Related Link: E.J. Whitmire Stadium / Bob Waters Field Information
Related Link: Interactive Western Carolina University Parking Map
Cullowhee, N.C. – Seeking its first victory of the season, the Western Carolina Catamount football team returns home on Saturday, Sept. 14 to host the North Greenville Crusaders in the first-ever meeting between the two programs at E.J. Whitmire Stadium / Bob Waters Field. Kickoff is scheduled for 3:30 pm in a game that has been billed a “Gold Out” – all fans are encouraged to wear gold to the game and the first 5,000 fans through the gates will receive a FREE “Gold Out” T-shirt.
As a part of the golden theme for Saturday’s second home date of the 2019 season, the Catamounts will break out their new adidas gold football pants under the purple jerseys to face NGU. It is the first time that WCU has worn gold pants since the 1983 throwback uniform in 2013 – and the first time since 2012 that gold pants have been a part of the rotation for WCU. The new gold pants feature stripes down the sides reminiscent of the pants worn by the Catamount in the past.
Tickets for Saturday’s game are available in advance online at CatamountSports.com.
Looking to halt a 10-game winless drought that includes the first two games of this season, WCU will have its hands full with a Crusaders team that plays out of the Gulf South Conference – home of the defending NCAA Division II national champion, Valdosta State. NGU has four wins over NCAA Division I FCS competition all-time including victories over Austin Peay State, Jacksonville, Presbyterian, and SoCon-foe, VMI in 2013. The Crusaders have come close two additional times as in 2017, Kennesaw State needed a late game-winning drive to defeat the upset-minded Crusaders 38-34 while North Alabama forced a late-game turnover to hold off NGU, which led once and forced a pair of ties in a 31-28 match-up a year ago.
North Greenville (1-0) claimed a season-opening 17-7 win over Newberry – who WCU played a season ago in Cullowhee – back on Thursday, Sept. 5. The Crusaders represent just the third NCAA Division II opponent on WCU’s schedule since 2015 – Mars Hill in 2015 and Newberry in 2018.
Western Carolina (0-2) has won seven-straight games against non-NCAA Division I competition since the 2010 season. Since making the move to D-I, the Catamounts are 28-2 against non-DI opponents including a 1997 loss to a reclassifying Elon squad and the 2010 home loss to perennial power, Tusculum.
Saturday's game will be broadcast on the Catamount Sports Network (CSN) with live streaming audio available online at CatamountSports.com. Fans across western North Carolina can hear the game locally beginning at 2:30 pm with the Pepsi Tailgate Show on eight CSN affiliates: in Cullowhee on 90.5 WWCU FM; 105.7 FM and 540 AM WRGC “The River” in Sylva; 104.9 FM & 1050 AM WFSC in Franklin; WISE Sports Radio 1310 AM and 102.9 FM in Asheville; and 970 AM WYSE in Canton with live streaming audio online at CatamountSports.com.
The WCU-NGU game will also be broadcast on ESPN+ (subscription required) with live streaming video available online with Daniel Hooker calling play-by-play, Rik Richards on color commentary, and Summer McMahan on the sidelines.
Western Carolina vs. North Greenville – Series History:
• Saturday marks the first-ever meeting between NCAA Div. I FCS-member Western Carolina and NCAA Div. II North Greenville on the football gridiron, though the Cullowhee and Tigerville campuses are just 48.64 miles apart as the crow flies – 93.2 miles and an hour and 36 minutes estimated driving time;
• Western Carolina and North Greenville have played twice officially in men’s basketball with the Catamounts leading the series, 2-0 ... WCU downed NGU, 96-81, back in 2002 and 106-61 in the 2004 season ... Catamount women’s basketball is 4-0 all-time against North Greenville, last meeting in the 2019 season – a 71-44 WCU win;
• DID YOU KNOW: Former WCU women’s basketball player and Athletics Hall of Fame member Jayne Arledge (1976-79) – the first female to receive grant-in-aid at Western Carolina in 1976 – had a very successful, 36-year coaching career at North Greenville – retiring from coaching in 2017 ... She remains on staff at NGU as the Athletic Department’s Senior Woman Administrator.
