By Mickey Furfari
For The Register-Herald
Alex Szuch, a native of Logan, was a quarterback for West Virginia University’s football team in 1954-55-56.
A highlight of his career was leading the Mountaineers to the Southern Conference Championship as a senior in 1956.
Mickey Trimarki, with whom he had been sharing time as a starter, was sidelined by a knee injury. Szuch took over and won the games needed to clinch the crown.
Szuch, who now resides in Florida, said WVU head coach Art “Pappy” Lewis “really did not recognize any appreciation” for the achievement.
“He just gave me a pat on the back,” Szuch added.
Dick Longfellow also saw some action in the season’s finale. But Szuch wasn’t put back into the game until the last two minutes with the other seniors.
“That upset me, too,” he recalled, saying Lewis did not give him really as much of an opportunity as he felt he deserved.
Szuch, who earned a letter in 1956, also performed as a quarterback on the freshman team. That was an NCAA requirement during that period.
He graduated from WVU in 1959 with a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts.
“I started working with Alcoa Aluminum Corp. for six years,” he said. “That was in Edgewater, N.J.”
After doing that from 1960-66, Szuch joined The Burroughs Corp. for 10 years in Parkridge, N.J.
In the meantime, he earned a master’s degree in special education at Southern Connecticut University at night while teaching school at a residential treatment center for disabled children.
“I did that for 25 years,” Szuch said with understandable pride. That took place in Spring Valley, N.Y.
He retired from that position in 1990. Alex and his wife Carol then moved to Charlotte, N.C., where they lived 14 years.
They have been residing at The Village in the Orlando, Fla., area.
Alex and Carol have seven grown children.
Those are Alex Keith Szuch of N.J.; Jon Szuch; Carol Szuch; Robert; Kevin (who’s deceased); Michael; and Sharon.
There also are 18 grandchildren. One great grandchild is on the way, Szuch noted.
A granddaughter, Cameron Szuch, is an outstanding junior student-athlete at Seymour High School in Connecticut.
She is a straight “A” student academically, according to her grandfather, and is the leading scorer on that school’s girls’ soccer team.
“She still has one more year to complete her education and soccer competition,” Alex said. “Naturally, I hope she can have an opportunity to follow in my footsteps and play on the women’s soccer team at WVU.”
Szuch said he enjoyed his years at West Virginia U., academically and athletically. “A lot of my friends I played ball with have been close over the years, and I still stay close to those still living,” he added.
He named several with he remains in close touch.