The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

College Sports

August 6, 2013

Mountaineers can learn from 2012

Caridi's return made official

West Virginia University’s third-year football coach, Dana Holgorsen, hasn’t yet used the rearview mirror story that basketball coach Bob Huggins retells every time he’s asked about something that happened in the past, but like his basketball colleague, Holgorsen prefers to talk about the future.

He’s made that known several times over the last few weeks when asked about the departures of offensive weapons Geno Smith, Stedman Bailey and Tavon Austin, and he did so again Monday morning when questioned about leadership issues for the 2012 Mountaineers, who started the season 5-0 before struggling to a 7-6 finish.

“I don’t want to expand on that,” said Holgorsen, now 17-9 as the WVU head coach. “I’ve said before that we do not want to focus on 2012. We have lessons that we can take from last year and use this year. There were examples of it throughout last year, with a variety of people. We can take those lessons as things we do not want to happen this year.”

Regardless of what happened last fall, it’s clear WVU needs to find some new leaders on offense in 2013. The top three producers are off to the NFL, and the lineup will be filled with fresh faces, some of whom have experience at schools other than WVU.

“We’ve talked a lot about that with our group,” said Holgorsen. “We started last Wednesday with that subject. You can’t really find the definition of a leader on the team. It’s not the same every year. We have to develop leaders. It was a big issue on last year’s team, in a bad way. We need to develop leadership and develop the guys so we know who to count on.

“Everybody on the team has the capabilities to be a leader,” he continued on a subject that will clearly be important as the Mountaineers make their second journey through the Big 12. “It starts with leading yourself and doing things right on and off the field.”

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Tony Caridi’s return as the WVU play-by-play voice became official Monday as WVU put out a release announcing that Caridi will be the chief announcer for the new Mountaineer Sports Network from IMG. He will serve as the play-by-play voice for football and men’s basketball and will host coaches’ shows for each sport. He’ll also host a television show covering WVU sports.

Caridi had told The Register-Herald last week at an appearance in Summersville that a deal between him and IMG College was imminent.

Caridi’s new agreement also allows him to continue to appear on the “Northside Automotive Statewide Sportsline” weeknights from 6-7 p.m.

“I’m excited to continue my relationship with the Mountaineer Sports Network from IMG and the wonderful and passionate fans that love the Mountaineers,” Caridi said in the release, which did not name color commentators or sideline reporters. “It’s an honor and a privilege to be associated with a network that’s always been respected as one of the nation’s best, particularly as coverage of Mountaineer sports now expands.”

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WVU also announced four new affiliates to the new Mountaineer Sports Network from IMG Monday, including WVBD-FM in Fayetteville and WRON-FM in Ronceverte.

The stations will each air football and men’s basketball, the coaches’ shows and a daily “Mountaineer Minute” report.

WVU’s new radio lineup now includes 14 stations. Locally, WHAJ-FM in Bluefield, WKQR-FM in Mullens, WMTD-FM in Hinton, WRON-FM in Ronceverte and WVBD-FM in Fayetteville are part of the network.

— E-mail: chuffman@register-herald.com and follow on Twitter @CamHuffmanRH.

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