The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Latest Sports

January 27, 2012


MSU leader becomes men’s all-time winningest W.Va. college coach

Jaysen Bolen has a little understanding of what his dad accomplished Thursday night.

“He has the most wins by a college coach in West Virginia,” the youngster said, after Mountain State’s 84-67 win over Talladega.

With the win, Mountain State coach Bob Bolen did just that, becoming the all-time leader in coaching wins by a men’s coach at a West Virginia college or university with 479. That broke the previous mark held by legendary Fairmont coach Joe Retton.

And Bolen knew exactly how he was going to celebrate.

“The highlight of the weekend is going to be going to Virginia to watch Jaysen play in a tournament (for the West Virginia Generals),” the record-setting coach said. “We just happen to be off this weekend. So we’re going to get to stay in a hotel and devote our time as a family to watching him play. That’s just how we operate as a family.”

Not much on self-promotion, it was left for others to celebrate Bolen’s coaching achievement.

“Just think about it, the most coaching wins by any coach at a school in West Virginia” said veteran assistant Dave Barksdale, who gave Bolen his first coaching job at Woodrow Wilson over 20 years ago. “It is a tremendous accomplishment. And coach deserves it. I coached against Joe Retton when I was at A-B. He was a tremendous coach and a tremendous man. Coach Bolen is a tremendous coach and a tremendous man.”

“It couldn’t happen to a better person,” said assistant coach Artis Maddox, who played for MSU from 2000-02 and has been an assistant since his playing career ended. “I love coach. I’ve been part of this for 12 years and I haven’t met a better coach or a better person. That is what a lot of people fail to understand, what a great person he is. It’s a blessing on me to be a part of this.”

Zane Gilliard was a part of the 2004 national championship team, the team Bolen still holds in highest esteem. He is now a graduate assistant coach.

“When I first came here, coach changed my whole out look on basketball and life,” Gilliard said. “To be back now (as a graduate assistant) and be part of this is something that’s tremendous. Coach Bolen, he deserves it.”

There was little drama after the first 10 minutes.

MSU led by 19 at the half and coasted in to give Bolen the record.

Isaiah Hill led the way with 18 points. Cam Miller had 13 points and 12 rebounds and Devon Peterson and David Nyarsuk also chipped in 13 each.

But the real number that mattered was 479.

“It’s all about coach tonight,” Miller, a two-year starter, said. “I personally found out about (the record) yesterday. Coach never said a word about it. He’s too humble for that. But we wanted to do this for coach. We talked about it a little. He was all concentrated on the game but we really wanted this for him.”

Bolen said the emotions of the game were more like memories that came back. The coach never left Beckley, save four years of college.

“When I think about Beckley College, I think about my dad (Bob Sr.) bringing me here to all those games,” Bolen said. “I think about the fact that coach Barksdale and I have been together so long, that coach Maddox has been here with us for a long time. Guys like Zane, (and former players-turned-GAs) T.Z. (Mersad Terzic) and A.J. (Adrian Jackson) coming back. That’s the stuff I was thinking about.

“I think if I thought it was coming to an end, of there was a finality to it, I would be more emotional. But coach Barksdale is the youngest 67-year-old coach in America. He’s still a ball of energy. Really, I think that it’s just beginning and we have a lot of years left.”

During the game, a fan, Jack Beard, 92, was taken out in an ambulance with a reported stroke.

After the game, Bolen went to the hospital, talked to the long-time Beckley basketball fan and reported that Beard was fine.

The perfect ending to record-setting day.

Text Only
Latest Sports
  • Steelers to retire Hall of Famer Greene's No. 75

    The Pittsburgh Steelers are retiring Hall of Fame defensive end Joe Greene's number No. 75.

    July 30, 2014

  • Steelers' Bell looking for more decisive, productive season

    Le'Veon Bell kept watching the tape over and over, equal parts pleased and puzzled by what he saw.

    July 30, 2014

  • Charges dropped against WVU RB Smallwood

    Prosecutors said all charges against 20-year-old Wendell Smallwood, who had been charged with witness tampering in the case, have been dropped.

    July 30, 2014

  • cato Word is out on Marshall's Cato

    Rakeem Cato is easily the face of Marshall football. He also has been mentioned as a darkhorse candidate for the Heisman Trophy. That status is legitimate.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • bush Bush making Saints look good

    For his first four seasons, Rafael Bush was simply looking to land on a roster — any roster.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Practice, not temps, heats up for Saints
    The temperatures may have only been in the low 70s Tuesday afternoon at the Saints new practice facility at The Greenbrier, but now a third of the way into the 15 practices, it’s clear that the heat has turned up with playing time and positions on the line.

    July 30, 2014

  • Bowles has a support system
    Colin Bowles, the 14-year-old little brother of Corey, is coming into his own as a successful athlete. The younger Bowles competed last week at the U.S. Junior Amateur in The Woodlands, Texas, making the cut before bowing out in match play. Right there beside Colin, as he has been his entire life, was older brother Corey,

    July 30, 2014

  • Terre Haute hands Miners 2-1 loss in 11 innings

    Ryan Sabo singled home Clayton Smithson in the bottom of the 11th inning to lift the Rex to the win and put the West Virginia Miners’ postseason hopes in serious jeopardy

    July 30, 2014

  • WVU’s Smallwood waives preliminary hearing

    West Virginia running back Wendell Smallwood, arrested on a felony charge of witness intimidation in a first-degree murder case, waived his preliminary hearing Monday, his case now being moved to Superior Court, where more serious crimes are argued, according to The News Journal.

    July 29, 2014

  • Steelers LB Spence caps lengthy comeback

    The whistle blew and Sean Spence sprinted forward, each cathartic step distancing the linebacker from the horrific knee injury that threatened to end his NFL career before it even really began.

    July 29, 2014

Saints Training Camp