MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The song behind one of the greatest traditions in college sports has turned 50.
John Denver’s “Take Me Home, Country Roads” was released on April 12, 1971. The WVU marching band began playing the song at home football games the following year, Denver himself played the tune in 1980 before the first game at Milan Puskar Stadium, and after every Mountaineer victory, athletes and fans alike join their voices in singing this ode to the Mountain State. Even during a pandemic, the latter has remained true.
WVU president E. Gordon Gee shared some thoughts on the classic song via Twitter:
The singing of “Country Roads” after a West Virginia win in any sport is one of the most well-known and celebrated traditions in college athletics — and there has been no shortage of opportunity to participate in that tradition in recent years.
One of the most memorable “Country Roads” moments of the past few years came after Neal Brown’s first victory as WVU football’s head coach back in 2019:
On the hardwood, Bob Huggins’ team has produced a couple of recent upsets that ended with court storms, including a 2019 thriller against No. 7 Kansas, and a 2020 victory over No. 4 Baylor in what was ultimately the final game of a pandemic-shortened campaign.
And on the diamond, Randy Mazey and WVU baseball sang “Country Roads” after a victory in the 2019 Morgantown Regional in front of a record crowd at Monongalia County Ballpark: