Sunday, May 27, 2018

97 Days 'till Football Kickoff - Brad Glenn

It's now 97 days until the kickoff of Catamount football on Saturday, September 1, 2018, against the Newberry College Wolves, in E.J. Whitmire Stadium, Cullowhee, NC

To help pass those long summer days, and hopefully get the Catamount faithful more excited about the upcoming season, and knowledgeable of the team members, we'll continue the 100-day football countdown each day until kickoff day.

On the Spring Roster, no one is assigned to #97, so we'll highlight another one of our coaches

Brad Glenn

Hometown: Seneca, S.C.
Position: Associate Head Coach / Offensive Coordinator / Quarterbacks
Alma Mater: Clemson
Graduated: 1995

Brad Glenn joined the Western Carolina University football coaching staff in 2012 after seven years at Appalachian State. He works with the Catamount quarterbacks while also serving as the program’s offensive coordinator, bringing the spread offensive formation and the read option that he worked with at Appalachian State to Cullowhee.

In his short time at WCU, Glenn was instrumental in molding quarterback Troy Mitchell who flourished in Glenn’s system. Mitchell finished his career as WCU’s all-time career leader in total offense with 9,397 career yards. Under Glenn’s guidance in 2012, Mitchell – an All-SoCon selection – rushed for eight touchdowns, the most by a quarterback at WCU in program history, according to available research. Then in 2014, Mitchell broke the program’s 14-year old record for total offense in a single-season, amassing 3,096 yards including passing for 2,541 yards and 20 touchdowns and rushing for 555 yards with six scores on the ground.

Not only has Mitchell excelled at quarterback under Glenn’s tutelage, but two receivers have posted double-digit receiving touchdown tallies in his system. In 2013, Karnorris Benson matched the school’s single-season receiving TD record with 12 scores, while Spearman Robinson caught 11 touchdown passes in 2014, both earning All-Southern Conference accolades.

Prior to his move to Cullowhee, Glenn spent three seasons as the quarterbacks coach while also serving one year as tight ends coach (2005) and three working with the slot receivers (2006-08) at Appalachian State. He additionally came to Cullowhee with coordinator experience at two different high schools as well as two seasons at North Greenville College from 2002-03.

While at ASU, Glenn coached six All-Southern Conference honorees, most notably mentoring the two SoCon Offensive Players of the Year in quarterbacks Armanti Edwards and DeAndre Presley. Edwards additional garnered the Walter Payton Award honoring the nation’s top NCAA Division I FCS player.

A native of Seneca, S.C., Glenn started his coaching career as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Greer (S.C.) High School from 1995 through 2000, helping lead the program to a 25-3 overall record and back-to-back South Carolina Upper-State runner-up finishes in 1999 and 2000. He got his start at the collegiate ranks in 2001 at Elon coaching tight ends before spending the next two seasons at North Greenville College as the offensive coordinator. He returned to the high school ranks for a season in his hometown at Seneca High (2004) before being hired at Appalachian State.

Glenn is a 1995 graduate of Clemson University. He is married to the former Anna Thompson and the couple has two daughters – Zoey and Landry – and a son, Hank.

Courtesy WCU Athletics Media Relations

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Cats beat UNCG for 2d time in the tournament

98 Days 'till Football Kickoff - #98 Holden Edwards

It's now 98 days until the kickoff of Catamount football on Saturday, September 1, 2018, against the Newberry College Wolves, in E.J. Whitmire Stadium, Cullowhee, NC

To help pass those long summer days, and hopefully get the Catamount faithful more excited about the upcoming season, and knowledgeable of the team members, we'll continue the 100-day football countdown each day until kickoff day.

Today we'll highlight the defensive line:

#98 Holden Edwards

Class: RS Sophomore
Hometown: Mount Ulla, N.C.
High School: South Iredell HS
Height / Weight: 6-2 / 300
Position: DL

2016 (Freshman): Did not see game action ... Redshirted ... Credited with a tackle in WCU's annual Spring Game.

Prior to Western Carolina: Played on the varsity squad for all four years as a prep, beginning as a freshman with the eight-quarter rule ... Was a two-time All-North Piedmont Conference selection and was twice dubbed all-county ... Recorded 163 career tackles with 50 tackles for loss including a career-best 31 as a senior ... Had five career sacks ... Was a part of a two conference championships as a freshman and senior ... South Iredell HS won the state championship his freshman year ...
High school coach was Scott Miller.

