MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The stars seemingly aligned with the arrival of Don Nehlen in Morgantown. When he was hired as the next head coach shortly after the 1979 season, the Mountaineer football program was going through an identity change.
WVU was leaving old Mountaineer Field behind for the brand-new Mountaineer Field, later named Milan Puskar Stadium, on the Evansdale Campus. WVU had suffered four straight losing seasons for the first time since 1958-1961, and was looking to re-capture the success of past coaches like Bobby Bowden, Art Lewis, and Clarence Spears. The uniforms were to look different, too — a new color scheme and a new soon-to-be-iconic logo were introduced with his first game in 1980.
The program was successful in all of the aforementioned changes, but no change was more impactful than Nehlen, who took the program to new heights during his 21 years on the sideline.