He thinks the message sank in. He's seen more self-policing from the Maniacs, a concept the group already encouraged. He has sent invitations to his counterparts at other Big 12 schools to tailgate with the student group before games, and the group has emphasized sportsmanship more this season than in any since his arrival in Morgantown.
"You only get one chance to make a first impression," he said.
Local residents want that impression to be positive as well, said retired postmaster Tommy White. White is the coordinator for a group called the Goodwill City ambassadors; volunteers who meet fans from rival teams and see if they need any help or information on game day.
White said last weekend's Maryland game was the first time the ambassadors were deployed. He thought the roughly 20 people did a great job, and he heard positive feedback from both Terrapin and Mountaineer faithful alike.
He thinks such a local initiative is critical as WVU moves into the Big 12. Originally from Fort Worth, Texas, White said he wants the new fans from his homeland to experience the same hospitality he has enjoyed since 2007.
"I want those people to see the beauty that we have up here," White said. "I want them to see that 'Almost Heaven' portion."
The ambassadors will be out in full force this Saturday, with people roaming and stationed throughout the parking lot, White said.
They've received a little training from university police about interacting with unruly fans, but WVU Police Chief Bob Roberts said incidents have been down this year.
Everyone is putting in the work to create a new WVU reputation, he said. But he's confident there's more to it than the move to a new conference: Mountaineers want visitors to enjoy their time in West Virginia.
"All too often people see the negative and they don't see the good," Roberts said. "This is an opportunity to help people see what the community is all about."
WVU football - and the push for civility - will be put to the test Saturday in Morgantown against Baylor. Kickoff is slated for noon.