West Virginia

1963 Mountaineers
(Authentic Reproduction)




Now on solid footing, the 1963 squad underachieved and fell to 4-6. While six starters had graduated, it was felt that there was plenty of available talent, most notable center Pete Goimarac and tackle Bernie Carney up front. Quarterback Jerry Yost and HB Glenn Holton returned but there were consistency problems at QB with Eddie Pastilong taking over by the final game. Soph Dick Leftridge became the go-to backfield plunger. Hinton. West Virginia's 220-pound fullback Leftridge and guard Roger Alford became the Mountaineer's first African-American players, both as two-way starters. Calling themselves "The Pioneers" Leftridge made the comment that when his son and Alford's played for the Mountaineers, they would be known as "The Sons Of The Pioneers" and in truth, as West Virginia was considered to be a "southern state" the integration of the program was forward-thinking relative to other colleges in both the Southern Conference and ACC.  The Mountaineers took the field in '63 with a "100" decal on each side of their Old Gold helmets with navy blue center stripe to commemorate the state's centennial. Other than an early blowout loss to Navy in the opener and a 35-0 defeat by Oregon, the defense played well. 1963 marked the first time in NCAA history that a three-digit jersey number was worn as kicker Chuck Kinder who both punted and did the place-kicking, received special permission to wear the number 100 to also commemorate the centennial of West Virginia, and he kept this unique number until his senior season when he switched to number ten. At the end of the disappointing season, Corum shook up the staff for 1964 and brought in new blood. 

1964 would mark a return to the standard player side numerals on the WVU gold shell with navy blue center stripe and be Galen Hall's first notable coaching position. Hall, having made his mark previously as a Penn State QB and later as a coordinator or head coach at some of the most obvious college football powers like Oklahoma and Florida and the NFL, was brought in to alter the passing offense. The revamped staff, pounding runs of Leftridge, and the pass-catch combo of new QB Allen "Coon" McCune throwing to 6'5" end Bob Dunlevy produced a solid 7-3 mark before a loss to Utah in the Liberty Bowl. As the first bowl game to be played indoors at the quickly revamped Atlantic City, N.J. Convention Center, the bowl game attracted a national television audience. To first get to the bowl game, McCune and Dunlevy had teamed up to upset Sugar Bowl bound Syracuse 28-27, after trailing 21-7 at halftime in the season's finale. Both bowl teams had good passing attacks as the Mountaineers went against the Ute's All American receiver Roy Jefferson. The all-out late season run for the bowl bid may have drained the squad as Utah won in a laugher, 32-6. However, the season was a good one. The line had polished vets who played well together in Don Vail, Joe Taffoni, and Roger Alford. Alford who later went on to professional success as a dentist, died in 1996. He and Leftridge have remained true pioneers as they successfully integrated the WVU football program.

If interested in any of these WVA helmets please click on the photos below.