By Jarrod Harris
Times West Virginian
Legendary Fairmont State coach Joe Retton can add another accomplishment to his already impressive legacy.
During FSU’s men’s basketball home opener against Ohio-Eastern, Retton was honored with a banner that is now hung in the Joe Retton Arena.
The banner showcases the years he coached the team (1964-82); his overall record (478-95); winning percentage (.834); and coaching accomplishments —12 WVIAC Championships and eight WVIAC Tournament Championships.
“It feels great to get honored (while) being able to come back to the school where I (coached),” Retton said. “I saw many of our players, saw many of our fans and of course I appreciate seeing all of their faces. I appreciate seeing all the fans in the crowd and knowing what they mean to you and what they’ve meant to our program.”
There were more than 2,500 people on hand for the event, and Joe Manchin IV led the honors of singing the national anthem.
All the hype reminded Retton of his coaching days when the entire city of Fairmont came to support his team.
“I think we felt that our audiences we had previously were so much part of the way we played because they were our ‘sixth man’ on the floor. They really gave us positive claps and hurrays and hurrahs,” Retton said as he chuckled over the festivities planned at FSU.
To begin the ceremony, Retton came out and the crowd went wild. As cheers arose throughout the gymnasium, he was guided by athletic director Rusty Elliott and then taken to the floor to
watch the new era of Falcon basketball. The lights were off and smoke was flying.