The Times West Virginian

Mickey Furfari

January 8, 2014

FURFARI COLUMN: Dr. Carl Cather fixed West’s first two nose breaks

MORGANTOWN — I recently received a couple of emails from a local retired well-known Dr. Carl Cather Jr., which I’d like to share with readers.

In commenting on a recent column about Hall of Famer Jerry West breaking his nose as a West Virginia University basketball player against Kentucky, Dr. Cather remembered, “He (West) did it again, and I fixed it a second time,” both times at the original Morgantown Ear, Nose, Throat Clinic, of which he was the father.

As an 84-year-old alumnus of both WVU and the Harvard University Medical School, Dr. Cather has been a close follower of the Mountaineers in all sports as well as a helper in medical areas.

He also earned high accolades for his work at both major hospitals, as well as his E.N.T. clinics, for many, many years.

As for Jerry West, the greatest basketball player in WVU history (from 1957-60), he went on to star 14 years with the Los Angeles Lakers in the National Basketball Association after graduating here.

West, a Kanawha County native, was a 6-foot-3, 180-pound guard who finished his incredible playing career with a total of nine breaks of his nose.

“After the two that I repaired, I cautioned Jerry that more might follow during his professional career,” Dr. Cather recalled.

He was right!

o o o o o o

James “Buck” Harless, one of the longest and most generous among all WVU financial supporters, died on Jan. 1, at the age of 94, in Kermit.

The Mingo County native not only was a major financial contributor to the university’s athletic program but to other more important areas, including the Department of Medicine.

Harless also became widely known as the owner and operator of coal mines in southern West Virginia and a noted businessman.

One of his most recent donations reported was for the betterment of the WVU College of Law. I don’t know of anyone who has been more highly respected as a donor to the institution.

“Buck” Harless deservedly has earned numerous honors from WVU. Those included induction into the Order of Vandalia and the Mountain Honorary.

He also was selected as Most Loyal Mountaineer and has an honorary doctorate from the university.

Harless was elected into the West Virginia Coal Hall of Fame and the West Virginia Business Hall of Fame, too.

That’s a colossal collection of tributes to a most generous man who started out as a young coal miner and worked his way up to a coal and lumber giant in southern West Virginia.

“Buck” Harless certainly will be missed!

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Mickey Furfari
  • FURFARI COLUMN: Dr. Graber disagrees with Gee’s stance on Turnbull firing

    Dr. Stephen Graber, an associate professor at the West Virginia University School of Medicine, is among the latest WVU teachers to deplore Oliver Luck’s firing of veteran wrestling coach Craig Turnbull.
    He raised some significant questions about that issue last Monday in a meeting of the WVU Faculty Senate.

    April 18, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: Comparing pay of coaches and professors

    Stringing together some odds and ends which may be of interest to you:
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    April 17, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN- Most plays good, some not so good in Gold-Blue scrimmage

    There appeared to be a fine mixture of plays, most good with some not so good, in last Saturday’s West Virginia University’s Gold-Blue football scrimmage.

    April 15, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: Blaney wins 100th Sprint Car race

    Stringing together some odds and ends that may be of interest to you:
    • Dale Blaney, the all-time great West Virginia University basketball star, has achieved another historic notch in his athletic career as a Sprint Car racer. He posted his 100th career riding in the All-Star Circuit of Champions Sprint Car Series at Attica Raceway Park in Ohio last weekend.

    April 12, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN- What a wonderful evening with Dr. Stanley ‘Coach’ Kandzari

    This column really is not about sports, per se. But, more importantly, it is about a widely known medical doctor whose nickname happens to be “Coach.”

    April 8, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: Turnbull endured many tragedies growing up

    Coach Craig Turnbull, the latest head-coach victim of Oliver Luck’s shocking series of firings at West Virginia University, had generally enjoyed what many rate as an outstanding career not only in athletics but in life.
    Like the present, there also were some very difficult times for him as a youngster.

    April 6, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: All-time WVU great QB Bernie Galiffa dies at 63

    It was very sad to learn that Bernie Galiffa, one of the most outstanding quarterbacks in West Virginia University football history, had passed away.
    The three-year letterman for famed coach Bobby Bowden died last Thursday in Wilmington, N.C., at the age of 63.

    April 4, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: Is $106 million in facilities updates really key to WVU sports success?

    You may have heard or read that West Virginia University Department of Intercollegiate Athletics is planning to spend $106 million for major projects.
    According to published reports, that is to improve athletic facilities, including Mountaineer Field at Milan Puskar Stadium and the WVU Coliseum (yet to be named for a rich donor).

    April 2, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: Who’s next on Oliver Luck’s hatchet list?

    Who’s going to be next on Oliver Luck’s sad house-cleaning list as West Virginia University’s athletic director?
    Craig Turnbull, the outstanding head coach and builder of the Mountaineers’ wrestling program for 36 years, was notified on Friday afternoon that Luck shockingly announced that his contract will not be renewed on June 30 for next year.

    March 30, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: Herbie Brooks one of Catlett’s early standouts at WVU

    Herbie Brooks, a native of Beckley, was an All-Stater at Mullens High School and demonstrated his talents at West Virginia University from 1984-89 in men’s basketball.
    The 6-foot-2, 185-pound guard performed admirably under coach Gale Catlett’s direction.

    March 29, 2014

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