Familiar Faces – Catamount & Southern Conference Ties:
• North Greenville defensive line coach Brian Volz is a two-time graduate of Western Carolina University, earning a degree in Business Management in 2013 and a second degree in marketing in 2015 ... Before taking the position at NGU, Volz served as a defensive assistant and a quality control coach with WCU football;
• North Greenville seventh-year head coach Jeff Farrington is a 1982 graduate of The Citadel with his ties to the Southern Conference extending from there ... His coaching resume includes stops at ETSU (1997-01; defensive coordinator & DBs), Furman (2002-10; defensive coordinator, VMI (2011-13; defensive coordinator), and Mercer with Bobby Lamb as the school brought back its football program;
• Graduate assistant and running backs coach Antonio Wilcox is a 2018 graduate of Furman ... As a Paladin between 2014-2017, Wilcox went 2-2 against WCU and averaged 82 yards rushing per game – after a minus-6 (2014) and 27 yards (2015), Wilcox eclipsed the century mark in 2016 and 2017 including 202 yards and a score n the 28-6 Furman victory in 2017;
• Other current North Greenville coaches that have experience at a Southern Conference school: offensive coordinator Brad Robbins (VMI); defensive coordinator Greg Harris – a VMI alum and former Keydet assistant coach; and defensive backs coach Maurice Duncan, a Furman graduate and former Paladin assistant.
Things to Know Before You Go:
• Please note that umbrellas ARE NOT PERMITTED at E.J. Whitmire Stadium / Bob Waters Field … Anyone trying to enter the stadium with an umbrella will be asked to either return it to their vehicle OR simply leave it at the gate … Any umbrellas found inside the stadium will be asked to be lowered or will be confiscated. Catamount Athletics appreciates your cooperation!
Where to Park:
• General Admission parking is available in the following parking lots on the WCU campus: H.F. Robinson Building (Lot 1A & 1B) and both the North and South Baseball Lots (8A & 8B) ... It is also recommended that fans consider taking Old Cullowhee Road to the old entrance to the WCU campus and utilize parking in the lots behind Hunter Library for game day ... Parking – especially for visiting fans – is also available down Little Savannah Road behind the Catamount Travel Center (Student Commuter Lot 73) and past the Cullowhee Post Office at the WCU Health & Human Science (HHS) parking lots (Catch a ride on the “Tailgate Express,” the FREE GAMEDAY SHUTTLE, see below);
• Catamount Club Reserved Parking Lots (parking pass required) include: Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center (Lot13), Belk (Lot14), Jordan-Phillips Field House (Lot12), Football Stadium (Lot 10), Creek (Lot9C) Lot, and Camp Lab Festival Parking (Lot4A) ... All patrons with parking passes should enter the FOREST HILLS ROAD (third stoplight, near Ramsey Center and baseball stadium) entrance to campus, display parking credentials to gain access to Catamount Road … Be reminded that general access to Catamount Road is limited from Noon through the duration of the game except for those with proper parking credentials.
Note: WCU Parking & Transportation will run a FREE "Tailgate Express Cat Tran Shuttle" for each home football game this year, presented by Ingles. Vehicles will be directed to park on the millennial campus at the Health & Human Services (HHS) Lots# 76A & 76B down Little Savannah Road where patrons will be picked up by the FREE shuttle and delivered to either Gate 1 on the West Side stands or to the Ramsey Center circle drive on Forest Hills Road with easy access to the East Side gates. Shuttles will also be available after the game for return trips to these lots. Please note that this is not a shuttle around campus - just to and from the parking lots.
The Catamount Club:
• The Purple Zone (for qualifying members; requires proper credentials & RSVP): Located on the Ramsey Center Patio - is open from 1:00 pm until 3:00 pm;
• Paws Porch (requires a game ticket, credential): Located on the patio of the Jordan Phillips Fieldhouse: Opens at 3:00 pm;
• Catamount Corner (for qualifying members; requires game ticket & proper credential): Located on the patio of the Jordan Phillips Fieldhouse: Opens at 3:00 pm;
Where to Buy Tickets:
• Purchase - and PRINT - tickets in advance through CatamountSports.com.
