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Golden Bear Spirit

HALL OF HIGHEST HONOR

Folks show pictures to one another on a cell phone in front of a display wall in the athletic hall of fame.

WVU Tech is excited to announce the opening of the Barrett-Kelly Athletic Hall of Fame on the Beckley campus.The hall includes many rooms of Golden Bear memories; from National Championship trophies and banners for accomplishments to Mike Barrett’s US Olympic Gold Medal. The Hall of Fame is a must-see destination for fans and friends of the athletic programs at Tech.

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“GOLDEN” GOLDEN BEARS

A hand projects into the image triumphantly holding a trophy
WVU Tech students played their hearts out this season – enough to mark multiple historical seasons and land seven national tournament appearances. Men’s basketball ran a 30-5 record and, for the first time in program history, made it past the first round of the NAIA National Championship. They were crowned the River States Conference (RSC) Champions. Women’s basketball ended its 2018-19 campaign with a record of 24-10 after falling in the first round of the NAIA DII National Championship.The Golden Bears were also the RSC regular season and tournament champions. Men’s cross country finished 22nd overall in the nation during the NAIA National Championship. Men’s soccer landed runners-up in the River States Conference in 2018. Race walking posted two national showings throughout the year. Sophomore Steven Smith was the nation’s (NAIA) winter race runner-up while senior Luke Jobson (3rd), senior AJ Gruttadauro (4th) and junior Dan Nehnevaj (6th) followed behind, all earning All-American accolades. In the spring, Smith finished second, while Jobson finished fifth overall, again picking up All-American honors. Men’s swimming finished second overall in the Appalachian Athletic Conference and ninth in the nation (NAIA). Four Golden Bears gained All-American status and junior Paulo Ignacio, Jr. broke WVU Tech’s record in the 100 Breast Stroke with a time of 55.51.

GONE PRO

A Tech grad playing basketball in Spain

Did you know WVU Tech has alumni who are now pro athletes all over the world? In Uruguay, alumnus David Robinson (’12) plays basketball for Club Trouville and Elisha Boone (’19) is on the Club Malvin squad. Rocio Ruiz-Berdejo (’15) is on the court in Seville, Spain for team C.B. Gines. We also have alumni playing soccer professionally, including Francisco Neto (’19, Mid City FC), Prince Idornigie (’18, Virginia Beach City FC), Tyler Fabian (’14, Philadelphia Fury) and Ale Blumer (’17, Kontich FC, Belgium). The Golden Bears even have representation on the U.S. Race Walking squad with AJ Gruttadauro (’19) who is currently Tech’s assistant cross country and track and field coach.

FLEET-FOOTED JOBSON LANDS SHAPE AWARD

Race walker Luke Jobson doing his thing.

Golden Bear runner Luke Jobson landed the coveted SHAPE America Major of the Year award for the 2018-19 academic year. Jobson earned accolades on both the men’s cross-country and track and field teams, ending his undergraduate career as a six-time All American, two-time WVU Tech Athlete of the Year, two-time River States Conference Champion of Character and All-Conference track athlete. Jobson also served first as treasurer and later as president of the WVU Tech Student Government Association and as president of the Sports Studies Club. He was also a resident assistant. The Sydney, Australia native graduated in May with a degree in sport management. He’s now at Florida State University, working toward a masters in the same field.

PLAYING THE LONG GAME

Men;s basketball coach, James Long

Former WVU basketball player and staff member, James Long, was hired as WVU Tech’s head men’s basketball coach in July 2019. He replaces coach Bob Williams, who served for 17 years at Tech. Long graduated from WVU with a bachelor’s degree in finance. He played for the Mountaineers from 2014-2017 and is a member of the Academic All-Big 12 Men’s Basketball First Team. Long earned spots on the Garrett Ford Academic Honor Roll and Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll.

A LITTLE HELP FROM LITTLE GENERAL

Little General representatives stand center court for a check presentation.

Little General Stores has announced a generous athletic scholarship of more than $100,000 that will impact the University’s student-athletes for years to come. Owner Greg Darby said that teaming up with Tech was a natural fit for the company. “Little General, being West Virginia-owned and operated, is privileged to support WVU Tech athletics. These programs support more than 350 students who benefit greatly from their association with athletics. We’re proud to support that association and to help extend those benefits to deserving students in our region,” he said.

KIDS, CRAFTS AND QDOBA

Children pose with members of the women;s basketball team and Tech mascot, monty.

Women’s and men’s basket ballplayers teamed up with Beckley’s Qdoba for a Kids Night. Youngsters worked on crafts, got Tech t-shirts and took photos with the beloved WVU Tech mascot Monty. Plus,student-athletes were on-hand to sign autographs and take pictures with participants. It was a great opportunity for our student-athletes to connect with fans in the community.