Seven West Virginia University Athletes and Coaches From Five Sports Make Up 2016 Hall of Fame Class

Seven outstanding contributors to Mountaineer athletics make up the 26th class of honorees in the West Virginia University Sports Hall of Fame, announced today by Director of Athletics Shane Lyons.

The 2016 class includes Joby Foley (men’s tennis), David Johnson (rifle), Damian Owens (men’s basketball), Don Vincent (men’s basketball), Charity Wachera (women’s cross country/track & field), Grant Wiley (football) and Donnie Young (football). Induction ceremonies will take place Saturday, Sept. 10, prior to the West Virginia-Youngstown State football game. This class brings the total number of inductees to 169.

Joby Foley

Joby Foley was a three-time All-American men’s tennis player at WVU during his career from 1987-90. Foley earned his first All-America honor at WVU in 1988 in doubles play with Ray Kurey, becoming the first WVU men’s tennis All-Americans in school history. Foley then earned All-America honors in 1989 in doubles play with Brad Kelly before finishing his career as a singles All-American during his senior campaign in 1990.

A native of Virginia Beach, Virginia, Foley was a four-time Atlantic 10 champion in No. 1 singles (1987-90) and two-time Atlantic 10 champion in No. 1 doubles (1987-88). He finished his career with 136 singles victories, the second-most wins in school history. Foley led the Mountaineers to a Top-20 team ranking and team NCAA Tournament bids in 1998, 1989 and 1990. He captured the John Van Nostrand Award in 1990, recognizing the top singles player in the East. Foley was also a three-time WVU team MVP. In 1989, Foley won all four United States Tennis Association National Amateur Championships, the only “Grand Slam” winner in USTA history. He was the No. 1-ranked United States national amateur in men’s singles in 1989 and was a U.S. Open qualifier in 1989. Foley graduated from West Virginia in 1990 with a bachelor’s degree in sport management.

For the past 13 years, he has been a Transformation Lead (Information Technology) at Newport News Shipbuilding, designing and building nuclear aircraft carriers and submarines for the United States. He and his wife, Jody, who played tennis at Penn State and Old Dominion, have two sons, Philip (14) and Kyle (2).

David Johnson

Maj. David Johnson earned eight first team All-America honors in rifle from 1983-86. A native of Hampton, Virginia, Johnson became the second Mountaineer designated as a four-time first team All-American in smallbore and air rifle. Johnson was a national champion in smallbore as a freshman in 1983. WVU’s most valuable shooter in 1983 and 1984 led WVU to three team NCAA titles and one runner-up finish during his career. WVU posted a 44-2 record during his career. The two-time CoSIDA Second Team Academic All-American graduated from WVU in 1986 with a bachelor’s degree in finance.

Following graduation, Johnson joined the United States Army Reserves and became a member of the United States Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU). During his career, Johnson competed for the United States at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona. He captured one silver and five gold medals at the 1981 Championships of the Americas. He is a multiple Pan American Games and World Cup medalist and earned titles in various U.S. Olympic Festivals. Johnson was a resident athlete at the U.S. Olympic Training Center before beginning his coaching career. In 2000, Johnson became the rifle coach at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, where he coached his team to three individual and two team NCAA titles. In 2002, Johnson moved back to Colorado Springs, Colorado, to become the National Rifle Team coach and saw two of his athletes win Olympic medals at the 2004 Olympic Games. He was the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Rifle coach before assuming the role of director of operations in 2012. His athletes medaled in World Championships and World Cups and won four Olympic medals (two gold, one silver and one bronze) from 2004-12. Johnson has also served as head coach at the 2003, 2007 and 2011 Pan American Games and at the 2006 and 2010 World Championships. His athletes in 2010 won two team World Championships open class and one in junior class. Johnson was a Pan Am Team Leader in 2015. Johnson will serve as the United States Olympic Shooting Team Leader for the Rio Olympic Games this August.

He is married to WVU Hall of Famer Ann-Marie (Pfiffner) Johnson. They competed together on the 1992 United States Olympic team. The couple resides in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and has one son, Zachary (11).

Damian Owens

Damian Owens was a four-year starter for the men’s basketball team from 1995-98. Owens played in 116 games as a Mountaineer, scoring 1,616 points and grabbing 868 rebounds. He is one of six Mountaineers in school history to score more than 1,600 points and pull down more than 800 rebounds, joining Jerry West, Rod Hundley, Da’Sean Butler, Kevin Jones and Rod Thorn in that group. At the end of his career in 1998, Owens ranked 10th in scoring, ninth in rebounding, ninth in assists, second in steals and sixth in blocked shots in the WVU record books.

