Six Inducted to WVU Hall

Six outstanding contributors to Mountaineer athletics make up the 15th class of honorees in the West Virginia University Sports Hall of Fame, announced today by athletic director Ed Pastilong.

The 2005 class includes basketball standouts Marvin "Bucky" Bolyard, Jim McCormick, Roger "Shorty" Hicks, multi-sport honoree Charley Hockenberry, football consensus All-American Mike Compton and All-America hurdler Connie Ellerbe.

Induction ceremonies will take place around a home football game this fall. This class brings the number of total inductees to 95. The late Marvin "Bucky" Bolyard was a two-sport star at West Virginia from 1957-59 despite being blind in his left eye as a result of an accident sustained in high school.

An all-state performer from Aurora, W.Va., he was nicknamed the "Aurora Borealis," lettering three years in baseball and two in basketball. On the diamond, Bolyard was an infielder and pitcher for WVU, leading the team in ERA for three seasons; his ERA was 0.75 his senior year. He led WVU in batting as a junior with a .413 average, 26 hits and four home runs.

In basketball, this fan favorite platooned as a guard in the same backcourt as Jerry West, helping WVU win an NCAA record 44 consecutive regular season games in the Southern Conference. Bolyard started 30 of 34 games as a senior, helping WVU advance to the NCAA championship game in 1958-59. That year WVU had a 29-5 record, the most successful season in school history; Bolyard averaged 10.1 points and scored a career high 26 in a game at Northwestern.

After graduating from WVU in 1959, Bolyard played two years in the American Basketball Association for the Pittsburgh Wrens (1961-62) before beginning his coaching career as an assistant basketball coach at VMI. He went on to a lengthy career teaching in the California (Pa.) School District, living in nearby Belle Vernon, Pa. He died Sept. 29, 2001, suffering a heart attack while playing golf.

Mike Compton was a consensus All-American for Mountaineer football, starting at center from 1990-92 and earning four varsity letters. A finalist for the Lombardi Award, he earned first team All-America honors from The Sporting News, Playboy, Football News, Kodak, Walter Camp, AP and UPI; he was a first team all-BIG EAST selection the first two years of that league's existence. He served as team captain as a senior and played in the East-West Shrine and Hula Bowl all-star games.

A native of Richlands, Va., Compton was decorated off the field as well for his academic and service achievements. A CoSIDA Academic All-American as a junior and senior, the honors student in physical education received the NCAA Top Six award and was selected to speak to the 1993 NCAA Convention in Dallas representing all student-athletes.

Selected in the third round of the NFL draft by the Detroit Lions, Compton played there eight years, serving as a starter on offensive lines that produced Barry Sanders' record-setting seasons. From 2001-03, he was a member of the New England Patriots, earning two Super Bowl rings. Having played every offensive line position during his professional career, he spent the 2004 season with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Compton divides his time between homes in Florida and Virginia. He has three children: Jessica, Joshua and Sarah.

Connie Ellerbe, a world-class hurdler, was the first Mountaineer woman to earn All-America status in track, a feat she achieved four times, finishing second at the 1992 NCAA championships, fourth in 1991, seventh in 1988 and ninth in 1989 in the 400-meter hurdles.

A New Castle, Del., native, Ellerbe still holds the state high school record in the 300-meter hurdles and won four state championships in that event. At WVU, she won the 1992 ECAC hurdle title and was a member of the 4x100 relay squad that won titles at the ECACs and Millrose Games. Ellerbe still holds the Mountaineer track record for 400 meters (54.10), 400 hurdles (56.95) and 500 meters (1:12.84).

During and following her WVU career, she competed in the 1988, 1992 and 1996 U.S. Olympic Trials. She was a member of U.S. teams that competed in Canada and England. She was named to the Delaware Track and Field Hall of Fame in November, 2004.

