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West Virginia's Mountaineer a welcome addition to the Big 12

The mountain man with a big smile and charm to spare is the best thing about WVU joining the league this season.
by Berry Tramel Published: November 13, 2012

“The people in Stillwater are really welcoming,” Kimble said. “The fans right on top of you. Beautiful stadium.”

The Mountaineer mascot goes back to 1934 — almost as old a tradition as OSU's Pistol Pete. Kimble sports a James Harden-worthy beard, which is not required but most certainly is appreciated.

Kimble gets to keep his tailor-fitted buckskin but must pass the rifle to his eventually successor.

Speaking of which, Kimble feels a little more at home in the Big 12 with his muzzleloader. The Big East was not a conference of firearms.

The Big 12 most certainly is. Pistol Pete has his six-shooters. OU's Ruf-Neks have their shotguns. Texas U. fires off a cannon after touchdowns.

Not exactly Syracuse's Otto the Orange.

“I kind of feel at home with all this ammunition,” Kimble said.

The Mountaineer's visibility has increased in the Big 12. Back when the Mountaineers were unbeaten and ranked in the top 10, Kimble's pushups for every West Virginia point became a TV staple.

“Baylor, I think I did 385 pushups that game,” Kimble said. “Loved every minute.”

ESPN took notice. Kimble flew to Los Angeles in September to film a GameDay commercial, in which he stares down Lee Corso, with rifle at the ready.

“Just walk away, Coach,” Kirk Herbstreit tells Corso.

Easier said than done to walk away from a smile that wide, a beard that thick and a charm that inviting. See you in Morgantown, Jonathan.

Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at