A native of Seat Pleasant, Maryland, Owens averaged double figures all four seasons as a Mountaineer, including a team-high 16.5 points per game as a senior in 1998. He led the team in rebounding as a freshman and sophomore, pulling down a career-high 8.3 rebounds per contest in 1996. Owens scored a career-high 33 points against Dayton on Nov. 30, 1997. His top rebounding performances included 14 boards in games against Duquesne on Feb. 28, 1995 and versus St. John’s on Feb. 24, 1996. Owens recorded a career-high 10 assists against Syracuse on Jan. 16, 1996, and posted eight steals versus Georgia on Dec. 20, 1997. Owens is tied for fifth all-time at WVU with 87 games in double figures while posting 22 games of 20 points or more. He helped lead the Mountaineers to the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 in 1998, scoring 14 points in the second-round upset of Cincinnati. The 1998 Big East Defensive Player of the Year is WVU’s all-time career steals average leader with 2.1 per contest. He finished his career with 244 steals and ranks 16th all-time at WVU with 336 assists, the most assists ever recorded by a non-WVU guard. Owens was the first WVU player to be named to the All-Big East First Team in 1998 and was named to the All-Big East Third Team in 1996 and 1997. He earned Big East Player of the Week honors six times during his career. Owens tallied an Atlantic 10 Freshman of the Week honor in 1995. Also a standout in the classroom, Owens was named to the CoSIDA Academic All-America Second Team in 1998. He was a three-time Big East Academic All-Star.

A member of the 1996-2005 WVU All-Time Basketball Team, Owens graduated cum laude in business management in 1998. Owens, who played 10 seasons of professional basketball, now owns a business in Maryland. He and his fiancée, Alicia Williams, will marry June 11, 2016.

Don Vincent

Don Vincent was a three-year guard for the men’s basketball team, helping lead the Mountaineers to three Southern Conference championships and three NCAA Tournament appearances from 1956-58. A native of Shinnston, West Virginia, Vincent played in 86 career games, starting 68 of them. He finished his career with 777 career points (6.5 as a sophomore, 8.3 as a junior and 12.8 as a senior), 374 rebounds and 137 assists.

Vincent helped lead his teams to records of 21-9, 25-5 and 26-2 during his career. The Mountaineers won three Southern Conference regular season and tournament championships during his career. Vincent was a co-captain of the 1958 team that finished the season ranked No. 1 in the country. In his final season, Vincent broke his leg against Richmond in the Southern Conference Tournament semifinals and was not able to play for the remainder of the season. WVU entered the 1958 NCAA Tournament as the top seed and was upset in the first round by Manhattan at Madison Square Garden. In his senior year, Vincent was the second-leading scorer behind Jerry West. He had 20 games in double figures, including 14 points in a win against No. 5 Kentucky and 15 points in a victory over No. 1 North Carolina in back-to-back nights in the Kentucky Invitational Tournament. Vincent posted a career-high 22 points against Davidson on March 7, 1957 and grabbed a career-best 10 rebounds against Washington & Lee on March 9, 1957. He was named to the All-Southern Conference Second Team in 1958 and to the All-Southern Conference Tournament Team in 1958.

A member of the 1956-65 WVU All-Time Team, he graduated in 1958 with a bachelor’s degree in education, Vincent and his wife, Jean, have a son, Brett, who played basketball at WVU in 1988, and a daughter, Jane Linn.

Charity Wachera

Charity Wachera, one of the most outstanding female distance runners at WVU, became the school’s first female cross country All-American in 1997. Competing at WVU from 1994-98, Wachera finished 11th with a time of 17:00 at the 1997 NCAA Cross Country Championships. At the time, that performance was the highest finish ever by a Mountaineer at the NCAA Championships. At the same event, she captured national attention for running all but the first 200 meters of the race without the benefit of her left shoe, earning recognition by CNN as the Sports Play of the Day.

As a team captain, she also helped guide her team to WVU’s first-ever NCAA Cross Championships team appearance. At the time, she was one of only four athletes at WVU to earn All-America status in two different sports when she finished sixth with a time of 34:29.64 in the 10,000 meters at the NCAA Outdoor Track Championships. The Nairobi, Kenya, native ended her WVU career with then-school records in the 5,000- and 10,000-meter events. During her career, Wachera captured the 1995 Atlantic 10 3,000-meter run championship and won the 10,000-meter run at the 1996 and 1997 ECAC Outdoor Championships. She won the 5,000 meters at the 1996 ECAC Indoor Championships with a time of 16:39.87. Wachera was a two-time NCAA qualifier in cross country (1995 and 1997). She was the 1994 Atlantic 10 Cross Country Freshman of the Year and won the Big East Institutional Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year in 1997. Wachera also earned All-Atlantic 10 honors and All-Big East honors during her career. She earned the Red Brown Cup and Fred Schaus Captains’ Award during her WVU career. Wachera graduated with a bachelor’s degree in interdepartmental studies and with a master’s degree in community health education, completing both degrees in 4 ½ years. Additionally, she was a two-time CoSIDA First Team Academic All-American at WVU.

Currently, Wachera works as a Health Promotion Consultant in the PEIA Pathways to Wellness Program at Marshall. She previously served as an education instructor at Fairmont State. She and her husband, Jean Duvert, live in Fairmont, with their daughter, Cindy.

