CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The Kanawha Valley lost two iconic coaching figures on May 17, when Delmar Good and Tom Bossie passed away.
With their passing, the Valley's sports history lost some of its heart and some of its soul.
Both had long careers as multi-sports coaches. Good became the head football and track coach at Dunbar High School in 1957 and coached for 29 seasons. In football, he had an undefeated season in 1964, was the AAA state runner-up to Bluefield in 1965. He won two state track championships. He also was an assistant basketball coach on the Bulldog teams that won state titles in 1966 and 1985.
Longtime Dunbar fans still regret the fact that the Bulldogs had to play the 1965 title game at the old Laidley Field without their star defensive tackle, John Meeks, who missed the game with a leg injury.
Good's son Jeff recalls his dad never cursed or screamed at practice.
"When he would chastise players he would use such phrases as "great day in the morning, son," or "Jee-minney," said the younger Good. "He had many great players such as Melvin Walker, Freddie Clark, Larry Carter, Heywood Smith, Chuck Johnson, Tony Harris and others. In track, he coached Billy Lipscomb, Speedy Harrison and pole vaulter Dieter Garrett."
Before coaching, Delmar Good was a tremendous athlete. He was a football and basketball hero at Dunbar as a sophomore and junior. Amazingly, he did not get to play his senior year as he was serving in WWII. When he should have been playing his senior year of football, he was storming Utah Beach in Normandy, France on D-Day, June 6, 1944.
After American and allied troops defeated the Germans in France, Good took the American flag down and presented it to the French delegation in Cherbourg.
In 2003, Good was honored for his heroism by a French ambassador who came to Charleston and presented him with the Medaille de la France Liberee (Liberated France Medal) and Croix de Guerre (War Cross). His daughter, Deena Good Pittman, is a full colonel in the Army.
Delmar Good was more than a football coach. He was a "man's man," a true Patriot and an American hero.