To be elgiable for this list, we decided the athelete had to be from here (either born or spent formative childhood years here). Attending WVU or Marshall was not enough.

Jerry West – Basketball

Born in Chelyan (just south of Charleston), West so defines basketball that he’s actually the guy in the NBA logo.

Randy Barnes – Athletics

Barnes in 1994 / Chell Hill/Wikipedia

Barnes in 1994 / Chell Hill/Wikipedia

This Charleston-born shot putter won silver at the 1988 Olympics and gold in Atlanta in ’96.

Mary Lou Retton – Gymnastics


This Fairmont native captured the hearts of many by becoming the first American to win Olympic gold in the women’s all-around competition.

Hal Greer – Basketball



This NBA All Star and Hall of Famer was born in Huntington and was one of the first African Americans to play for a major West Virginia college team. He went to Marshall in the 50’s.

Alex Wilson – Baseball

This graduate of Hurricane High School now plays for the Detroit Tigers.

Brian Bowles – MMA

The former WEC Bantamweight Champion was raised in Virginia but was born in Charleston.

Jason Williams – Basketball

Keith Allison/Wikipedia

Keith Allison/Wikipedia

Fun fact: This NBA star, whom the Miami Heat named as one of their greatest players of all time, was the state basketball player of the year in 1994.

Randy Moss – Football


Moss of course grew up with Williams in the Kanawha Valley. He still holds the NFL’s record for most touchdown receptions in a single season: 23 in 2007.

Sam Huff – Football


This NFL Hall of Famer was born in Farmington, Marion County, in 1934.

Lew Burdette – Baseball

Wikipedia/Public Domain

Wikipedia/Public Domain

Burdette, a pitcher, was named MVP of the 1957 World Series as a Milwaukee Brave. He was born in Nitro.

Hot Rod Hundley – Basketball

Public Domain

Public Domain

Hundley, born in Charleston in 1934, is one of only two players to have their numbers retired by WVU. The other is Jerry West.

Deron Williams – Basketball

Keith Allison/Wikipedia

Keith Allison/Wikipedia

This Parkersburg native now plays for the Dallas Mavericks.

Mark Canterbury – Professional Wrestling

You might remember him as WCW’s Shanghai Pierce or WWF’s Henry O. Godwinn. He was born in West Virginia though billed as being from Arkansas.

Cam Henderson – Football and Basketball

Born in Marion County, Henderson would coach both Football and Basketball at Marshall from the 30’s to the 50’s. He’s credited with helping develop both the 2–3 zone defense and the fast break in basketball.

Rod Thorn – Basketball

So desperate was the state to get this basket phenom and Princeton native to play at WVU, the legislature took the unprecedented step of declaring him a natural resource.

Nick Saban – Football


Alabama’s head coach was born in Fairmont and grew up in nearby Monongah.

David Carpenter – Baseball



This Fairmont native has played for the Yankees, the Nationals, and the Blue Jays among other MLB teams.

Rick Tolley – Football

Tolley was the head coach at Marshall when the team’s plane tragically crashed in 1970. He was born in Mullen,s Wyoming County only 30 years prior.

Lou Holtz – Football

Public Domain

Public Domain

This legendary college football coach was born in Follansbee in 1937. He remains the only person to take six different programs to bowl games.

Bill Mazeroski – Baseball

This lifetime Pittsburgh Pirate was born in Wheeling. He was a great defensive player but is perhaps best known for this:

Chuck Howley – Football

Wikipedia/Public Domain

Wikipedia/Public Domain

Another Wheeling native, this former Cowboy linebacker has a unique distinction. He’s the only person to be named a Super Bowl MVP from the losing team (Super Bowl V in 1971).

Nick Swisher – Baseball


This MLB All Star was born in Ohio but raised in Parkersburg.

Bill Stewart – Football

This former Mountaineers head coach was born in Grafton. He passed away in 2012.

O.J. Mayo – Basketball

Before he was a Milwaukee Buck, he was another kid at Huntington High School.

Ben Schwartzwalder – Football

This Point Pleasant native coached at Syracuse from 1949 to 1973, compiling a 178–96–3 record there. He died in 1993.

Mike D’Antoni – Basketball

This former Knicks head coach was also born in Mullens, Wyoming County.

Dan D’Antoni – Basketball

The elder brother to Mike D’Antoni has been the head coach of the Thundering Herd since 2014.

Kevin Pittsnogle – Basketball

This former WVU star is from Martinsburg and retired there after a brief stint in professional basketball.

Jimbo Fisher – Football


Florida State’s head coach was born and raised in Harrison County.

Frank Gatski – Football


This football Hall of Famer won eight championships with the Browns and the Lions from 1946 to 1957. He was born in Farmington.

Bob Huggins – Basketball


The current head coach of the WVU Mountaineers didn’t just graduate from WVU, he was actually born in Morgantown in 1953.

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