Why Black Diamond Trophy Is Given in West Virginia-Virginia Tech Rivalry

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There is a reason you have not heard much about the Black Diamond Trophy in quite some time. West Virginia and Virginia Tech have not squared off on the football field since 2005.

What was once a heated rivalry was put on the back burner. According to WDBJ CBS, Rish Equipment is behind the tradition as the company started making the trophy in 1997.

The name is a nod to the coal industry in the region. As NCAA.com details, the renewal of the rivalry comes at a good time.

They are dusting off the Black Diamond Trophy, a nod to the region’s rich history with coal. Just as the trophy has been on a shelf, the coal industry has experienced a huge downturn with the closing of mines and the loss of thousands of jobs.

Rish Equipment director Steve Hamilton spoke with WDBJ CBS about the significance of the trophy.

“It has a lot of meaning and I think it has a lot of meaning for this game coming up. It’s talked about a lot,” Hamilton told WDBJ CBS.

Whoever wins the trophy will hold onto it for a few years as the two teams do not play again until 2021. Virginia Tech has had the trophy since 2005 as they won the last matchup.

Conference realignment seems to be a big part of why these two teams have not played in quite awhile.

Former Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer, who will help with the coin toss, spoke with NCAA.com on the renewal of the rivalry.

“I’m really glad this game is back on the schedule,” Beamer told NCAA.com. “I think it has new meaning in that now we represent different conferences. I’m just relieved that I’m not going to need a ticket to get into the game.”

West Virginia leads the rivalry with a 28-22 record. The Hokies won the last two contests in 2004 and 2005.