Grant Wiley

Grant Wiley, one of only 11 consensus first team All-Americans in Mountaineer football history, is WVU’s all-time leader in tackles (492), tackles for loss (47.5) and solo tackles (288). A four-year starter at linebacker from 2000-03, Wiley was one of five finalists for the Bronko Nagurki Award in 2003, signifying the top defensive player in the nation. A unanimous All-Big East First Team selection in 2003, Wiley led the nation in forced fumbles (7), was third in tackles per game (12.85) and 11th in solo tackles (7.6). For his career, Wiley finished with eight interceptions, 17 pass breakups, nine forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries and had 29 career double-figure tackles performances. The Trappe, Pennsylvania, native was a vital cog in the West Virginia defense, helping the Mountaineers finish with a 7-5 record and victory in the Music City Bowl as a freshman, a 9-4 record and berth in the Continental Tire Bowl as a junior and an 8-5 mark, the Big East Championship and an appearance in the Gator Bowl as a senior. As a senior in 2003, Wiley earned First Team All-America honors from the Football Writers Association of America, The Sporting News, Associated Press,,, CSTV and Southern Football Weekly. He earned All-Big East First Team honors as a junior and was the 2000 Big East Rookie of the Year. Wiley had a career-high 18 tackles against Miami. He led the nation with seven forced fumbles and ranked third nationally with 7.6 tackles per game. Wiley finished the year with 167 tackles, 14 tackles for losses and two interceptions. Wiley forced three fumbles against Cincinnati on Sept. 13, 2003, had 10 solo tackles in four different contests and recorded 2.5 sacks against Idaho on Oct. 7, 2000. Wiley signed a free agent contract with the Minnesota Vikings in 2004 and retired from football due to a shoulder injury.

Following his football career, Wiley has become a creator in New York City. He spent three years at the William Esper Acting Studio. From there Grant has become an associate of The theater and film group and has associate-produced a short film, “Turtleface,” that was accepted to the Soho International Film festival and the Las Vegas film festival in 2016. He also has appearances on “The Inside Amy Schumer” show as well as 2015 summer blockbuster, “Trainwreck.” Some other credits of his include, “Sex and the City: The Movie,” “Limitless,” “The Adjustment Bureau,” “The Wire,” “Lipstick Jungle”, “40,” “Kings,” “Damages” and “All My Children.” Wiley's passion for music has led him to songwriting, performing vocals and co-producing as electronic fusion duo, G.n'8. As G.n'8, he has created a three-part series of stadium enhancement music for WVU called, "Mountaineer Nation." The original stadium thumper, the dance remix and the dubVstep remix. Wiley also serves as the Chief of Culture for NYC/WVU based tech start-up, VEEPIO. VEEPIO is a social mobile picture and video monetization platform, allowing content creators to make their pictures and videos interactive and shop-able. VEEPIO has partnered with the WVU Research Corporation and the Biometrics department to hire WVU PhDs and faculty to collaborate on VEEPIO.

Wiley graduated from WVU in 2002 with a Regents Bachelor of Arts degree with a communication emphasis.

Donnie Young

Donnie Young, an all-conference football player and a long-time member of the WVU football coaching staff, served more than 40 years at his alma mater. A native of Clendenin, West Virginia, Young started his coaching career at WVU as the freshman football coach in 1970 and retiring in June 2012.

With him on staff, the Mountaineers played for two national championships, earned seven Big East championships, participated in 25 bowl games, won eight or more games 22 times, won nine or more games 14 times and 10 or more games six times. Young coached nine All-East or All-Big East players and one consensus All-American. Young began his coaching career as an assistant coach at Salem in 1966, before serving as the head coach for three years (1967-69), finishing with a three-year record of 19-6-1. His 1969 team posted an 8-1 record and was ranked in the NAIA Top 20, earning him West Virginia Conference Coach of the Year honors. He started his tenure at WVU in 1970, serving as the freshman coach under Bobby Bowden before being promoted to linebackers coach in 1971. Young then remained on Frank Cignetti’s staff in 1976 as assistant head coach and also served as the defensive coordinator in 1977. Young became WVU’s recruiting coordinator from 1980-92 under Don Nehlen. He returned to the field in 1993 as the linebackers coach. In 1996, Young’s protégé Canute Curtis earned consensus All-America honors and was a finalist for the Butkus and Bronko Nagurski Awards. During that same season, Young helped the WVU defense earn NCAA rankings of first in the nation in total defense (217.5 ypg), second in rushing defense (61.5 ypg), fourth in scoring defense (12.4 ppg) and finish in pass efficiency defense (86.8). Prior to the 2001 season, Young took on the role of administrative assistant for WVU football, serving as the WVU Varsity Club Coordinator. He was assistant to the head coach under Bill Stewart and a program assistant under Dana Holgorsen before retiring in June 2012. Young was a standout defensive guard for the Mountaineers, earning three letters and was an all-conference selection. He received the Ira E. Rodgers Award and the Louis D. Neisel Award in 1964. Young received his bachelor’s degree in physical education and biology from WVU in 1966 and his master’s degree in physical education and safety from WVU in 1967.

Young, who earned the 1988 Proficiency Award from the Morgantown Touchdown Club, and his wife, Chyleen, have two children – Tabitha and Chad, both WVU graduates – and four grandchildren, Melody, Timmy, Levi and Dawson.

Mountaineers Daily Top Stories