Legendary Mountaineers: The 12 Greatest Players and Coaches Out Of West Virginia

Bob AllenCorrespondent IIFebruary 15, 2011

Legendary Mountaineers: The 12 Greatest Players and Coaches Out Of West Virginia

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    Who are the greatest Mountaineers of all time? Here we will go over the top 12 Mountaineers throughout the history of West Virginia University football, but before we do, I would like to pay homage to the 1988  West Virginia football team. They went undefeated in the regular season and took WVU to its first national championship game, where sadly they lost to Notre Dame 21-34. 1988 won't be the last time West Virginia gets to the big game; it's only a matter of time. Let's Goooo!

12. Jeff Hostetler

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    Hometown: Hollsopple, PA

    Nickname: Hoss

    Played 2 seasons for the Mountaineers 1982 and 1983

    Hostetler's first game as a Mountaineer was against No. 9 Oklahoma, he threw four touchdowns for 321 yards and no interceptions in a 41-27 win over the Sooners.

    Hostetler led West Virginia to a 18-6 record over two seasons.

    Passed for 4,261 yards while at WVU

    Won Super Bowl XXV as the starting QB for the New York Giants defeating the Buffalo Bills 20-19

11. David Saunders

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    West Virginia is known more for its running backs than its receivers, but David Saunders may be the Mountaineers best receiver of all time.

    Hometown: Palatine, IL

    Played three seasons for the Mountaineers 1995, 1996 and 1998. (Did not play in 1997)

    Holds WVU career receiving yards record 2,608 yards

    Holds WVU single season receiving yards record with 1,043 yards in 1996

    No. 2 on WVU career receptions list with 191 receptions

10. Oliver Luck

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    West Virginia's latest athletic director Oliver Luck was once a celebrated quarterback for the Mountaineers.

    Hometown: Cleveland, OH

    Played four seasons (three-year starter) 1978-1981

    5,765 career passing yards

    Academic All-American, Rhodes Scholar Finalist and current WVU Athletic Director

9. Avon Cobourne

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    Hometown: Camden, NJ

    Played four seasons 1999-2002

    Rushed for over 1,000 yards in all four seasons at West Virginia

    Holds WVU career rushing record with 5,164 yards

    Second on the single-season rushing yards list with 1,710 yards

8. Rich Rodriguez

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    Coach Rich Rod may have had an extremely unpopular end to his career at West Virginia University, yet you cannot ignore what he accomplished as head coach in Morgantown.

    Hometown: Grant Town, WV

    Played four seasons as a linebacker from 1981-1984

    Record as head coach at West Virginia: 60-26 with a winning percentage of .698 percent

    Coached WVU to two BCS bowl appearances, even though he didn't coach the Mountaineers in the 2008 Fiesta Bowl he did get them there

    WVU had at least eight wins in six of his seven seasons, including three 11-win seasons, 2005-2007.

    2003 and 2005 Big East Coach of the Year

7. Steve Slaton

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    Hometown: Fairless Hills, PA

    Most touchdowns in a single game by a Mountaineer with six

    First Mountaineer to have over 100 yards rushing (215) and 100 yards receiving (130) in the same game

    Holds WVU single season rushing yards record with 1,744 yards

    Holds WVU single season all purpose yards record with 2,104 yards

    Ranks first all-time in rushing touchdowns in WVU history with 50

6. Ira Errett Rodgers

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    Hometown: Bethany, WV

    Played four seasons at WVU 1915-1917 and 1919

    Played QB, RB/FB and punted/kicked extra points

    First All-American in Mountaineer football history

    First Mountaineer to rush for 200 yards in a game

    Coached West Virginia football eight seasons 1925-1930 and 1943-1945

    Record at WVU: 41-31-8

    Inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1953

    Also coached WVU baseball and golf

    His No. 21 has been retired by the WVU football team

5. Marc Bulger

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    Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA

    Played four seasons at WVU (started three)

    Holds career passing yards record at WVU with 8,153 yards

    Holds single season passing yards record with 3,607 yards

    Leads all WVU quarterbacks in pass completions (630) and attempts (1,023)

    His 59 touchdown passes is the school record

4. Major Harris

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    Born: Spartanburg, SC

    Major Harris is the only West Virginia quarterback to lead WVU to the national title game. Had he not been injured early in the game he might possibly could have been the only Mountaineer QB to win West Virginia a national championship. 

    Below is a Youtube link for Major Harris highlights from the 1988-89 season.


3. Don Nehlen

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    Born: Mansfield, OH

    Seasons at WVU: 21

    Record at West Virginia: 149-93-4

    Undefeated regular seasons: Two, 1988 and 1993

    Nehlen is the longest tenured coach in Mountaineer history. He is also the only coach to take WVU to the national title game.

2. Pat White

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    Hometown: Daphne, AL

    Played four seasons 2005-2008

    Only QB in NCAA history with four straight bowl wins (two of those being the Sugar and Fiesta bowls)

    Holds NCAA record for rushing yards by a QB with 4,480 yards

    Accounted for over 100 touchdowns in his college career with 56 passing and 47 rushing

    His 10,529 yards of total offense is No. 1 in Mountaineers history.

1. Sam Huff

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    Born: Edna Gas, WV

    Hometown: Farmington, WV

    Played guard and tackle for four seasons 1952-55

    Helped lead West Virginia to 31-7 record over three years and a berth in the 1954 Sugar Bowl

    In 1955 Huff was voted an First Team Academic All-American

    His No. 75 is retired by the WVU football team.

    Played in the NFL under legendary coaches Vince Lombardi, Tom Landry.

    The first rookie middle linebacker to start an NFL championship game, which his New York Giants won 47-7 against the Bears

    Played in four consecutive Pro Bowls from 1959-63 and was MVP of the 1961 game