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What’s in a number? The top Mountaineers: 60-69

Since West Virginia’s first intercollegiate football game in 1891, thousands and thousands of individuals have played for the Mountaineers.

The first recorded use of numbers on WVU uniforms was in 1915, and they have been a standard fixture ever since. For many, the number is almost as much an identifier during their careers as their name. At West Virginia, who could think of Jerry West without No. 44 or Major Harris without No. 9?

With that came the idea of putting together a list of the best Mountaineer to wear each number for both football and men’s basketball.

Some student-athletes wore multiple numbers during their careers. When more than one uniform number was used, I tried to focus on the digit that was associated the most with that individual. I’ll admit this list is completely subjective, so feel free to express your own opinions on our message boards.

We continue today with numbers 60-69 in football.

60 – Tim Brown (OL, 1999-04). Between missing two seasons because of separate injuries, Brown was a four-year starter for the Mountaineers. He was the rare WVU offensive lineman to see game action as a true freshman, but an early-season foot injury sidelined him, and he took a medical redshirt. The Harrisburg, Pa., native started for West Virginia at right tackle the next three years before moving to center. He suffered a torn Achilles during practice a couple of days before the 2003 season opener, but after another medical redshirt, he returned the next year as a sixth-year senior, starting all 12 games as he helped WVU to a Big East title and an 8-4 record.

Honorable mention – Gene Corum, Chuck Gambill, Dave DeJarnett, Randy Dunnigan

61 – Mike Fox (DL, 1986-89). Fox arrived at WVU in 1985 as a tall, skinny defensive lineman (6-8, 205 lbs.) and left as a 285-pound hulk who was a second-round NFL Draft pick. As he got bigger and stronger, he became a dominant force for the Mountaineers at defensive tackle. He had just 42 tackles and four sacks in his first three seasons seeing game action, before exploding as a senior with 78 tackles, 14 TFLs and 10 sacks. He’s one of just eight Mountaineers all-time to achieve double figures in the sack department in a single season, and all the others were edge rushers and not an interior d-lineman like Fox. After being drafted by the New York Giants with the 51st overall pick, he spent five years with that club, winning a Super Bowl XXV, and then four more with the Carolina Panthers.

Honorable mention – B.C. Williams, Rob Schelhaas, Brian Pukenas, Eric Jobe

62 – Bill Legg (OL, 1980-84). A key recruit for the new WVU coach Don Nehlen as part of his first class of signees in 1980, Legg also became a key player for the Mountaineers as a four-year starter in their offensive line. The Hunt Award winner as the top prep lineman in the state of West Virginia coming out of Poca High School, Legg started at center for WVU as a redshirt freshman, moved to guard as a sophomore and then settled in primarily at center his junior and senior season. After his playing career, which included a stint with Washington in the NFL as an undrafted free agent, Legg got into coaching and has spent 35 years in the college ranks, which featured three different stretches with his alma mater. He’s now the assistant head coach and tight ends coach at Marshall.

Honorable mention – Frank Federovitch, Rick Dolly, Steve Ford, Ryan Stanchek, Curtis Feight, Kyle Bosch

63 – Ray Marshall (LB, 1974-75). Marshall was one of WVU’s best defensive players of the ‘70s. The Clairton, Pennsylvania, native started his college career at Potomac State (W.Va.) College, where he was an honorable mention junior college All-American. He is a member of the Catamounts Hall of Fame. After his Potomac State days, Marshall was recruited to WVU by Bobby Bowden, where he started both his seasons with the Mountaineers and recorded 246 tackles. He had 175 stops his senior year in 1975, still the third-best single-season total in West Virginia history, as he helped the Mountaineers to a 9-3 record that included a 13-10 Peach Bowl victory over N.C. State. Marshall was the defensive MVP in that 1975 Peach Bowl. A political science major at WVU, Marshall went on to law school and now heads his own law firm in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Honorable mention – Fred Nebera, Chris Fogle, Stephen Maw

64 – Donnie Young (DL, 1962-64). This is a tough choice, because #64 features two members of the WVU Sports Hall of Fame – Gene Lathey and Donnie Young – and three others who have enjoyed NFL careers – Donnie Barclay, Mark Glowinski and Rex Sunhara. The pick here is Young because of his ability as both a player and coach for the Mountaineers. Though just 5-foot-10 and 196 pounds, the Clendenin, West Virginia, native’s tenacity allowed him to be a three-year starter at middle guard for WVU and also an all-Southern Conference selection. After his playing career, Young spent three seasons (1966-69) coaching at Salem (W.Va.) College, the final two as head coach, before returning to WVU in 1970. He would remain with the Mountaineers for the next 42 years, as a coach and then an administrator, before retiring in 2012. Inducted into the WVU Sports Hall of Fame in 2016, Young passed away in 2020.

