track/XC talent in state than golfers. Plus they already have a well established coach in Sean Cleary who has guided the women's program to new heights.

    • wvrefugee

      Seconded Mo! Way more talent come from this state in track & field than any other sports combined! They are going to places like Louisville, USC and Wake Forest this year. IMO.......FAIL! Can we justify the cost of flying 5-10 golfers across the country every week????
      Geez!

  • Bob Melphis

    Kudos to Oliver Luck on getting golf reintroduced to WVU athletics. I am looking forward to a golf team stocked with West Virginia's finest competing in the Big 12. No small achievement considering the distractions the WVU athletic Dept. has faced due to the spoiled, tantrum filled, child-like antics of WVRC ownership.

    • Allan Taylor

      Thanks, Bob, for continuing to be the bigger man as opposed to posting off-topic, tantrum-filled, childlike comments.

      • cutty77

        @ Mr Taylor,
        Everybody is getting tired of Honest John and His Law Suit Filed every week on 3rd Tier Rights. Believe me i've said this 15 to 20 Times WVRC does not wont this to go to court. The AG has John some Questions,and he slipped out the Door. Some people like Pitching,but they don't like catching.

        • Greg

          Cutty, unfortunately I find myself in a position from time to time to have to defend my boss and my employer to my customers. Just because the words come out of my mouth it doesn't always make them true though. I don't always buy into it but it is part of my job.

          Lets hope that this is the case with Allan as JR controls his income. And add Mickey Furfari to that list too since JR controls his retirement income. If not, and they truly believe what they pen, then both should be truly embarrassed with themselves.

  • Hop'sHip

    Hmmm..Maybe if they would choose Pikewood National as their home course a certain antagonist might become a little less antagonistic.

  • Big Larry

    Nobody cares about Golf except the rich "fat cats"...Its a favorite pastime for them.

    Personally, I have better things to do than try and hit a little white ball and then go and try and to find it. Even worse, is to watch others hit a little white ball and then go and try to find it....

    I do however have a golf joke that is very popular with the juveniles...

    "Why did the golfer take with him an extra pair of pants?"

    "In case he got a hole in one".

    • Alum

      Let's see: 4.5 scholarships in golf with zero Title IX (that's a number 9 for you lil' one) versus 11 scholarships for men's track. Oh, and the difference is greater than (that means bigger) than 6.5 scholarships. WVU has to maintain equality with the women so it really translates to about double that amount.

      Why don't you investigate and do the math before you spout off your ignorant diatribes.

  • cutty77

    Great Job Oliver an Kenny. This has been a long time coming.

  • Maxxajay

    Makes me happy when young people can participate in sports in college

  • Chef Camille

    FORE!