Apparently, Florida State liked the Mountain State connection because Clarksburg's Jimbo Fisher is the football coach there now.
So many coaches. Arizona's Rich Rodriguez went to school at North Marion High. And (I guess here is where I pull out the big ace in the hole), we can claim Alabama coach Nick Saban. He went to school at Monongah High, just outside of Fairmont.
Ex-Notre Dame coach and TV personality Lou Holtz was born in Follansbee.
The list just never seems to end. Pineville's Curt Warner was one of the NFL's finest running backs. The Kanawha Valley's Renee Montgomery and Alexis Hornbuckle were college hoops stars and are WNBA players. Charles Town's James Jett was an Olympic sprinter and Oakland Raider. South Charleston's Carl Lee was an all-pro defensive back.
In track, it was also St. Albans' Randy Barnes who won an Olympic gold medal. In women's boxing, Mullens' native Christy Martin was a pioneer.
I know I'm running out of room. But I must throw out a few baseball names - like Hall of Famer George Brett, born in Glen Dale. Current Cleveland Indian and ex-New York Yankee Nick Swisher is from Parkersburg. Cross Lanes resident Gary Kolb pinch-ran for Stan Musial after the legend's last at-bat.
And then there was Nitro product Lew Burdette, who seems to symbolize all of the above.
Burdette was the MVP of the 1957 World Series after throwing three complete games. He was also the winning pitcher on May 26, 1959, when the Pittsburgh Pirates' Harvey Haddix tossed a perfect game against the Milwaukee Braves through 12 innings - and lost in the 13th.
"I'm the greatest pitcher that ever lived," Burdette joked afterward. "The greatest game ever pitched in baseball wasn't good enough to beat me. So I've got to be the greatest!"
Just like the state of West Virginia.
Reach Mitch Vingle at 304-348-4827, mitchvin...@wvgazette.com or follow him at twitter.com/MitchVingle.