List of the Day
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Posted Feb 23, 2003

Want to start a sports' debate? Which state has the best claim, per capita, of producing nationally and internationally known athletes and coaches? How about West Virginia, which has a population of about 1.7-million people? Can any state, per capita, match the following high school contributions to national and international sports?


1. Jerry West, East Bank: Hall of Famer and among 50 Greatest Player selections. All-America at West Virginia U. and co-captain with Oscar Robertson of 1960 U.S. Olympic team. Los Angeles Laker great and currently running Memphis franchise. Model for NBA logo.

2. Hal Greer, Huntington Douglas: Hall of Famer and among 50 Greatest Player selections as Philadelphia 76ers' guard. First Black athlete at hometown Marshall.

3. Rod Hundley, Charleston: West Virginia U. All-America and No. 1 pick of 1957 NBA Draft by Lakers.

4. Rod Thorn, Princeton: West Virginia U. All-America and NBA player, coach, administrator--currently running New York Nets.

5. Mike Barrett, Richwood: ABA star and member of 1968 U.S. Olympic team.

6. Vicky Bullett, Martinsburg: U. of Maryland All-America and WNBA all-star; member of two U.S. Olympic teams.

7. Jule Rivlin, Triadelphia: Marshall great and MVP of 1947 World Pro Tournament in Chicago.

8. Several other college All-America honorees and honored professional players including three current NBA performers--Bimbo Coles, Jason Williams and Tamar Slay.


1. Sam Huff, Farmington: One of only 10 athletes inducted into the Pro and College Halls of Fame plus the National High School Sports Hall. West Virginia U. All-America and all-time NFL great linebacker.

2. Frank (Gunner) Gatski, Farmington: Along with Huff makes his alma mater (now consolidated into North Marion High) one of only three U.S. high schools producing two members of Pro Football Hall. Honored center on championship Cleveland Browns' teams after playing at Marshall.

3. Joe Stydahar, Shinnston: Inducted into both Pro and College Football Halls of Fame following careers at West Virginia U. and Chicago Bears. Coached Los Angeles Rams to only NFL title.

4. Chuck Howley, Warwood: Five-sport letterman at West Virginia U. and honored Dallas Cowboys' linebacker who earned 1970 Super Bowl MVP award, the only player selected from losing team.

5. Randy Moss, DuPont: Three-sport high school sensation who was Heisman Trophy finalist at Marshall before becoming one of NFL's top wide receivers with Minnesota Vikings.

6. Curt Warner, Pineville: Three-sport high school all-stater who set Penn State U. and Seattle Seahawks' rushing records.

7. Bob Gain, Weirton: All-America tackle at U. of Kentucky and 1950 Outland Trophy winner before becoming honored lineman with Cleveland Browns.

8. Marshall Goldberg, Elkins, and George Cafego, Oak Hill: Both were runners-up for Heisman Trophy honors at the University of Pittsburgh and Tennessee, respectively.

9. Several other college All-America honorees and honored professional players including current NFL performers--James Jett, also a member of a gold-medal winning U.S. Olympic sprint relay team, plus Eddie Drummond, Jason Starkey, Rich Braham and Chris Massey.


1. Jesse Burkett, Wheeling: Hall of Fame inductee who is one of only three players (others are Ty Cobb and Rogers Hornsby) to hit over .400 three times in a season.

2. Jack Glasscock, Wheeling: early-era major league player, and Wheeling Island neighbor of Burkett, who was listed in Sports Illustrated article as one of the five greatest fielding shortstops in history.

3. Lew Burdette, Nitro: Milwaukee Braves' pitcher who won three games in 1957 World Series.

4. John Kruk, Keyser: left-handed high school shortstop and basketball star who was three-time major league all-star with Philadelphia Phillies.

5. The only current major league player from last season is pitcher Rick Reed.


1. Mary Lou Retton, Fairmont Senior: First U.S. gymnast to win gold medal in women's all-around at 1984 Olympic Games. Scored perfect 10's. First female athlete on a Wheaties' cereal box.

2. Randy Barnes, St. Albans: World outdoor and indoor shot put record-holder who won silver and gold medals in two Olympic Games.

3. Dave Tork, Fairmont Senior: Set world outdoor pole vault record in 1962 and indoor mark in 1963.

4. Bill Campbell, Huntington: Defeated fellow W.Va. golfer Ed Tutwiler to win 1964 U.S. Amateur title. Later, president of U.S. Golf Association.

5. Christy Martin, Bluefield: current WBC women's lightweight boxing champion.

6. Anne White, Charleston George Washington: tennis professional ranked 19th in world in 1987.


1. Clair Bee, Grafton: Basketball Hall of Famer and author of numerous books on sports. Coached Long Island U. to two unbeaten seasons and two NIT titles.

2. Fielding (Hurry Up) Yost, Fairview: College Football Hall of Famer who guided Michigan's famed Point-A-Minute teams to 55-1-1 record and victory in first Rose Bowl.

3. John McKay, Shinnson: College Football Hall of Famer. Coached University of Southern California to four national titles and three unbeaten seasons.

4. A. E. (Greasy) Neale, Parkersburg: Only coach in Rose Bowl (Washington & Jefferson) who coached NFL title teams--two with Philadelphia Eagles. He also played major league baseball. In College and Pro Football Halls of Fame.

5. Floyd (Ben) Schwartzwalder, Huntington: Coached Syracuse U. football team 25 years and 1959 National Coach of Year. College Football Hall of Famer.

6. Ralph Tasker, Moundsville: second high school coach in U.S. to win 1,000 boys basketball games while at Hobbs, N.M., High and is third winningest coach of all time. A member of National High School Sports Hall of Fame.

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OG Rich Braham (profile)
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