West Virginia State University’s athletic booster organization, the National “W” Club, will induct six new members into the Sports Hall of Fame with a brunch beginning at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 8, in the James C. Wilson University Union on the WVSU campus in Institute.
The 2022 Hall of Fame inductees are Nate Burton, Warren Johnson Breckenridge Jr., Dava Kaltenecker Pinney, Jermain King, Jeff Sokolik and Paul Toombs.
- Burton is in his seventh year as director of athletics at WVSU. He is a graduate of Washington and Jefferson College in 2009, where he was a four-year starter on the men’s basketball team.
Burton was named the Interim Athletic Director of WVSU in 2016. He made an instant impact as an administrator and swiftly assumed the role on a permanent basis. Under his leadership, artificial turf has been installed at Lady Jackets Field, Calvin L. Bailey Field, and Lakin-Ray Field at Dickerson Stadium. He has also increased the sports offerings by adding women’s soccer and acrobatics & tumbling. In the classroom, WVSU student-athletes have achieved eight consecutive semesters of a collective 3.0 GPA or higher.
- Breckenridge is a former football player for WVSU. He was born May 21, 1959, in Charleston and is a 1977 graduate of Charleston High School, where he participated and lettered in three football, basketball and track.
Breckenridge continued playing football as a walk-on at WVSU, starting and lettering for four years. He was a member of the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference division championship team and played in the Coal Bowl in 1979. He was selected to the first-team All-Conference defense in 1979 and 1980 and was a second-team All-American.
He went to work in the chemical industry after leaving WVSU and is now enjoying his retirement after 35 years of service. He has served his community through coaching midget league football for the Kanawha City Colts.
- Pinney is a 2007 graduate of WVSU and former volleyball, track and golf athlete for the university. She graduated in 2003 from Parkersburg High School, where she participated in volleyball, basketball and track.
At WVSU, Pinney helped WVSU university to its first WVIAC volleyball regular-season and tournament championships in 2006. As a two-year co-captain for the Yellow Jackets, Pinney earned WVIAC first-team and All-Tournament honors in 2006. As a freshman and sophomore, she pole-vaulted with the indoor track team and was a member of the first women’s golf team her junior and senior years at WVSU.
She lives in Newark, Ohio, and has coached at Newark High School for the last eight years and is in her first year as head volleyball coach.
- King is a WVSU class of 2011 graduate who participated in football while at the university. He was born in Wauchula, Florida, and graduated in 2007 from Hardee Senior High School, where he played varsity football, basketball, and participated in track and field.
At WVSU, he started all 40 career games in which he had at least one reception in each game. King was selected second-team All-WVIAC in 2007, 2008 and 2009 and first team in 2010, the same year he was the WVSU team captain.
King played indoor football with the Nebraska Danger, Reading Express, and Sioux Falls Red Storm. King earned a master’s degree in Sports Coaching from Ohio University in 2018 and a master’s degree in Educational Leadership from the University of West Florida in 2021. He has been in the education system as a teacher since 2013 and has coached football at the youth and high school level for the past 10 years. He lives in Lakeland, Florida.
- Sokolik is a 1977 graduate of WVSU from New Miford, New Jersey. He held the New Jersey freshman shot put record for 15 years and was a four-year letter winner as offensive tackle in football and a shot putter in track and field, earning 12 varsity letters.
As a track athlete at WVSU, he was undefeated as a shot putter for his four years in the WVIAC. He represented WVSU in the National Hall of Fame meet taking second place in the shot put.
After graduating at WVSU, Sokolik returned to New Jersey to teach health, physical education and driver’s education as well as coach for the next 30 years. He coached football, wrestling, and the field events in track and field.
He is retired and living in Delaware.
- Toombs is a 1976 graduate of WVSU and is from Linden, New Jersey. He served as the co-captain of the men’s basketball team at WVSU in 1975 and captain in 1976.
Toombs’ motivation was family, team, and community. He encouraged his teammates to take care of their mental and physical well-being.
The Hall of Fame ceremony brunch will take place at 8:30 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 8, inside the James C. Wilson University Union on the WVSU campus. The event is open to the public. Tickets cost $10 and may be purchased at the door.
In addition to the Hall of Fame induction, awards also will be given to current student-athletes. The 2022 “W” Club Inductee Welcoming Ceremony will begin with a bell-ringing at the Canty House immediately after the Homecoming Parade, which begins at 10:30 a.m. that Saturday.