The Times West Virginian

Bob Herzel

November 11, 2009

HERTZEL COLUMN: Many veterans were athletes

MORGANTOWN — It was, they all thought, a day like any other, a day to be thankful because, while they were in the military, they were stationed back home in Fort Hood and not fighting the sand and al-Qaida in Iraq or trudging through the barren mountains of Afghanistan chasing down Taliban.

Terrorism was lost in the back of their minds. They were mostly young and mostly innocent, kids serving their country as they checked into adulthood, their futures not yet mapped out for them, meaning they were clutching to the dreams of youth.

That was when a madman came into their lives, guns blazing, bullets ricocheting off walls, tearing through flesh and bone, stealing their futures and ending their dreams in a meaningless act of insanity.

They died or were wounded not on the battlefield, but in the shadow of freedom.

Oh, how our world has changed since the last great war in which we participated. True, it always was our youth who we marched off to war, kids just out of high school, college kids with girlfriends, not wives, kids who were supposed to be learning history, not making it.

Athletes were always among the heroes, both present college athletes and those who had played out their college days and began down life’s path.

Dr. John Doyle was among the latter group.

He’d had an athletic career at West Virginia University that was almost unmatched, starring in football, baseball, basketball and track from 1929 to 1932. It was enough to enshrine him in the WVU Athletic Hall of Fame.

He left the school to attend the Medical College of Virginia and earned his M.D. at the Chicago Medical School in 1940.

Dec. 7, 1941, of course, was the day that has lived in infamy, drawing America into World War II and Dr. John Doyle with it.

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Bob Herzel
  • HERTZEL COLUMN: Big 12 provides plenty of optimism

    This past week the Big 12 held its annual media gathering in Dallas and served up a heaping portion of optimism for the 2014 season that is now upon us, West Virginia University opening its preseason practices on Thursday.
    This is a time of year when no one has lost a game, not even Charlie Weis at Kansas, and it’s a time of year when opinions are more plentiful than tattoos in an NFL locker room.

    July 27, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: WVU needs White to follow in former receivers’ footsteps

    A year ago Clint Trickett took a lot of grief as the once potent West Virginia offense came unraveled, but there is more that than meets the eye.
    The criticism was not unfounded, of course, although behind each incomplete pass there was the pain Trickett was suffering through to throw it, his rotator cuff in need of surgery.

    July 26, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: O’Toole joins long list of eccentric WVU kickers, punters

    The star of the Big 12’s annual football media day wasn’t a star at all.
    He intrigued the media far more than Bob Stoops, the coach of preseason favorite Oklahoma, and more than Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty, the preseason player of the year.

    July 25, 2014

  • WVU, N.C. State to meet in football

    Following a trend of creating non-conference games against regional opponents, West Virginia University has reached agreement with North Carolina State to play a home-and-home football series in 2018 and 2019.
    The Mountaineers are scheduled to play N.C. State in Raleigh on Sept. 15, 2018, and then play host to the Wolfpack on Sept. 14, 2019.

    July 24, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: ‘Cheating pays’ remark should draw attention

    When Bob Bowlsby, the outspoken commissioner of the Big 12, presented his opening-day picture of the future of college sports in Dallas for the annual media day gathering, his bleak comments were not unexpected.

    July 24, 2014

  • Holgorsen’s program hits turning point

    You can almost sense, as you watch West Virginia University football coach Dana Holgorsen sit before the gathered Big 12 media contingent answering questions in the Omni Hotel in Arlington, Texas, that he senses his program has reached a turning point.

    July 23, 2014

  • Big 12 Media Days Foo_time(1).jpg Trickett’s play key factor for Mountaineers’ success

     In the end, it comes down to the quarterback.
    Always has with Dana Holgorsen, always will.
    Quarterback is the offense with the West Virginia University coach. When he does well, the team wins – almost always.
    When he does poorly, the team doesn’t stand much of a chance.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Saban, family happy at Alabama

    Alabama football coach Nick Saban, whose team opens the season against West Virginia in Atlanta on Aug. 30, denied receiving or turning down this offseason an offer of $100 million to coach Texas, indicating he planned to finish his career as coach of the Crimson Tide.

    July 18, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: ‘Quarterback child prodigy’ comes to WVU amidst very high expectations

    Has West Virginia football coach Dana Holgorsen finally put the arrow he needs in his quiver with the commitment received Wednesday from high school quarterback David Sills, who is a rather extraordinary story and may also just be a rather extraordinary quarterback?

    July 18, 2014

  • WVU kicker Molinari ‘All-American boy’

    West Virginia kicker Mike Molinari may not be an All-American but he is an All-American boy.
    He was honored for that on Wednesday when the Allstate Insurance Company and the American Football Coaches Association announced the West Virginia redshirt senior kicker/punter Michael Molinari is a nominee for the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team.

    July 16, 2014

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