The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

High School Sports

November 19, 2013

Veteran football coach Eddie Souk retiring

One of the mainstays among area high school football coaches is calling it a career.

Eddie Souk, who coached Oak Hill for three seasons after a long stint at Mount Hope, is retiring after more than 30 years on the sidelines, according to an informed source.

Souk saw the Red Devils into their return to Class AAA last year. That return proved successful — Oak Hill has been in the state playoffs both seasons in the state’s highest classification.

Oak Hill’s season came to an end last Friday with a narrow and impressive 21-14 overtime loss to George Washington in a first-round game.

Souk became well known as the head coach at Mount Hope, which he led to multiple trips to the Class A playoffs. The Mustangs reached the zenith in 1989, winning the state championship.

Mount Hope was closed in 2011 and its students went to Oak Hill, where Souk was named the head football coach.

Souk became known for his running philosophy. Some felt Souk should mix in the passing game more, but he made the run work thanks to big-time athletes such as Tim Newsom, Jeff Stevens, Jamel Shelton, Da’Von Marion and Jalen Jones.

“Two bad things can happen when you throw the ball,” Souk, who did not return a message seeking comment, said in a preseason interview. “When you run the ball you try to find the hole and hope you don’t fumble. That has been my philosophy.”

“Coaching my son (Scott) in high school” was his best memory.

“We won the state championship in 1989, and that will be a big memory I will have forever,” Souk said. “But coaching my son was the biggest.”

— E-mail: gfauber@register-herald.com and follow on Twitter @GaryFauber

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