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Great Unexpectations

Developed by a CASE Professor of the Year, Dr. Carolyn Peluso Atkins, who has taught a public speaking class to the student-athletes since 1990, this book will give you an intimate look at those you have cheered for throughout the years.

It may bring a smile to your face and a tear to your eye … but, most of all, it will make you proud to be a Mountaineer.

A must-read book for any Mountaineer fan, especially:

  • Parents
  • Coaches
  • Teachers
  • Media
  • Student-Athletes of any age

Also …find out:

  • How WVU athletes have coped with adversities
  • What Jonnie West and Patrick Beilein have to say about their fathers
  • How Mike Gansey’s step-father changed his life
  • Why Major Harris, Canute Curtis, and Grantis Bell returned to WVU to get their college education
  • Why Freddie “Boom-Boom” Smalls believes his life was saved
  • How WVU athletes feel about societal issues such as divorce, abandonment, racism, gangs, and drugs
  • How WVU athletes feel about school, teachers, counselors, coaches, and the importance of getting an education
  • What WVU athletes have to say about setting goals, being optimistic, helping others, and showing gratitude


Deion Sanders, Former NFL Cornerback and NFL Network Commentator
Thank you so much for caring beyond the classroom.

Charles Emanuel (Football), Attorney
I had the greatest time working with you!!! Thanks for all that you did for me and all that you are doing for student athletes.

Bryan Pukenas (Football), Radiologist
WVU was a place that helped turn me into the person I am today. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t use something learned while a Mountaineer, be it from football or classes.

Lorenzo Styles (Football), Assistant High School Principal
Thank you for allowing me to be part of your book

Ashley Banks (Soccer), WVU Graduate Student
I really think that the projects that you put together have impacted many children and I am so honored to have been a part of them.

Ashley Pappas (Volleyball), WVU Assistant Volleyball Coach
With such a fear of public speaking in any form …having you as a teacher helped so much! You were able to create an atmosphere in which I could really take the time to grow. So again, thank you.

Wilfred Kirkaldy (Basketball), Teacher
I’m honored that I’ll be included in your book. I hope your efforts will yield a best seller and be mentioned on Oprah’s Book Club!

Damian Owens (Basketball), Business Owner

Umme Salim Beasley (Gymnastics), Educator
The knowledge you can pass on to others is so vast. You definitely have a talent for bringing out stellar public speakers. Your class was one of my favorites at WVU.

Adrian Moss-Beasley (Football), Deputy Sherrif
This class inspired me to share my thoughts and feelings with others.

Steve Slaton (Football), NFL Player, Houston Texans
One of my favorite classes

Jonnie West (Basketball), WVU Student Athlete
I just remember coming in the first day nervous to speak and leaving the class the last day being able to speak in front of anyone.