Athletic Director Shane Lyons provides mid-year update

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As we adjust our calendars to a new month and a new year, it’s always helpful to take a peek back at what we’ve done before we set our sights on what’s ahead. The recently concluded fall sports season has continued the great success that we’ve come to enjoy and expect here at West Virginia University. Women’s soccer made its 18th consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance under Nikki Izzo-Brown, reaching the Sweet 16 and concluding its season with another top 10 national ranking. Reed Sunahara did a fabulous job with this year’s volleyball team, guiding the Mountaineers to their first postseason trip in 26 years by reaching the semifinals of the National Volleyball Invitational Championship – two years after the program failed to win a single match in Big 12 play. That’s truly a remarkable turnaround! The ending to this year’s football season wasn’t what we desired, but keep in mind this team spent a good portion of the year in the national rankings and had a great opportunity to finish with eight or nine victories barring some late-season injuries. Having quarterback Will Grier, Biletnikoff Award finalist David Sills V and offensive tackle Yodny Cajuste back for their senior seasons, coupled with this year’s nationally ranked recruiting class, has led to a lot of optimism for Mountaineer football in 2018. One early national preseason poll I saw had us rated in the top 10. Academically, 23 student-athletes earned their degrees in December, and the department’s overall grade point average was an outstanding 3.16 with 13 of our 18 teams having a team GPA higher than 3.0, something of which we are very proud. Looking ahead, a lot of progress has been made on the new Mountaineer Aquatic Center under construction out at Mylan Park, and the reports I have been receiving indicate a Spring 2019 opening is still well within reach. The planned outdoor track and field complex at Mylan Park is also …

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