The Huntington area was well represented Saturday in the 2019 West Virginia Sports Legends induction ceremony at the Beckley-Raleigh County Convention Center.
More than 60 people made up the class of 2019, several with local ties, including former Marshall University and Huntington High School baseball coach Jack Cook, father and son duo Jody and Joda Burgess, former Marshall golf coach Joe Feaganes and former Huntington Cubs assistant general manager Jim Holland.
"What a great event," said Jody Burgess, longtime high school basketball coach at Buffalo-Wayne and Ceredo-Kenova. "It was an honor to be recognized but extra special that I shared that moment with Joda We both felt the father/son induction was so memorable."
Others with local ties honored Saturday included former Barboursville multi-sport standout Gary Bunn; former Wayne head coach and current Cabell Midland assistant George Brumfield; former Huntington East
boys basketball coach Jim Clayton; Marshall men's basketball assistant and former Williamson High basketball star Mark Cline; former Marshall men's basketball assistant Henry Dickerson; former Barboursville football and wrestling standout Roger Jefferson; longtime area football coach Yogi Kinder; H-D Media sports writer Dave Morrison; former Marshall baseball star Carl Nutter; former Marshall basketball star Tamar Slay; former Vinson boys basketball coach Don Smith; Huntington's Bill Underdonk, who played football at West Virginia University; and former Marshall men's basketball coach Greg White.
"I don't think I belonged on a stage with the likes of Rod Thorn, Tex Williams, Fred Wyant, Don Nehlen, Bobby Pruett and other legends," Morrison said of joining previous inductees at the banquet, which drew about 1,000 people. "I always considered myself a chronicler of events, but it was my honor to humbly accept the first George Springer Media Award."
The late Springer was a sports editor at the Beckley Register-Herald.
"This is about reaching out to others. Instead of people thinking it is centered around individuals, we like to do everything from the team concept," said Williams, who heads the induction process. "Our West Virginia people is our team. Somebody needs to take care of them and keep our traditions alive. Pride starts with your home."
The keynote speaker Thorn, a former WVU standout who went on to success as a player and executive in the NBA.
Former Mount Hope great and Minnesota Vikings star Lonnie Warwick announced he will donate 15 acres of land for the construction of a museum to further honor legendary athletes from West Virginia.