Bobby Pruett

"We Play For Championships" Bob Pruett left the University of Florida to take over his alma mater in 1996. Over the next nine football seasons, Pruett would become the most iconic figure in the city of Huntington as he led the Thundering Herd to a National Championship, conference championships and multiple bowl wins. His career ended quickly before the 2005 spring practice even began.

This past weekend, Pruett was inducted into the West Virginia Sports Hall of Fame.

Most fans have so many wonderful memories of not only games coached by Pruett, but personal moments and chance meetings with the Herd coach out in public. Pruett never was one to shy away from stopping to talk to a fan, pose for a picture, or sign an autograph.

There were so many victories over his tenure, 94 of them to be exact, that it is hard to pick out just a few wins to talk about.

Bob Pruett only lost 23 games throughout his career. Six of those losses came in his final season, so it is easy to see just how successful he was prior to his retirement. His career began with a bang. The Thundering Herd won the National Championship in 1996 with a "Perfect" 15 – 0 season. The Herd won each game by at least fourteen points.

Pruett would then usher the Herd into its first season as a Division 1-A (Now FBS) Program. Marshall lost its opener in Morgantown before heading to a road game against Army. Marshall would face a big, strong, powerful Army team who would run over 100 plays in the game. Marshall, led by touchdowns by Randy Moss and defensive tackle Ricky Hall, won 35 to 25. The following week the Herd won its first MAC game over Kent, and they were off to their first of four straight MAC Championships.

Pruett led the Herd to program defining wins on the road against South Carolina in 1998, Clemson in 1999, and top ten Kansas State in 2003. He also ended his career with 5 bowl wins in 7 appearances. He coached three legitimate Heisman contenders in Chad Pennington, Randy Moss, and Byron Leftwich. He also coached countless NFL players.

His career had a few down moments, however, to the fan, most would have to admit his tenure would produce some of the most fun, and memorable moments in Marshall football history.

Herdhaven.com would like to congratulate Bob Pruett on his induction into the West Virginia Sports Hall of Fame.

Stay tuned to Herdhaven.com for further updates and stories.

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