Former Mountaineer running back Garrett Ford Sr. will lead hundreds of alumni, students and other participants down High Street Friday (Oct. 10) as West Virginia Universitys Homecoming parade marshal.
WVU s annual Homecoming parade begins at 6:30 p.m. Ford will also be honored during halftime of Saturdays (Oct. 11) WVU -Syracuse game, which kicks off at noon at Milan Puskar Stadium.
Ford, WVU s associate director of athletics, was an outstanding running back for WVU in the mid-1960s. He was the first Mountaineer football player to top both 2,000 career rushing yards and 1,000 yards in a single season.
We are excited that one of WVU s all-time greats will be serving as our 2008 parade marshal,said Stephen L. Douglas, president and chief executive officer of the WVU Alumni Association.Garrett has maintained such a strong commitment to our alma mater. I remember watching him lead our football team to success, and he continues that role today by serving as a mentor to our student-athletes and ensuring their success at WVU .
Ford tallied 2,166 yards from 1965-67, the WVU career rushing record at the time, with eight 100-yard games and 120 career points. His 1965 record for most all-purpose yards in a WVU game (356 yards) still stands as the top Mountaineer mark. He was drafted by the Denver Broncos and played two seasons with the team.
As associate athletic director for student services, Ford is responsible for providing educational guidance to the hundreds of WVU student-athletes, including career and personal counseling, as well as certification of athletic eligibility. He was instrumental in the development of such projects as the Athletic Directors Academic Honor Roll, the newly retooled Athletic Academic Performance Center in the WVU Coliseum and the Milan Puskar Center study area. He also has been actively involved in helping former athletes return to school to complete their degrees.
Ford joined the Mountaineer coaching staff under Bobby Bowden in 1970 as the first black assistant football coach at WVU . He joined the athletic department as an academic counselor in 1977 and was named assistant athletic director in 1985.
He has received numerous honors, including induction into the WVU Sports Hall of Fame in 1995 and the College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences Hall of Fame in 2004. He also is a member of the DeMatha Catholic High School Hall of Fame.
A native of Washington, D.C., Ford received a bachelors degree in physical education in 1969 and a masters degree in guidance and counseling in 1973, both from WVU .
He and his wife, Thelma, have two children: Tracie and Garrett Jr., also a former Mountaineer football player.