By Mickey Furfari
For The Register-Herald
Robert (Bob) Dunlevy of Wheeling was the fastest lineman on the West Virginia University football team of 1963-64-65 as a wide receiver.
Now 67, he is still working in the sales business after 33 years and has remained close to the university. He has a Bachelor of Sciences degree in education.
Dunlevy possessed not only speed but athleticism at 6-foot-5 and 206 pounds as a split end and, in his sophomore year, defensive end when all players went both ways.
He helped the Mountaineers to 4-6, 7-4 and 6-4 records. The 1964 team earned a berth in the Liberty Bowl, where they lost to Utah 32-6 indoors at Atlantic City, N.J.
For his three varsity seasons, after one year of freshman team football, he caught 52 passes for 861 yards and seven touchdowns. He also scored a two-point conversion.
It was at Warwood High School that Dunlevy received All-State first team honors in basketball and track as well as football.
He recalled recently that three games stick out among his fond memories as a Mountaineer player. Those were the 28-27 upset of Cotton Bowl-bound Syracuse in Morgantown in the 1964 regular-season finale, the 63-48 shootout success against old rival Pitt in 1965, and a 26-21 win over Kentucky in 1964.
“That win against Syracuse has to be No. 1 to me,” Dunlevy said. “We were behind and Allen McCune, with two or three minutes left, hit me with a career-long 50-yard pass for a game-winning touchdown.
“You’ve got to give Richie Martha great credit, too, because he made a game-saving tackle. That kept Syracuse out of field goal range.”
In the triumph over Kentucky, Dunlevy caught a 25-yard TD pass to preserve WVU’s edge in that close contest.
“We were up 21-0 against Pitt,” Dunlevy remembers. “But they started to come back and we needed to keep scoring. It was one of the highest scoring games in WVU history.”
Indeed, the Western Union operator at Score Central in Chicago demanded a repeat confirmation of the final score at the end of the weird game.
Dunlevy noted that it could have been some sort of record nationally for a college football game.
The Morgantown Post replated its front page of that day’s paper and published an extra with stories and statistics of the game. It sold for 25 cents that evening.
WVU also defeated Virginia Tech in both 1964 and 1965.
“We always played Penn State, but seemed unable to play well against the Nittany Lions,” Dunlevy said.
His first varsity game was in the 1963 opener against powerful Navy. West Virginia fell a 51-7 victim. He unexpectedly got to see some action in that lop-sided loss.
A couple of games later Dunlevy became a starter for the remainder of his collegiate career.
He and quarterback Allen McCune played on the 1962 freshman basketball team. But both gave up that sport after that one year and concentrated solely on football.
“I loved my years in Morgantown,” Dunlevy said. “I enjoyed playing football there very much. I had a really great time.
“I wish I could relive those years again, but that’s impossible. I have remained very close to the university since I graduated.”
He is a member of the Mountaineer Athletic Club and served two or three years on the Athletic Council. He also served on the WVU Development Council which has been discontinued.
Dunlevy was selected by Dallas in the 1966 NFL draft. But after a few games, the Cowboys sent him to the Wheeling Ironmen of the Continental Football League. After two years in pro football, a right leg injury forced Dunlevy to retire.
After retiring as a player, he broadcast Wheeling Ironmen football games on radio for a few years. Then he turned to selling which he’s still doing. He offers different products.
Bob and wife Connie, a graduate of Robert Morris College, have three grown sons and five grandchildren.
Robby works for a pharmaceutical company. Ryan is a physical therapist and Rich is principal of Elm Grove Elementary School.
All three sons, like their father, are graduates of WVU.