Personal: Full name is Holden Kross Edwards ... Is the son of Don Edwards and Kathy Barrow ... Grew up on a farm, working with his father and grandfather.

Courtesy WCU Athletics Media Relations

Friday, May 25, 2018

99 Days 'till Football Kickoff - #99 Ricky Palao

It's now 99 days until the kickoff of Catamount football on Saturday, September 1, 2018, against the Newberry College Wolves, in E.J. Whitmire Stadium, Cullowhee, NC

To help pass those long summer days, and hopefully get the Catamount faithful more excited about the upcoming season, and knowledgeable of the team members, we'll continue the 100-day football countdown each day until kickoff day.

Today we'll highlight the defensive line:

 #99 Ricky Palao

Class:  Sophmore
Hometown:  Hoover, Ala.
High School:  Hoover HS
Height / Weight:  6-2 / 285
Position:  DL

Prior to Western Carolina: Was a part of the Alabama State 7-A high school football championship team as a senior, collecting one of Hoover High's nine sacks in the title game ... Selected to the "Over the Mountain Journal" All-OTM football team ... High school head coach was Josh Niblett.

Personal: Full name is Ricardo A. Palao ... Is the son of Ricardo Palao, Sr., and Neisha Glapion.

Courtesy WCU Athletics Media Relations

Thursday, May 24, 2018

100 Days 'till Kickoff - Mark Speir

Today we kick off the eighth annual Catamount Football "100 days to Football Kickoff Countdown" on the Catamount Sports Forum and Purple & Gold.

We hope you have enjoyed the countdown in past years, as much as we do bring it to you. During the countdown, we'll highlight the player whose number corresponds to that day in the countdown.

Since the official 2018 Catamount Football roster has not yet been published, we'll use the 2018 Spring Roster for personnel numbers, until the new roster is posted at which point we'll switch to the official roster for the remainder of the countdown. In past seasons, some players changed numbers from the spring roster to the official roster, so a player may appear more than once in the countdown.

As is our custom, since there is not a player assigned the #100, here's the traditional head coaches' posting.


It's now 100 days until the kickoff of Catamount football on Saturday, September 1, 2018, against the Newberry College Wolves, in E.J. Whitmire Stadium, Cullowhee, NC

To help pass those long summer days, and hopefully get the Catamount faithful more excited about the upcoming season, we'll continue the 100-day football countdown each day until kickoff day.

Today we'll highlight the head coach:

Mark Speir

Hometown: Kannapolis, N.C.
Position: Head Football Coach
Alma Mater: Clemson & Western Carolina
Graduated: 1990 / 1994

Mark Speir, who has spent the bulk of his collegiate coaching career at the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) level, was named head football coach at Western Carolina University as announced by Director of Athletics Randy Eaton during a press conference held in the Ramsey Center on Dec. 22, 2011.

Speir (pronounced "spear"), who got his coaching career start at Western Carolina under former Catamount head coach Steve Hodgin from 1991-96, is the 13th head coach of the WCU football program all-time.

Since his arrival in Cullowhee, Speir has been a driving force in the revitalization of Catamount football, guiding WCU to back-to-back seven-win seasons in both 2015 and 2014, the latter its first winning record in a decade with the 7-5 finish. It was just the second finish above .500 since 2001 for the Catamounts. Speir led the Catamounts to a second-place finish in the Southern Conference in 2014, its highest finish in the final standings since 1986 -- and just the fourth runner-up finish since joining the league in 1977 -- before following it up with a third-place showing in 2015.

For their plaudits, Speir and his staff were finalists for the 2014 Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award given at the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) level.

During the off-season following the success of the 2014 season, Speir was granted a four-year contract extension which was approved by the WCU Board of Trustees in February of 2015. With the extension, Speir is under contract June of 2020.

Since taking over as head coach in 2012, 28 Catamounts have earned All-Southern Conference first-or-second team accolades while 16 have earned All-Freshman distinction. In 2014, a school-record tying 14 Catamounts received all-conference plaudits with 13 collecting honors following the successful 2015 campaign.

Also, eight players have earned Capital One All-District III selections from CoSIDA with running back Darius Ramsey garnering Academic All-America honors in 2014.

Speir's return to Cullowhee in late-2011 came after spending the nine previous seasons at Appalachian State where he was a part of three-consecutive FCS National Championships from 2005-07, serving as the program's recruiting coordinator from 2004 through 2011 while coaching the inside linebackers prior to the move. He also coached the Mountaineers' running backs (2003-04), defensive line (2005-08) and defensive ends (2009-10) while on staff at Appalachian State.

