MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (July 31, 2021) – Seven outstanding contributors to Mountaineer athletics make up the 31st class of honorees in the West Virginia University Sports Hall of Fame, announced today by Director of Athletics Shane Lyons.
The 2021 class includes Keri Bland (cross country/track), Nicco Campriani (rifle), Noel Devine (football), Dale Farley (football), Mike Fox (football), Lajuanda Moody (gymnastics) and Olayinka Sanni (women’s basketball). This class brings the total number of inductees to 215.
Induction ceremonies will take place Saturday, Oct. 30, prior to the West Virginia-Iowa State football game. Due to COVID-19, there was no induction ceremony for the 2020 class. Induction ceremonies for the 2020 class will take place Saturday, Sept. 18, prior to the West Virginia-Virginia Tech football game.
Keri Bland earned nine All-America honors in cross country and track from 2006-11, leaving her name in the record books as one of the most decorated athletes in WVU cross country and track and field history.
In 2007, Bland helped guide the Mountaineers to their first Big East title in cross country and the highest team finish (ninth) at the NCAA Championships. At the national meet, she finished 23rd (20:58) to earn first team All-America honors. Bland and Marie-Louise Asselin earned All-America honors, marking the first time WVU’s cross country program had multiple All-Americans in the same year.
Bland was an essential part of the cross country team in 2008, leading WVU to its most successful season in school history with a fourth-place finish at the NCAA Championships. WVU also finished first at the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regionals and second at the Big East Championship. Bland finished 14th at the NCAA Championships with a time of 20:20. During the 2008 indoor track season, Bland was part of the distance medley relay team that set a school record and earned All-America honors with a fourth-place finish. She finished the 2008 outdoor season by earning All-America honors in the 1,500 meters to become the first female in WVU history to earn All-America accolades in three sports in the same year.
The Fairview, West Virginia, native earned All-America honors at the 2009 NCAA Cross Country Championships by leading WVU to a sixth-place finish and marking the third straight season WVU finished in the nation’s top 10. Bland, along with Asselin, became the only Mountaineers in school history to earn All-America honors for three seasons in cross country.
In 2009, Bland secured two All-America honors during the indoor track season, placing eighth in the mile and as part of the distance medley relay team. In the outdoor track season, Bland earned her fourth All-America citation of the year in the 1,500 meters, marking the second consecutive year she earned All-America honors in three sports in the same year.
In her final season in 2011, Bland earned third team All-America honors in the 1,500-meter run with an 18th-place (4:24) finish at the NCAA Outdoor Championships.
Bland captured NCAA All-Mid-Atlantic Region honors in cross country from 2006-09, was the Big East Indoor Outstanding Track Performer in 2009, was the Big East individual indoor champion in 2008 in the 1,000 meters and 2009 in the mile and was an ECAC outdoor champion in 2009. In the classroom, Bland earned CoSIDA Academic All-America Third Team honors in 2011.
Bland, who is married to Ben Richardson and has one son, received her bachelor’s degree in mathematics and master’s degree in education. She teaches at North Marion High, where she serves as the mathematics department chair and coaches the girls and boys cross country and track teams.
Nicco Campriani was a national champion and four-time All-American from 2010-11 before winning three Olympic Gold medals following graduation from WVU.
A native of Florence, Italy, Campriani captured the air rifle national title at the 2011 NCAA Championships, becoming the first Mountaineer to win the discipline crown since 1996. He helped the Mountaineers to a second-place team finish in 2011, and a third-place finish at the 2010 NCAA Championships.
Campriani helped the Mountaineers win their first conference championship since 2000, capturing back-to-back GARC (Great American Rifle Conference) Championship titles in 2010-11. He won two GARC smallbore titles and two GARC air rifle titles in 2010 and 2011. Campriani is one of five Mountaineers to shoot 600 in air rifle in program history and is the only WVU athlete to hit the mark twice. WVU went 22-2 over his two-year career.
He was a two-time All-American in air rifle and a two-time All-America selection in smallbore. Campriani also was a four-time All-GARC First Team selection, the 2011 GARC Shooter of the Year, 2011 GARC Outstanding Senior and 2011 GARC Scholar-Athlete of the Year. In the classroom, he earned CoSIDA Men’s At-Large Academic All-America First Team honors in 2011 and was a second team selection in 2010.