Ellerbe, who earned a master's degree in social work from West Virginia, is working toward a master's degree in special education from Wilmington College. She currently works as an intervention specialist at Kirk Middle School in New Castle, Del., and is engaged to marry Stephen Washington this July.

The late Roger "Shorty" Hicks was a key member of WVU's 1942 NIT championship basketball team; his foul shot with just seconds remaining gave WVU the lead over Western Kentucky in the title game, a 47-45 Mountaineer win. The Moundsville, W.Va., native and 1938 honors graduate of Moundsville High was chosen as an All-American in 1942, and given a position on the College All-Star Squad. The 5-11 cager averaged 7.0 points per game for his career, and held the WVU season free throw percentage record (88.0%) for 60 years.

A tremendous student leader, he was student body president at WVU, president of Phi Delta Theta fraternity, a member of the prestigious Mountain, Sphinx and letterman's honoraries, as well as the student member of the Athletic Board. He served as proctor of Men's Hall and coached the freshman basketball team in 1942-43.

Hicks spent four years as a member of ROTC at WVU before joining the U.S. Army, advancing to the rank of second lieutenant. After serving as an instructor at Fort Benning, Ga., he volunteered for combat in October, 1944, and was killed on Nov. 10, 1944, in combat at Metz, France, with the 328th Regiment, 26th Division of General Patton's Third Army during World War II.

Charley Hockenberry was one of WVU's most versatile athletes, lettering in baseball (1939-41), football (1938-39) and basketball (1939) for the Mountaineers; he coached the baseball and golf teams after he graduated.

As a catcher under Coach Ira Errett Rodgers, Hockenberry proved to be one of the best hitters in school history with a .318 batting average from 1939-41. He still holds the fifth highest batting average for a season in school history with a .357 average in 1940. Hockenberry captained the team as a senior.

He spent two seasons playing minor league baseball for the Allentown (Pa.) Red Wings from 1941-42. He spent another year in the minors with the Rochester (N.Y.) Red Wings in 1947 after serving in the U.S. Air Force from 1942-46 in the physical training unit and also as a coach for service teams.

In 1947, Hockenberry returned to WVU to coach the baseball team to a 9-7 record. After the season he headed to West Virginia Tech, where he succeeded Steve Harrick as the baseball coach and headed the school of physical education. He coached five seasons of baseball for the Golden Bears and two for their football team as an assistant. While in Montgomery, Hockenberry also coached the EMCO baseball team of the Kanawha Valley Industrial League.

He returned to the WVU athletic department, serving in various roles from 1952-78, including business manager, assistant to athletic director Roy M. "Legs" Hawley, fundraiser, and running the Mountaineer Scholarship Fund. Hockenberry also coached the school's golf team during those years, winning one ECAC championship.

A native of Nemacolin, Pa., Hockenberry and his wife Helen reside in Morgantown. They have two daughters: Judith Ann Wildman of Morgantown and Charlene Glogola of Charleston.

Jim McCormick helped the Mountaineers to three Southern Conference basketball titles and a pair of NCAA tournament appearances as a three-year starter from 1961-63.

McCormick averaged double figures each of his three seasons: 12.3 ppg as a sophomore, 15.4 ppg as a junior and 15.2 ppg as a senior. The Mountaineers during his tenure were 70-18, 23-8 his senior year. He scored 1,156 career points and totaled 253 assists, both among the WVU career leaders. He was named to the all-Southern Conference second team as a junior and senior and earned all-East and honorable mention All-America honors for 1963.

The New Martinsville, W.Va., native and member of the Magnolia High Hall of Fame was picked in the sixth round of the professional draft by the Cincinnati Royals, but his career ended during a preseason game when Wayne Embry fell on his foot and broke it.

McCormick, who also attended Greenbrier Military Academy before coming to WVU, is retired from a distinguished career teaching vocational rehabilitation. He and his wife Linda live in Louisville, Ky. They have a son, Mike, and a daughter, Diana, and one grandson, Brandon.


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