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Life after sports has been good for two former DuPont Panthers

By Frank Giardina

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- When he graduated from DuPont High School in the spring of 1988, Alan Pittman could not have imagined that the sport of golf, and events like this weekend's Masters, would be his livelihood.

Pittman headed off to Marshall to major in journalism, graduated from there in 1992 and did some graduate work at Ohio University. After a brief internship at the daily newspaper in Ashland, Ky., Pittman pursued a career in magazines and landed at Golf Digest in 1994. Over time, he steadily moved up the ranks of one of golf's leading publications and was named managing editor in 2012.

"It is a little ironic that I head up a golf publication because I really was not much of a golfer. I was more of a baseball player growing up," Pittman said earlier this week.

"But I love my work. The best part about being at Golf Digest is the professionalism of the work environment. I get to work with some of the most talented writers and photographers in the country. 

"One of the perks of my job is that last April I was in the media lottery and I was selected to play Augusta National on the Monday after the Masters. It struck me that just one day earlier the best in the world were playing on the course and the next day I was there. Trust me, I am not sure I deserved to be on that great a course. I'm probably more comfortable playing at Coonskin or a state park with my friends." 

Pittman grew up on Rutledge Road and attended Valley Grove Elementary, Roosevelt Junior High and DuPont High School. He was on the 1988 DuPont baseball team that lost to Jefferson County 3-2 in the AAA state title game.

  • The spring of 1988 was also a special time for Pittman's best friend, former DuPont athlete Jason McClure.
  • McClure was a member of the 1988 Panther basketball team that upset Stonewall Jackson in postseason play and advanced to the state tournament. DuPont would lose to David Kidd and Woodrow Wilson in the AAA quarterfinals in a tournament eventually won by Chris Morrow and Huntington High over Marsalis Basey and Martinsburg. 

    DuPont was coached by Jim Fout and Danny Hill and was led by junior Kelly Sutton, who went on to play at UT-Chattanooga. Other starters included Eric Fout, Kevin Saunders and Daniel Leftwich. 

    McClure was also on the baseball team that lost in the title game and offered this memory.

    "The strength of our team really was in our pitching," he said. "We rode on the backs of two great pitchers all season in Michael Carte and Steve Wills. We also had a terrific catcher in Danny Wilkinson.

    "The championship game was the same night as our graduation. So, after the game, we seniors all put on our caps and gowns and went out to home plate to go through a graduation exercise and get our diplomas. Since we lost the game it was a little less enjoyable. It would have made for a better story and a better memory if we had won." 

    Like Pittman, McClure has found success after sports. He also went to school at Marshall and, after living in Barboursville, he began working as an administrator in the amusement park industry.

    He worked in management at Carowinds in Charlotte, N.C., and Kings Island in Cincinnati, and is now the vice president and general manager at one of the most popular amusement parks on the east coast, Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom in Allentown, Pa. 

    Reach Frank Giardina at flg16@hotmail.com.

     


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