CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A year ago at the WVU Classic, put on annually by the Mountaineer Athletic Club at Berry Hills Country Club, coaches were preparing to adapt to life in the Big 12.
Fast-forward to this year and it's apparent that the adaptation is still a work in progress.
In fact, one big change was announced on Thursday just before the dinner got underway.
After a successful inaugural baseball season in the Big 12, the WVU Board of Governors approved a $2.3 million property purchase for a new baseball stadium, something athletic director Oliver Luck was pleased with and eager to talk about.
"I love the conference because it's forcing us to upgrade everything we do," Luck said. "It's an important step obviously, without the land there's nothing to build on.
"We still have a lot of work to do to figure it all out, but it's the first of many steps in terms of putting shovels in the ground and getting the ballpark designed and getting the ballpark ultimately built and then, of course, the big moment will be when the ballpark is actually used for game number one and hopefully many great games beyond."
Luck said the beginning of construction on the ballpark is still several months away and that getting started before the end of the year isn't guaranteed.
But between now and next baseball season, the football and men's basketball teams will have a second crack at the league that gave each some problems last year.
WVU football coach Dana Holgorsen and basketball coach Bob Huggins were in attendance Thursday and are both dealing with changes of their own.
For Huggins, most that change comes on the personnel level with seniors Deniz Kilicli and Matt Humphrey gone as well as former players Jabarie Hinds, Keaton Miles, Aaron Brown and Volodymyr Gerun, each of whom left the program.
Transfers Remi Dibo and Jonathan Holton will enter the fold this season along with the class of incoming freshmen.
After a disappointing 13-19 mark, including 6-12 in the Big 12, there will be a new set of faces representing WVU next season. Despite the influx of new players, Huggins said he is not worried about continuity and is optimistic for next year.
"I really don't think that will be a problem," Huggins said. "Our guard corps is pretty much intact and those are the people who run things, and I'm sure they're going to be a whole lot more committed to doing what we want them to do than maybe they were a year ago. Our front-line guys are big and strong and athletic and that's what you need."
Huggins also admitted that the first year of play in the Big 12 was a huge change in more ways than one.
"I think it was a big change in style of play, I think it was a big change in officiating, and I think it was a big change in travel," Huggins said. "Obviously we didn't handle it as well as we needed to."