Following his WVU career, Campriani became a three-time Olympic Gold medalist as a member of the Italian National Team. He captured his first Gold medal in the men’s 50m rifle 3 positions at the 2012 Olympics in London, as well as a Silver medal in the men’s 10m air rifle. Campriani won a Gold medal in the men’s 10m air rifle and men’s 50m rifle 3 positions at the 2016 Olympics in Rio. Campriani was the first WVU rifle athlete to win two Gold medals at one Olympic Games, and overall, with his three Gold and one Silver, he is considered the most successful rifle shooter in Olympic history. He also competed at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.
He won the Gold medal at the 2009 European Championships in the 10m rifle and then captured Gold at the 2010 Shooting World Championships in the 10-meter rifle, becoming the first Italian world champion in shooting. For his career, he has won eight Gold medals, five Silver medals and two Bronze medals at ISSF World Cups.
Campriani earned a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from WVU in 2011. Prior to coming to WVU, he attended the University of Firenze for two years. He managed to combine his engineering background with his sport passion by developing a new air rifle design. His first prototype was produced in 2013 and was the same one he used to win his Gold medal in Rio 2016.
Following his retirement from the sport, Campriani joined the International Olympic Committee as Senior Sport Intelligence Manager, working on a variety of projects from the Athlete Career Program, focusing on dual career and career transition, to other public facing programs within the Olympic movement. In 2019, he founded ‘Make a Mark’, a personal initiative that offers retired Olympians an opportunity to identify and mentor refugees and forcibly displaced people for elite level sport to help transform their lives. This project, which relied on crowdfunding and donations, resulted in two of his athletes qualifying for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in the 10m air rifle event, further contributing to the Refugee Olympic Team.
Noel Devine was a three-year starter at running back from 2007-10 and became WVU’s career all-purpose yardage leader (5,761 yards).
The Fort Myers, Florida, native ranks third on WVU’s career rushing chart and No. 4 in Big East history with 4,315 yards. He is WVU’s all-time running back receptions leader with 98 and third in yards with 710. Devine ranks sixth on WVU’s all-time rushing touchdown list (29) and 10th on WVU’s all-time scoring chart (186) by a position player.
Devine had 19 career 100-yard rushing games with 12 career runs of 50 yards or more, 28 runs of 30 yards or more and 36 runs of 25 yards or more. He played in four bowl games: 2008 Fiesta, 2008 Meineke Car Care, 2010 Gator and 2010 Champs Sports.
As a senior in 2010, Devine registered 1,254 all-purpose yards, giving him 1,000 or more yards all four years. He led WVU in rushing with 934 yards on 208 carries and six touchdowns. Devine was WVU’s third-leading receiver with 34 receptions for 258 yards and a touchdown. He sustained a toe bruise at LSU and an ankle injury at Louisville that slowed him for most of the season.
In 2009, Devine was a unanimous All-Big East First Team selection and was one of 16 semifinalists for the Maxwell Award, signifying the top offensive player in the nation. He led the team in rushing with 1,465 yards and 13 touchdowns. Devine was named West Virginia’s Gator Bowl MVP against Florida State after he registered a game-high 168 yards on 16 carries. Devine had a career-high 220 yards rushing against Colorado, and a career-best three rushing touchdowns against Auburn.
As a sophomore, he was named to the All-Big East Second Team, leading the Mountaineers in rushing with 1,289 yards and four touchdowns. He tallied 188 yards against Syracuse, including the second-longest run (92) in school history against the Orange. Devine set the school record with a run of 79 yards for the longest non-touchdown run vs. Louisville.
In 2007, Devine was the third-leading rusher on the team with 627 yards on 73 carries. He became the fastest WVU player to rush for 100 yards in a game on just two carries at Maryland.
Devine signed a free agent contract with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2011. He played for the Omaha Nighthawks of the United Football League in 2011, the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League in 2012-13 and the Edmonton Eskimos in 2014. Devine participated in The Spring League in 2017 and played for the West Virginia Roughriders in 2019, helping guide them to the league championship.
He graduated from West Virginia with a Regents Bachelor of Arts degree in December 2019.
Devine owns and runs DevineSpeed LLC, a speed training business where he trains numerous athletes from different sports. He enjoys giving back to the community, doing camps in North Fort Myers and Satellite Beach, Florida, and in West Virginia. He works as a substitute teacher in North Fort Myers and as a guest teacher in the Lee Court District. He also assists with coaching football at North Fort Myers High School, where his son, Andre, plays, and coaching in the Cape Junior Football League, where his son Noel Jr. plays.
Devine and his wife, Candace, have been together since high school. They have five children, Desirae (16), Andre (15), Destyni (13), Noel Jr. (9) and Noah (5).
