The Times West Virginian

Mickey Furfari

June 13, 2014

FURFARI COLUMN: Bob Dunlevy still keeping busy as age 70 approaches

MORGANTOWN — Bob Dunlevy of Wheeling, a standout wide receiver who also played defense for West Virginia in the early 1960s, will turn 70 years old on Aug. 5.

But he’s still spending part time in his Wheeling offices working administratively in the West Virginia gas-and-well industry business. That helps keep Dunlevy busy and happy.

When he played football as a Mountaineer, Dunlevy stood 6-foot-5 and tipped the scales at about 220 pounds as a senior. He’s been employed about 36 years now by a company with oil-and-gas industries.

The companies are based in both Texas and Ohio.

Dunlevy, who required shoulder surgery as a freshmen in 1962, earned letters in 1963-’64-’65. He graduated in January 1966, having needed an extra semester because of the early injury.

He was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys (in the fall of 1965), then returned to complete studies for his degree.

Dunlevy was a first-round selection of the Cowboys, with whom he rejoined WVU all-time great Chuck Howley. Pro football had two different leagues during that period.

As a Mountaineer, Dunlevy played a year on Coach Quentin Barnette’s freshman team. Gentleman Gene Corum was his varsity mentor.

“I do not think having to play the one year on the freshman squad was a waste of time,” he said. “I enjoyed that as well as playing for Corum.”

Dunlevy had the distinction, along with his teammates, of playing in the first-ever Liberty Bowl on Dec. 19, 1964, indoors that was against Utah in the convention hall at Atlantic City, N.J.

Losing by 31-6, the Mountaineers finished that year with a 7-4 record. They were 6-4 in 1965.

“The actual length of the indoor field was only 90 yards in Atlantic City,” Dunlevy recalled. “But we really didn’t mind that.

“Utah just proved to be pretty good.

“I really enjoyed my years at WVU,” said Dunlevy, who got his bachelor’s degree in science education. He did not do any teaching.

“As soon as I finished my degree, I was called by a company and went to work for them in sales,” he explained. “At that time, the pay for sales was a lot better than for coaching.”

Dunlevy still is doing that type of work on a part-time basis, and he continues to be successful in that enjoyable role.

Bob and Chuck Howley both played football at Warwood High School. Howley was a year ahead of Dunlevy in high school as well as college.

After playing one year with the Dallas Cowboys, Dunlevy played two years of football with the Wheeling Ironmen. That’s when he hurt a knee.

Then Dunlevy served two years as a broadcaster with his hometown area Ironmen.

He worked for a store in Wheeling for years. Then Dunlevy started his long career in the oil-and-gas industry.

Bob and his wife Connie have been married for 48 years. They have three grown sons, all graduates of WVU.

Those are Robert William Dunlevy II, Ryan and Rick.

There are six grandchildren.

Dunlevy remains very active not only as a longtime staunch supporter of WVU but also involved in community and state affairs.

He is a member of the West Virginia State Education School Board and also a member of the SSAC Board of Directors for the SSAC.

In addition, Dunlevy is a member of the state School Board Authority. It distributes money to existing schools and new schools.

Closer home, Dunlevy serves on the Ohio Valley Health Plan Program.

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Mickey Furfari
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