In 2009, Speir was tabbed as the NCAA Division I FCS Assistant Coach of the Year by the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA). The award has been handed out every year since 1997 at the five levels of football including the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), FCS, Division II and III, as well as NAIA levels.

Prior to Appalachian, Speir also made coaching stops at both at Presbyterian (1997-99) while the Blue Hose were a NCAA Division II member institution, and at Elon (2000-02) the year after the program made the transition to a NCAA Division I school.

A native of Kannapolis, N.C., Speir broke into coaching while an undergraduate at Clemson University, working as a student assistant from 1986 through 1989, helping the Tigers to three Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Championships during his four years. Following his graduation with a bachelor's degree in secondary education in 1990, Speir landed on Hodgin's staff in Cullowhee, first working with the running backs from 1991-93, then the linebackers in 1994 before coaching the defensive line and serving as the program's recruiting coordinator from 1995-96.

Throughout his collegiate coaching career, Speir has made a name for himself through the recruiting process. He has held the title of recruiting coordinator at three NCAA FCS institutions (WCU, Elon and ASU), most recently organizing the efforts that landed Appalachian State six-consecutive crops of freshmen that have been widely considered to be among the top in NCAA Division I FCS recruiting classes and that helped the Mountaineers to three-straight national titles.

On the field, Speir has coached multiple All-Southern Conference selections. In all, he was a position coach for nine all-conference honorees that have earned the distinction 13 times in his nine seasons on staff in Boone.

Six of Speir's position players have garnered All-America honors during his tenure at ASU including the most recent recipient, linebacker Jeremy Kimbrough, who was selected to the second team by The Sports Network. Additionally, defensive ends Jabari Fletcher, Jason Hunter, Marques Murrell and Gary Tharrington and defensive tackle Anthony Williams combined for All-America honors a total of six times.

Speir's most notable pupils, Hunter and Murrell, tied for the SoCon lead with 13 sacks apiece and accounted for six defensive touchdowns between them in 2005. Murrell also led the nation with 13 sacks in `06. Both have enjoyed productive NFL careers, with Hunter entering his sixth pro season this year with the Denver Broncos.

Off the field, Speir is involved in many charitable causes. His efforts through Samaritan's Purse have helped raised more than $100,000 to help rebuild the Memorial Christian Hospital in Bangladesh. Part of the fundraising came through his participation in the 2008 Music City Marathon in Nashville, which he finished in 4:01; the 2009 Boston Marathon, which he completed in 3:59; and the 2010 Flying Pig Marathon in Cincinnati. Most recently, Speir completed the grueling 2015 Boston Marathon alongside his brother.

In 2009, he traveled to Bangladesh to provide much-needed medical supplies and volunteer at the hospital for 10 days.

In 2011, Speir turned to organizing and participating in motorcycle tours as a way to continue to raise funds for the worthy cause. After five years of the motorcycle rides, Speir has helped raise $75,000 for Operation Heal Our Patriots, another Samaritan's Purse initiative.

Jerry Moore, the former head coach at Appalachian State where Speir has worked for nine seasons, praised WCU for its decision.

"Western Carolina is very lucky to get Mark. He is a perfect fit; he knows Western Carolina and knows it well. WCU is very, very fortunate to get Mark Speir. He is a great coach, and a better man; he is the kind of guy that you would love your son to go play for," said Moore upon Speir's hiring at WCU.

Former Catamount football standout Brad Hoover, who went on to play nine seasons in the NFL with the Carolina Panthers, credits Speir as "... one of the main reasons I went to WCU." "It was because of the level of Mark Speir's sincerity and his positive attitude during my recruitment experience with him that drew me to commit to Western Carolina," said Hoover.

Speir is married to the former Paige Holt of Pickens, S.C., and the couple has two sons -- Zeb, who is in his second year at Appalachian State and a walk-on for the Mountaineer football team, and Jackson.