Desirae is heading into her junior year of high school and plays softball. Andre is heading into 10th grade and plays football, where Noel had his retired jersey reinstated for his son in 2020. Destyni, who runs track, will be in eighth grade and is currently getting ready for the Junior Olympics. Noel Jr. is going into the fourth grade and plays football, basketball and runs track.
The late Dale Farley was a tremendous three-year linebacker from 1968-70, playing for coaches Jim Carlen and Bobby Bowden.
A native of Sparta, Tennessee, Farley teamed with All-America middle guard Carl Crennel during his junior year in 1969 to give the Mountaineers the nation’s 12th-best defense, allowing just 241 yards per game.
West Virginia, that year, held four opponents to a touchdown or less and produced shutout victories over VMI and William & Mary on the way to a 10-1 record and a 14-3 victory over ACC champion South Carolina in the Peach Bowl in Atlanta.
Farley’s late interception against Syracuse in 1970 helped seal WVU’s big 28-19 victory over the Orange, and his absence in the Pitt game earlier that season was a major factor in the Mountaineers’ stunning 36-35 loss at Pitt Stadium when the Panthers overcame a 35-8 halftime deficit.
He was selected to play in the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama, and was named to the All-East and All-South teams. The Mountaineers posted a record of 25-7 during his career. Farley is a member of the WVU All-Time Team from 1970-79.
Farley was named a First Team All-American by The Sporting News in 1970 and was selected in the third round of the 1971 NFL Draft by the Miami Dolphins (74th pick overall). He played one season for the Dolphins in 1971 before being traded to Buffalo, where he joined Mountaineer teammate Jim Braxton with the Bills. Farley played two years there and spent one season playing for the Toronto Argonauts in the Canadian Football League before returning to work on his family farm in Sparta.
Farley passed away on June 13, 2019, in Cookeville, Tennessee. He was survived by his wife, Karen, and son, Brandon, along with grandchildren Branson Farley, Dalton Stallings and Kaytlyn Franklin. Farley was preceded in death by his daughter, Brittany Ann Farley Johnson.
Mike Fox was an outstanding defensive tackle from 1986-89 at WVU and had a nine-year career in the NFL.
A native of Akron, Ohio, Fox was a two-year starter at tackle, earning 1989 Gator Bowl Most Valuable Player honors with seven tackles. In his final season, he led the team in quarterback sacks with 10 and posted 78 tackles. Fox was named an honorable mention All-American by The Sporting News, First Team Associated Press All-East and All-ECAC.
Fox had nine tackles, two sacks and two tackles for loss versus Ball State, had eight tackles, including two sacks and two TFLs, against South Carolina, had nine tackles, including eight solo stops and a sack against Virginia Tech, posted seven tackles and a sack at Penn State and had nine tackles, including a pair of sacks and two tackles for a loss, in the Syracuse game.
As a junior, he started every game and was named AP All-East in 1988. His big play that season was a blocked punt at Pitt. The WVU defense helped pave the way to the 1989 Fiesta Bowl for college football’s national championship against Notre Dame. He also started four games in 1987, helping the Mountaineers to the 1987 Sun Bowl.
Fox finished his WVU career with 142 tackles, 18 tackles for loss, 14 sacks, two forced fumbles and four pass breakups.
He was selected in the second round (51st overall) of the 1990 NFL Draft by the New York Giants, and was part of the Super Bowl XXV-winning team. Fox finished his career with the Carolina Panthers from 1995-98.
In the NFL, he played in 133 games, starting 84, while recording 17 sacks, four forced fumbles and one fumble recovery. He finished his career with 233 tackles, including 122 solo stops. Fox started every game he played from 1993 through 1996.
Fox earned his bachelor’s degree in physical education from WVU in 1990.
Lajuanda Moody became WVU gymnastics’ second All-American during her career from 1991-94.
The Bridgeport, Connecticut, native was the first WVU gymnast to qualify for the NCAA Championships as an individual on three occasions (1991, 1993 and 1994), all of which were in the all-around competition.
Moody registered the school’s first perfect 10.0 on the floor exercise on Feb. 27, 1994. She is tied for third in school history with 47 career all-around meets and holds the school record for points in a season (570.05 in 1992). Moody also ranks third in program history with 1,933.7 career points.
She led the Mountaineers to their first three Atlantic 10 Championships in 1992, 1993 and 1994. Moody is the only gymnast in school history who has won three conference all-around championships (1991-93). She also owns six event conference titles, including the uneven bars (1992-93), balance beam (1992, 1994) and floor exercise (1991-93).
