The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

College Sports

March 8, 2013

Coliseum cost was $10 million; Spiker honored

MORGANTOWN — Did you know that it cost only $10 million to construct West Virginia University’s Coliseum in 1970?

Today, experts are estimating that the same structure would cost $60 million or so to build. So WVU certainly has gotten more than its money’s worth for nearly 43 years of use.

Think of all the basketball games played in there by men and women, plus wrestling matches, gymnastics meets and volleyball, as well as a few other sports.

Physical education classes also have used the Coliseum for classes and activities, and there are numerous other events, both athletically and academically.

In its early years, that structure also was utilized as the site of the State High School Basketball Tournaments.

And the 14,000-seating capacity still compares favorably with that of most college facilities — including those at other Big 12 Conference institutes.

Hopefully, WVU can use the same Coliseum for at least several more years to come with renovations. Especially now that it has that wonderful state-of-the-art basketball practice facility that cost a cool $37 million or so — nearly four times the cost of the Coliseum construction.

Think of all the great basketball victories posted therein, the thrills and spills and, of course, the heartbreaking losses now and then.

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Congratulations go out to Zach Spiker, who in his fourth season as head men’s basketball mentor at Army has been named Patriot League’s Coach of the Year.

Coming off the Black Knights’ most successful regular season in 28 years, the Morgantown native is just the third Army coach to earn a conference Coach of the Year honor.

He guided the Black Knights to a 15-14 record — Army’s best regular-season mark in 28 years.

Army won a program-record eight Patriot League games and enters the postseason as the No. 4 seed, which matches its highest finish since the conference’s formation in 1990-91.

A win in the tournament’s Patriot League quarterfinals would clinch its first winning season since 1984-85.

Spiker, the son of John and Sabra Spiker of Morgantown, became the first Army coach since Mike Krzyzewski to win back-to-back “Star” games versus arch-rival Navy, and scored the program’s first Star game victory in Annapolis since 1992.

Spiker, who is 36, presided over the Army’s first regular-season sweeps of American U. and Holy Cross.

He is one of only four Army coaches to win at least 50 games (52) in their first four seasons.

Kyle Wilson of Army was the unanimous choice as the Patriot League’s Rookie of the Year.

Zach and wife Jenn have three young sons: Charlie, Tucker and Henry.

Mrs. Spiker was an assistant soccer coach for 11 years at WVU.

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