SPEIR AT A GLANCE Coaching Experience
1986-89: Clemson (Student Assistant)
1991-93: Western Carolina (Running Backs)
1994: Western Carolina (Outside Linebackers)
1995-96: Western Carolina (Defensive Line/Recruiting Coordinator)
1997-99: Presbyterian (Defensive Line/Strength and Conditioning)
2000-01: Elon (Running Backs/Special Teams/Recruiting Coordinator)
2002: Elon (Defensive Line/Recruiting Coordinator)
2003-04: Appalachian State (Running Backs)
2005-09: Appalachian State (Defensive Line)
2004-11: Appalachian State (Recruiting Coordinator)
2009-10: Appalachian State (Defensive Ends)
2011: Appalachian State (Inside Linebackers)
Alma Mater: Clemson, 1990 (Master's -- Western Carolina, 1994)
Hometown: Kannapolis, N.C.
Wife: Paige (Holt)
Sons: Zeb and Jackson

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Highlights of WCU win over #1 seed UNCG

Monday, May 21, 2018

A Look Inside WCU Baseball's SoCon Tournament Practice

Courtesy WCU Athletic Media Relations          

SoCon Baseball Honors for the Cats

Senior Spencer Holcomb headlines four named postseason All-SoCon today, earning a second-team nod; Justice Bigbie, Will Prater, & Chase Walter all land on the SoCon All-Freshman Team.

Courtesy WCU Athletic Media Relations        

Monday, May 7, 2018

2018 Softball Championship brackets

Mason Faulkner picks Western Carolina

Last month Mason Faulkner announced his intention to transfer from Northern Kentucky University, on Sunday, he announced his commitment to Western Carolina University.

The former Mr. Basketball finalist led Kentucky in scoring at 35 points per game in the 2015-16

Faulkner will have two years of eligibility for the Cats, after sitting out the 2018-19 season due to NCAA transfer rules.

Monday, April 30, 2018

Keion Crossen joins Patriots

Courtesy WCU Athletics Media Relations

Reports: Larry Hunter suffers stroke

Seth Greenberg (ESPN) is reporting that Larry Hunter, former Western Carolina head basketball coach suffered a stroke Sunday and is currently in the hospitalized.

Coach Hunter stepped down from his position in March after 13 seasons. The 68-year-old Hunter said in a statement that "it's just time for new leadership, a new voice."

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Detrez Newsome signed with the Chargers

Detrez Newsome signed as an undrafted free agent (UFA) with the Los Angeles Chargers on Saturday night.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Keion Crossen Drafted by the Patriots

Keion Crossen DRAFTED by the P with the 25th pick of the 7th round!!!!!!

Congratulations Keion

Friday, April 20, 2018

Cats win

               Courtesy WCU Athletics Media Relations

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Kentucky Wildcats in Cullowhee

Come out to Hennon Stadium and cheer on your Catamounts. First pitch at 5:00 pm. It is $1.00 hot dog night
Courtesy Catamount Marketing

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Mark Prosser named WCU head basketball coach

Western Carolina Athletic Director Randy Eaton today named Mark Prosser as the Western Carolina head basketball coach.

Prosser, the son of former Xavier head coach Skip Prosser, is leaving his position as Winthrop men’s basketball associate head coach to become the new head coach at Western Carolina

"We needed someone that's been a part of programs that have been built, from the ground up," said Eaton. "It was also important for us to find someone who understood that 'student' will always come before 'athlete.'"

"It really turned out to be an unbelievably perfect situation for me and my family," Prosser said, after Eaton formally introduced him at the press conference. “We’re going to go about this the right way. Our guys are going to be about the ABCs – academics, basketball, character,” he said. “We’ll get started very quickly in building that championship culture.”

Prosser had a big hand in Winthrop's scoring success as the coaching staff's offensive-minded assistant. Winthrop finished the last three seasons in the KenPom top-50 in pace and top-150 in offensive efficiency. They were arguably the best all-around offensive team in the Big South for three straight years.

Prosser knows the Southern Conference well from his time coaching in the league with Wofford and against its teams numerous times with Winthrop.

"So happy for my longtime coaching colleague and brother Mark Prosser. He will crush it at Western Carolina and will be missed here at Winthrop. I'll be rooting like crazy as he goes from rockin' the hill to rockin' the mountain" -Pat Kelsey

You can watch a replay of the press conference introducing Mark Prosser below - (skip over to the 15 min, 30-second mark for the video to begin).


Monday, March 26, 2018

Athletic Department Press Conference

Western Carolina will announce the new head men's basketball coach at an on-campus press conference on Tuesday, March 27 at 1:00 pm in the Hospitality Room. Catamount fans can follow the event with a Facebook LIVE event and through the department's YouTube channel.

Courtesy WCU Athletic Media Relations