This Thursday night, the West Virginia University Coaches Caravan will make its annual visit to Parkersburg when athletics director Oliver Luck, basketball coach Bob Huggins and football offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen will be at J.P. Henry's.
But WVU isn't the only Division 1 athletics program that considers Parkersburg important enough to make it an annual spring stop. At 6 p.m. today at the Parkersburg Country Club, the Ohio University Spring Caravan will hit town.
Among those expected to be in attendance are athletics director Jim Schaus, head football coach Frank Solich and head men's basketball coach John Groce.
Schaus has a household name in the Mountain State as his father, the late Fred Schaus, was a standout basketball player at West Virginia University who returned to Morgantown to serve both as the head basketball coach and the athletics director.
Jim Schaus has been at Ohio University since July 1999 and has left his mark on the highly-successful Bobcats program.
Schaus is blessed to have a football coach as talented as Solich, who has been at OU?since December 2004. A former football standout and head coach at Nebraska, Solich has become a fixture in Athens, where he has compiled a 40-36 overall record and has taken the Bobcats to bowl games each of the past two seasons. At Nebraska, he compiled a 58-19 record including a Fiesta Bowl victory that completed a 12-1 season in 1999, one of three top 10 teams he coached in Lincoln.
Solich and his 2011 Bobcats completed spring drills on Saturday with their annual spring game. All indications are the Bobcats are going to be strong again this year and that another bowl game looms on the horizon.
Solich isn't the only Ohio U. coach making a habit of getting his team into postseason play. In three years, Groce has built Bobcat basketball into a perennial contender in the MAC.
His 2009-2010 team won 22 games and advanced to the second round of the NCAA?Tournament. Despite being the No. 14 seed, the Bobcats pulled off a monumental upset by stunning No. 3 Georgetown in the opening round of the Midwest Regional.
Groce's Bobcats followed up that performance in the recently-completed season by winning 19 games and advancing to the quarterfinals of the CIT.
While Morgantown is a two-hour drive from Parkersburg, local fans can be sitting inside Peden Stadium or the Convocation Center within an hour after leaving home.
Many local residents -some with OU?ties, others who are just sports fans -have discovered the ease of getting to a major college event and being able to purchase a ticket at the last minute.
OU is an athletics program that is on the move.
It's great to see the Bobcats coming to town to share some time with local fans.
Contact Dave Poe at firstname.lastname@example.org