Honorable mention – Gene Lathey, Mickey Plumley, Dale Wolfley, Donnie Barclay, Mark Glowinski, Rex Sunhara

65 – Tyler Orlosky (OL, 2012-16). A team captain as both a junior and senior, Orlosky was a consummate leader as well as one of WVU’s best offensive linemen of the decade. He played in 50 games in his career, starting 42 of them at center. Only four Mountaineers have more career starts than Orlosky, who is a native of Cleveland, Ohio. He was a first-team all-Big 12 selection in 2016 and a second-team honoree in 2015. He also earned the national Senior CLASS Award in ’16 and was a second-team all-American that year. After his playing days, he spent three years as a graduate assistant coach at WVU.

Honorable mention – Joe Jelich, Scott Parker, Dale Williams, Sam Austin, Jeremy Sheffey

66 – Chuck Howley (OG/LB, 1955-57). Arguably the greatest all-around athlete in the history of West Virginia University, Howley is the only five-sport letterman ever at WVU (football, track, wrestling, gymnastics and swimming). Though a Southern Conference champion in diving, Howley true calling was football, where he was a third-team All-American, a three-time all-Southern Conference first-teamer and the league’s player of the year in 1957. After college, the Warwood (W.Va.) High alum was picked by the Chicago Bears in the first round of the 1958 draft with the No. 7 overall selection. After two seasons with the Bears, he went onto a fabulous 13-year run as a weakside linebacker with the Dallas Cowboys that included six Pro Bowl selections and two Super Bowls appearances. He had two interceptions in Super Bowl V, and despite his Cowboys losing 16-13 to the Colts, Howley was named the game’s MVP. He is the only player from a losing team ever named the Super Bowl MVP. The next year Dallas defeated Miami in the Super Bowl, and Howley contributed to the 24-3 victory with a fumble recovery and an interception. An inaugural member of WVU’s Sports Hall of Fame, inducted in 1991, Howley is also a member of the Texas Sports Hall of Fame, the Ohio Valley Hall of Fame and the Dallas Cowboys’ Ring of Honor.

Honorable mention – Roger Alford, Rick Pennypacker, Theron Ellis, Craig Wilson, Selvish Capers

67 – Eric de Groh (OL, 1995-98). A native of Huron, Ohio, de Groh is one of the most decorated student-athletes WVU has ever produced. A three-time Academic All-American, he won the national Anson Mount Scholar-Athlete Award in 1998, when he was also named a National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete. Besides compiling a 3.85 GPA in biology, de Groh also was a third-team All-American his senior season and was a three-year starter for the Mountaineers at center. After spending the 1999 season in the NFL with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, de Groh went into the medical research field.

Honorable mention – Pete Tolley, Chuck Jolliff, Scott Gaskins, Quinton Spain

68 – Rick Phillips (OT, 1985-88). Phillips was one of the leaders and key members for the Mountaineers’ 1998 team, which finished its regular season 11-0 and played Notre Dame for the national championship for in the Fiesta Bowl. Rick was a Class AAA all-state lineman at Parkersburg (W.Va.) High School, as were his older brothers – Dave, Larry and Mike. Rick, Dave and Larry each also won the Hunt Award, which is also presented to the state’s top prep lineman. All four brothers are now members of the PHS hall of fame. Rick started his WVU career at offensive guard but eventually moved to left tackle, where he became a two-year starter, culminating his college career with first-team All-American honors. Phillips passed away after a lengthy illness in 2016.

Honorable mention – Buddy Hagar, Jeff Berk, Mike Dent

69 – Tom Robsock (OL, 1991-94). Robsock was a highly-regarded recruit from football-rich Berwick, Pennsylvania, who overcame a foot injury early in his WVU career and developed into a stalwart on the Mountaineers’ offensive line in the mid-‘90s. He was a starting guard on the 1993 West Virginia squad that finished the regular season 11-0 and played Florida in the Sugar Bowl. He also was a captain for the ’94 WVU team. Robsock was a member of the Oakland Raiders in 1995 and also spent three seasons playing for the Barcelona Dragons (1996-98) in NFL Europe. He’s now the vice-president of Orchard Pump & Supply in Pennsylvania.

Honorable mention – Vic Peelish, Rich Silvestro, Dale McDonald, Jeff Sniffen, Rick Gilliam, Garin Justice, Travis Garrett