Legendary West Virginia University athletes will celebrate the 75th anniversary of the WVU School of Physical Education with a free, public discussion at 7 p.m. Friday (Oct. 26).
The sports legends panel, moderated by former WVU mens basketball Head Coach Gale Catlett, will take place in Room G20 of Oglebay Hall on the Downtown Campus. Jerry West, Rod Hundley, Rod Thorn, Sam Huff, Chuck Howley and Kristin Quackenbush-DiBartolomeo will discuss athletics with alumni, faculty, staff and friends.
Seating in the new addition of Oglebay Hall is limited and will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Brief bios of the speakers follow:
Catlett was a Mountaineer basketball player from 1959-63, helping the Mountaineers to records of 24-4, 26-6 and 23-8 and two NCAA tournament berths.
After graduating in 1963, he started a career in college coaching that took him to Richmond, Davidson, Kansas and Kentucky.
In 1972, he was named head coach at Cincinnati, posting a 126-44 record in six seasons with three NCAA appearances. During the 1976-77 season, his team was ranked as high as second in the nation.
Catlett returned to his alma mater as head coach in 1978, posting a WVU record of 439-276 over the next 24 years and an overall coaching mark of 565-320, making him just the 45th Division I coach all-time to win 500 career games.
Whether shooting a 20-foot jump shot, making a big steal or pulling down a clutch rebound, West could do it all.
With a three-year mark of 61-12 while he was a regular, West Virginia earned three straight NCAA berths and came within two points of winning the national championship in 1959.
Co-captain of the 1960 Olympic team, he helped lead the United States to a 5-0 record and a victory over Russia to claim the gold medal at Rome.
West then entered the NBA in 1961 and spent 14 outstanding seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers.
During his NBA career, West compiled just about every honor possible. He was selected for the all-NBA first team seven times and all-NBA defensive team four straight years from 1970-73.
After he retired as a player, West returned to the Lakers for the 1976-77 season as head coach. Later, he would serve as a special consultant, and in 1982, he was elevated to general manager.
West was elected to the Pro Basketball Hall of Fame in 1979 and was an inaugural member of the West Virginia Sports Hall of fame in 1991.
He came out of retirement in 2002 to serve as president of basketball operations for the Memphis Grizzlies and was named NBA Executive of the Year in 2004, the second time he won the award. He recently retired from the Grizzlies.
Howley was the first Mountaineer athlete to win letters in five sports: track, swimming, gymnastics, wrestling and football.
His greatest accomplishments, however, were on the gridiron where he excelled at guard and center. During his three years playing with the varsity, WVU compiled a 21-8-1 mark.
The Bears selected Howley in the first round of the 1958 draft, making him the third Mountaineer football player to be selected in the first round by an NFL organization. He went on to a career with the Dallas Cowboys.
Thorn was one of the nations premiere basketball players as a WVU senior in 1963.
He led the Mountaineers in scoring, rebounding, shooting percentage and assists for two seasons and established six records that still stand in the WVU record book.
His three-year varsity career showed a 21.8 points per game average including a 23.7 scoring mark in 1962. He also averaged 11.1 rebounds per game for his career.
In 1964, Thorn was drafted by the Baltimore Bullets. He went on to play with Detroit, St. Louis and Seattle during a professional playing career that spanned eight years.
After retiring from basketball, he went on to become a coach and general manager in the NBA .
He served as executive vice president of basketball operations for the NBA and is currently serving as president of the New Jersey Nets.
Hundley played for WVU from 1954-57. The Mountaineers made their first NCAA appearance and three total appearances between 1955 and 1957.
During his junior year, he averaged 26.6 points and 13.1 rebounds per game. He scored more than 40 points per game six times, which led to the Mountaineers scoring over 100 points in nine games.
Hundley was the fourth player in NCAA history to score more than 2,000 points during his career, and he was a two-time, first team All-American.
From 1958-63, he played for the Los Angeles Lakers, where he averaged 8.4 points per game and had 1,400 assists.
Today, fans will find Hundley in the broadcasters booth, where he has been the voice of the Utah Jazz for more than three decades.
A four-year letter winner for the legendary ArtPappyLewis, Huff started at guard as a sophomore and tackle the next two years, after winning a letter as a backup guard during his freshman season.
He helped lead WVU to a combined four-year mark of 31-7 and a berth in the 1954 Sugar Bowl.
After being selected to play in the North-South Game, Senior Bowl and College Football All-Star Game, Huff was drafted in the third round by the New York Giants.
Playing his last four seasons with the Washington Redskins, Huff culminated his 12-year NFL career with one championship ring and five division titles.
After retiring, Huff began a career as a broadcaster for the Washington Redskins radio network.
In 1982, he became the second WVU player to be inducted into both the college and pro football halls of fame.
A rare two-sport All-American at WVU , Quackenbush-DiBartolomeo participated in track from 1997-98 and gymnastics from 1994-97.
She received five perfect 10s, including two in the same gymnastics meet.
In addition, she has WVU s highest finish at the NCAA championships, placing third in vault in 1996, and she earned EAGL All-Academic and NACGC Scholastic All-America honors.
Quackenbush-DiBartolomeo was recognized as the 1997 NCAA woman of the year for West Virginia and the 1996 and 1997 Red Brown Cup winner.
Other honors include 1997 AAI American Award winnernational collegiate gymnast of the year and All-America status in the pole vault in the 1998 outdoor season.
Quackenbush-DiBartolomeo qualified for the 2000 Olympic trials and placed 11th in the pole vault.