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Although Joseph “J.P.” Weaver (’07) was a successful linebacker on his high school team, recruiters told him that his height (5-foot-9-inches) put him at a disadvantage for playing college football. But the coaches at Gardner-Webb University in 2003—head coach Steve Patton and his assistants, Travis Cunningham and Phil Jones—saw his determination and gave him a chance to join the Runnin’ Bulldogs defense. “It was a great opportunity for me,” Weaver declared. “It drove me to work much harder, because I was always told I couldn’t play that position at the next level. Gardner-Webb was a great fit for me.”

Publication Date



Gardner-Webb University


Boiling Springs


All Presidential Honors, defense, Down Under Sports Track and Field Competition, Dr. Robert Munoz, football, Gold Coast of Australlia, gold medal, GWU Runnin' Bulldogs, Joseph (J.P.) Weaver, linebacker, Linebacker of the Year, Phil Jones, School of Psychology and Counseling, Sharpsburg (Ga.) coach, Special Teams Player of the Year, Steve Patton, track and field, Travis Cunningham, Trinity Christian School

Gardner-Webb Alumnus Coaches for Team USA in Australian Track and Field Event