On Game Day:
• WCU Athletics Ticket Office - (828) 227-2401 -- phone lines open beginning at 9:00 AM until kickoff time at 3:30 pm ... There are only phone order and ticket information at the Ramsey Center ticket office on game day -- NO WALK-UP SALES;
• Gate 1 Ticket Sales on the West Side of the stadium open at 10:00 am for walk-up sales;
• Ticket sales at all other gates begin at Noon pm - Gates 2, 3, and 4;
• All stadium gates open to the public at 2:00 pm ... Gate 6 for Player Pass also opens at 2:00 pm – those receiving player pass tickets must have the tickets scanned/stubbed and enter the stadium at that time.
• Remember to bring proper photo identification to pick up tickets at WCU's Will Call;
• Main Will Call for picking up purchased tickets or tickets being left for pickup is at Gate 1; however, fans can receive Will Call at any entrance gate ticket booth;
• Guests of WCU Chancellor’s Office can pick up tickets at the Chancellor’s Pregame Tailgate, located in the first-floor Hospitality Room of the Ramsey Center … Those who are unable to pick-up their tickets during the pregame tailgate event may do so at Will Call at Gate 4;
• WCU Football Player's Guest will utilize Gate 6; as well as Dance/Cheer Guests: Gate 6 ... Those who are on the player pass list must show a photo ID to pick up their tickets -- again, Player Pass Will Call will not open until 2:00 pm when the stadium gates are open;
• Again, once player pass tickets are picked up, the individual ticket holder MUST enter the stadium;
• Football Recruits: Hospitality, enter through the door next to truck tunnel. After 3:00 pm, go to Gate 6;
• All Other Recruits: Gate 6;
• High School Coaches: Present card to any ticket booth and receive up to TWO free admission tickets ... Pick up tickets from any ticket booth – not the player pass location;
• WCU Coach Guest: Gate 1
• Chair Back Reserved: Adult $35 Youth (Ages 3-12) $25 (All Gates) -- Sections DD, JJ, KK, LL;
• Bench Back Reserved: Adult $30 Youth (Ages 3-12) $20 (All Gates) – Sections JJ, MM;
• Bleacher Reserved: Adult $30, Youth (Ages 3-12) $20 – Sections D, E, F, J, K L
• General Admission – Gameday: Adult $20, Youth (Ages 3-12) $15 -- Sections G, GG seating only
Other Helpful Game Day Hints:
• BRING CASH -- though WCU's ticket booths and concessions stands at Whitmire Stadium are capable of credit/debit card transactions, lines for the popular stadium fare can back up ... There will be extra CASH-ONLY lines for items such as drinks on game day;
• Arrive early to avoid long lines entering Whitmire Stadium ... Also, there are numerous gates that allow entry to the stadium -- familiarize yourself with the best gates to get you to your seats for all the pregame festivities!
• Be sure to enjoy a variety of stadium fare at the Aramark concessions stands, proudly serving ice-cold Pepsi products -- or other vendors such as Bojangles', Speedy's Pizza, South of Philly, Tubby’s Caramel Corn & More and Jack the Dipper ice cream.
Game Day Promotions:
• Saturday’s game is being billed a “Gold Out” with all fans encouraged to wear their Catamount GOLD to the game … WCU’s football team will gold pants for the first time since the throwback game in 2013 as WCU celebrated the 1983 National Runner-Up … the first 5,000 fans through the gates will receive a FREE “Gold Out” T-shirts;
• Saturday’s promotions include a celebration of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indian (EBCI) with a special pregame tailgate and activities throughout the day to honor the culture and heritage of the Cherokee Nation … Saturday is also Youth in Sports Day where all kids ages 12-and-under wearing their sports uniform for any sport will gain free admission – be sure to stop by a ticket booth to secure the free ticket;
• Gather with other Purple & Gold clad faithful to cheer on the Catamounts during the "Cat Walk" to the stadium at approximately 1:15 pm in the Stadium and Field House parking lots;
• The Catamount Kids' Zone and “Paws Playground” opens at 2:00 pm just inside the main entrance at Gate 1;
• At halftime and again following the game, the "Pride of the Mountains" Marching Band will perform their show to the East Side stands.