Moody earned Second Team All-America honors on the balance beam in 1994, becoming WVU’s first All-American since Shari Retton in 1982. She earned Atlantic 10 Gymnast of the Year honors in 1992 and Atlantic 10 Outstanding Freshman Gymnast in 1991. Moody was named Atlantic 10 All-Conference on vault (1991 and 1993), balance beam (1991-94), floor exercise (1991, 1992 and 1994) and all-around (1991, 1993 and 1994). She was WVU’s Most Valuable Gymnast in 1992 and 1994 and won the Joseph Medrick Award for having the highest all-around scoring average all four years of her career.
Moody graduated from WVU in 1995 with a bachelor’s degree in fashion merchandising. She has a son, Langston, and is currently a teacher in New Haven, Connecticut.
Olayinka Sanni played in 129 games, starting 111, during her outstanding four-year women’s basketball career from 2005-08.
Sanni, a native of Chicago Heights, Illinois, finished with 1,602 career points (12.4 ppg), 773 rebounds (6.0 rpg), 170 steals (1.3 spg), 77 assists (0.6 apg) and a career 55.7 field goal shooting percentage. Overall, Sanni ranks in WVU’s top 10 in multiple categories: second in field-goal percentage (55.7), third in offensive rebounds (364), sixth in field goals made (663), ninth in games started (111) and 10th in games played (129). She ranked 11th in total points (1,602).
During Sanni’s tenure at WVU, the Mountaineers knocked off nine ranked Associated Press top-25 opponents, including a 63-54 win over No. 4 Rutgers on Jan. 29, 2008. She also was part of the program’s first ranked team in 15 seasons. Additionally, she was a member of the 2005 WNIT Runner-Up squad and two NCAA Tournament teams in 2007 and 2008. Sanni is a member of the WVU Women’s Basketball 2001-14 All-Time Team.
In her final season, Sanni picked up All-America Honorable Mention status from the Associated Press and the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association. Additionally, she was named to the WBCA All-Region 1 and All-Big East First teams. Sanni was named the Big East Player of the Week after scoring 22 points in a win over St. John’s on Jan. 19. She capped her career with numerous top-10 marks for a Mountaineer senior: first in offensive rebounds (115), second in field goal percentage (58.8%), fourth in field goals made (227), sixth in points (583), eighth in points per game (16.2) and ninth in rebounding average (7.1 rpg).
Sanni garnered her first conference accolades during her junior campaign. She finished with 449 points (14.0 ppg), 214 rebounds (6.7 rpg) and shot 55.3% from the field (178-of-322). She was tabbed an All-Big East First Team selection and was named the Big East Player of the Week after scoring 26 points in a win over DePaul on Jan. 13. Sanni finished 25 games in double-figure scoring and helped the Mountaineers to an NCAA Tournament berth. She scored 20 points in WVU’s first-round victory over Xavier.
As a sophomore, Sanni collected 384 points (12.4 ppg), 164 rebounds (5.3 rpg), 36 steals (1.2 spg) and shot 58.3% (162-of-278) from the field in 31 games. She made a school-record 13-of-13 from the field against Kennesaw State, finishing with 28 points in the win against the Owls. She scored double figures in 20 games, including nine consecutive from Nov. 19 to Jan. 1. Sanni helped the 12th-seeded Mountaineers reach the 2006 Big East Championship game with wins over Louisville, St. John’s and 6th-ranked Rutgers before falling to 7th-ranked Connecticut. Sanni’s 58.3 field goal percentage set the record for a Mountaineer sophomore.
Sanni played in 33 games as a freshman and finished with 236 points (7.2 ppg), 162 rebounds (4.9 rpg), 29 steals (0.9 spg) and 20 blocks (0.6 bpg). She scored a season-high 18 points in the win over Providence (Feb. 22) and helped the Mountaineers to the WNIT Championship game after WVU toppled Maine, St. John’s, Wake Forest and Kentucky to face Southwest Missouri State in the title game.
Sanni became the third Mountaineer drafted by a WNBA team as a second round, 18th overall pick by the Detroit Shock in 2008. In her rookie season, she helped the Shock to a WNBA Championship. After two seasons in Detroit, she spent the 2011 campaign with the Phoenix Mercury. She also played internationally for 10 years, including six years in France, and with the Nigerian National Team.
She is a software analyst for Bank of America and is the Founder of Picnics in the Chi.
Press Release Courtesy of West Virginia University Athletics Communications