Two legendary West Virginia college football coaches will be commemorated as bobblehead dolls Saturday as the West Virginia Power returns home for its first of eight games in nine days at Appalachian Power Park. Don Nehlen, head coach of the West Virginia Mountaineers from 1980-2000, and Bob Pruett, head coach of the Marshall Thundering Herd from 1996-2004, will be featured on a bobblehead statuette that will be given out free to the first 1,000 fans through the gates. The West Virginia Power takes on the Delmarva Shorebirds at 7:05 p.m. Saturday; gates open at 6:05 p.m.
Adam Marco, director of media and marketing for the West Virginia Power, said the collectors item will showcase two of the “most legendary coaches in West Virginia.”
“When we changed from the ‘Charleston’ Alley Cats to the ‘West Virginia’ Power, it was to pay homage to the whole state, not just to one area,” Marco said. “And to pay tribute to the whole state, you have to pay homage to the two schools.”
Nehlen is the winningest football coach in Mountaineer history. He posted a 149-93-4 record in Morgantown, leading WVU to 13 bowls and 17 winning seasons.
Pruett is Marshall’s winningest football coach. He led Marshall to a 15-0 record in his inaugural season, coaching the Herd to a Southern Conference and NCAA Division I-AA national championship in 1996. Pruett posted a 94-23 record in nine seasons.
The Mountaineer and Herd baseball teams have both played many games at Appalachian Power Park in recent years, and Marco said he hopes the bobblehead giveaway will bring fans from both universities out to the ballpark.
“They’re great collectibles . . . and they’re still one of the biggest draws in Minor League Baseball,” Marco said of bobblehead giveaways. “You don’t have to have gone to WVU or Marshall to like the football programs at either of those schools.”
A fireworks show will follow Saturday’s game. The Power hosts a four-game series with the Shorebirds through Tuesday, and then hosts the Lakewood BlueClaws for a four-game series May 22 to 25.
The Power’s full game calendar and more information on upcoming promotions is available online at wvpower.com.
Contact writer Marcus Constantino at 304-348-1796 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him at www.twitter.com/amtino.