— KEYSER, W.Va. — “West Virginia chose us.”
That is what Dale Wolfley said after verifying that everyone in attendance at the Potomac State College of WVU Davis Conference Center were “Mountaineers,” or “Truly Mountaineers.”
Wolfley, the Coordinator of Player Development at West Virginia University since 2008 and a former standout offensive lineman under head coach Don Nehlen from 1987-90, was the speaker along with 2014-15 Mountaineer Michael Garcia at the annual Potomac Valley Chapter Alumni and Friends dinner held Friday evening at PSC.
“But you know what? Being a Mountaineer means so much to all of us that put on the gold and blue. Right here,” he said motioning to include everyone, “this is who we represent. Not only do we represent West Virginia University, we actually represent the state and we represent each other. And it’s so important now a days that you carry that with pride.”
Wolfley, the younger brother of former Pittsburgh Steeler offensive lineman Craig Wolfley and former Mountaineer fullback and St. Louis/Phoenix Cardinal Ron Wolfley, said everybody remembers the day you become a Mountaineer.
“You know where you were at least, something to that affect,” he said. “I use to believe that I chose West Virginia University. But you know the reality is I had to go to West Virginia because that was where my heart was. So when the gold and blue gets in your blood, your veins and your body, it’s staying all the time. So West Virginia chose us. So did you, that’s why you’re here.
“That’s why you’re a Mountaineer, that’s why you’re a true Mountaineer. We have great passion. We’re not huge — Mountaineer Nation — but we are strong.”
He explained how the one constant while being at and working for WVU is change and said the challenge is learning to adapt to those changes.
“I for one wouldn’t want to be (athletic director) Oliver Luck,” he said, “because he’s the one making decisions. Whether you’re for them or against them, someone has to make those decisions.”
He explained how former athletic director Ed Pastilong first gave him a scholarship then a job, how he used to hang around with Rich Rodriguez when he was a teammate of his brother, Ron, and later became a graduate assistant on his coaching staff, and how he worked for Bill Stewart to the point where now current head coach Dana Holgorsen has offered scholarships to two of his sons.
He continued that he does the pregame and postgame radio on football game days and does TV interviews for both Holgorsen and Bob Huggins, the men’s head basketball coach, saying Huggs wanted to know why a “football guy” was doing basketball.
“I said ‘Huggs, we’re a big family.’” Wolfley then gave a short history of some of the recent