By Mickey Furfari
For The Register-Herald
Curtis Price, who died last week at the age of 63, was a fine basketball player and good student at West Virginia University in 1970-71-72.
The Charleston native was well-liked by his teammates and Mountaineer fans as a starting guard coached by Sonny Moran and his top assistant, Gary McPherson.
As basketball coach at West Virginia State, Price was the youngest at age 22.
“I remember Curtis very well,” said McPherson. “He was a heck of a defensive player as a No. 2 guard. He was a great individual and a really good team player.
“Everybody got along well with Curtis. He was here this winter for the men’s basketball reunion at WVU. But he had health problems.”
McPherson, now senior development officer in the Mountaineer Athletic Club, noted that Price excelled as a wildly respected musician. He was known to fans as “The King.”
He was a longtime leader in the Job Corps and did extensive traveling in that role.
Funeral services are scheduled for noon Wednesday at the Faith Baptist Church in Charleston.
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In case you’re wondering, West Virginia University never has qualified for a trip to Omaha, Neb., for the College World Series in baseball.
The closest a Mountaineer team came to going was way back in 1955. The late Steve Harrick was the head coach then. WVU won the Southern Conference championship and it met Wake Forest, champion of the newly-formed Atlantic Coast Conference, in Morgantown in a three-game series.
The Deacons won the first game 7-1 and the Mountaineers took the second contest 9-7. Then Wake Forest pulled out a 6-5 win in Game 3 for the ticket to Omaha.
And the Deacons went on to capture the CWS championship.
That was the first of West Virginia’s total of 11 appearances in NCAA baseball tournaments. Harrick took six teams in his 20 years at the helm.
His 1963 team posted a 30-3 record, by far the best in the university’s baseball history.
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Randy Mazey, who guided WVU to a fine 33-26 mark in his first season as the new head coach, admittedly is in favor of continuing the baseball rivalry with Pitt.
The teams split a two-game series this spring, each school winning on the road.
“(To continue), it would be a good matchup,” Mazey said. “I wouldn’t see why they (Pitt) wouldn’t want to continue playing.”
Obviously, it would be an interesting series.
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WVU athletic director Oliver Luck was quoted recently that he’d like to play other old rivals who no longer are scheduled in football or basketball.
Those he reportedly mentioned were Virginia, Virginia Tech, Penn State and even Pitt. But the thought herein is that this could be difficult to arrange.
All are in different conferences now and in football, there are spots for just three non-league games. And Maryland still occupies one of these.