Bill Raney and Dan Miller brought the re-made trophy to the Big Green Scholarship Foundation room in the press box and unveiled it in front of a group of largely Marshall supporters and media. Marshall Director of Athletics, Bob Marcum, thought the "Friends of Coal" are the perfect sponsor for the game. "I'd like to compliment Bill and Dan for the trophy," said Marcum of the new award, made of in-state materials by Mountain State artisans. "I can't think of a better sponsor for the football game. (Coal) is one of the two great fuels we use in the world and is provided by a lot of hard-working people in the state of West Virginia. We are very, very proud to be part of that."
The Friends of Coal Bowl winner in the football match-up between the Marshall Thundering Herd and the West Virginia Mountaineers will take home the all-new Friends of Coal Bowl trophy, this year presented to the winner of the game on the field after the contest.photo by Rick Haye for Herd Insider
Dr. Stephen J. Kopp, President of Marshall University, was also in attendance. "Each year when we gear up for the start of the football season is a very special time here at Marshall University," said Kopp. "Fans and friends of Marshall get excited about what is to follow and this year is no exception. We begin our home season, not our season, with a game that is very special to all West Virginian's. We are playing host to our friends from up north, in Morgantown, West Virginia University, in what rapidly is becoming an early season classic, the 'Friends of Coal Bowl.' We have a lot of people to thank for that and the 'Friends of Coal' are the prime movers for the sponsorship of this game and the recognition it has drawn.
"This game is a showcase for Marshall University, the city of Huntington and the great state of West Virginia. It's a great time to be a West Virginian and for all of us to celebrate." Kopp also thanked the coal industry in total, in supports of both the athletic department and the University in general. "I extend my personal thanks to Bill, Chris Hamilton and Dan and all of our other friends with the 'Friends of Coal' for their help before the game, during the game and after the game. It's a very special time to be here at Marshall University."
Marshall took the field at a sold-out inaugural Friends of Coal Bowl in Morgantown last year, but the Herd will be in green on September 8 at 11 a.m. for the first visit by West Virginia to Huntington for a game since 1915. The game can be heard on the Thundering Herd/ISP Sports Network, locally on flagship stations WDGG, 93.7 FM, "The Dawg," and ESPN Radio for the Tri-State, WRVC 930 AM.
The President of the Marshall University student body, Dominique Elmore, detailed some of the events surrounding the game. There is a pep rally at Gino's Pub on Thursday starting at 5 p.m. and continuing during the regular edition of the "Mark Snyder Call-In Show," from ISP Sports and heard locally on WRVC 930 AM and "The Dawg, 93.7 FM," in Huntington, from 7:05-8 p.m. Woody Woodrum will have the "Insider Sportsline" show live from Gino's from 4-6 p.m. on WRVC.
Kindred Communications, home to those stations and the Herd Insider, will be the sponsor for a Friday night concert at Pullman Square, featuring national acts Lonestar and Trick Pony, plus local acts in The Angie Fletcher Band and Walking Out Blind. The concert is free to the public and begins at 6 p.m. A student tailgate will be held the day of the game on campus at the MU Career Center from 8-10 a.m. at 1681 Fifth Avenue.
The Harmony Institute on campus will have a silent and live auction of sports items and items from the "We Are Marshall" movie. Those items will be available starting Thursday, Sept. 6, at the Edwards Playhouse. The live auction is Friday at 6 p.m. The Harmony Institute is a campus organization for promoting racial harmony and multi-cultural activities on the campus at MU.
Dave Wellman, Director of Communications for MU also handed out a list of other activities that are happening the week of the game. Beginning Monday, September 3, student will have a chance to win tickets to the game at a variety of activities at the Marshall Memorial Student Union, including a Corn Hole and NCAA Football 08 tournaments. The University also announced parking will be available on downtown lots for the Friday night concert for $10 per vehicle, including the City of Huntington garage at Eighth Street and Third Avenue.and lots behind the Flood Wall at the Eleventh Street entrance. Other lots are at Fourth Avenue and Eighth Street; Fourth Avenue between 10th and 11th Streets (near the Keith-Albee); and the lot on 10th Street between Third Avenue and Veterans' Memorial Blvd. The Pullman garages are also available as well as parking for free on meters after 6 p.m. For the game, the same areas will be available, with a shuttle bus loading at Pullman Square and dropping passengers at the student center, just two blocks from the Joan C. Edwards Stadium and home the the MU Bookstore.