The Times West Virginian

Breaking News

Mickey Furfari

October 27, 2013

FURFARI COLUMN- Woodeshick enjoyed career under Corum at WVU

MORGANTOWN — Tom Woodeshick, one of West Virginia University’s finest halfbacks in the early 1960s, went on to become an outstanding player in the National Football League.

So much so, the talented 6-foot-4, 205-pound Wilkes-Barre, Pa., native reportedly played in the NFL longer than any other WVU running back—10 seasons.

Woodeshick was a fourth-round pick by Buffalo in the American Football League draft in 1963 and eighth-round selection by the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFL. But he signed with the Eagles and played nine years for them from 1963-71 and finally one year with St. Louis in 1972.

Then he had to retire as a player with a severe ankle injury.

 “I most certainly enjoyed playing for coach Gene Corum in 1960-61-62,” Woodeshick said from the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania, where he resides. “We had a lot of respect for him, and we liked him an awful lot.

“He came up with a couple of the best emotional speeches I’ve ever heard before a game. He was a great guy and a really good coach.”

A three-year varsity letter-winner who also played on a 1959 freshman team, he graduated from WVU in 1963 with a bachelor’s degree. He also took graduate studies at Penn and Temple universities.

As a Mountaineer, Woodeshick rushed for 876 yards on 192 carries and caught passes for 195 yards. He scored four career touchdowns here and also returned kickoffs for 183 yards.

Woodeshick, who turns 72 in December, was inducted into the WVU Sports Hall of Fame last month. He also is a member of the WVU all-time team for 1960-69.

As a professional, Woodeshick played in 115 games (11.5 average per year). He rushed for 3,521 yards on 836 carries, averaging 4.3 yards per rush. He also snatched 126 passes for 1,175 yards (an average of 9.3 yards per reception).

Making his vast achievements all the more impressive, Woodeshick scored a total of 27 touchdowns in the NFL.

His best season came in 1968. He ran for a career-high 947 yards and was named to the Pro Bowl. He also made several first- and second-team All-Pro clubs in 1968-69.

“I’ve had a good career in football,” Woodeshick readily acknowledges. “But I wouldn’t say it was great. Let me say that I probably didn’t have the opportunity to run (with the ball) as much as I would have liked.

“That includes my years in high school, college, and professional ranks.”

He had been an outstanding runner at Hanover (Pa.) High. Woodeshick was selected as a senior there to perform in the prestigious all-star East-West area contest.

Two most memorable WVU victories remain in Woodeshick’s mind. One was that he led the 27-25 win against George Washington in 1962 with a career-best 89 yards on just 10 carries. The other also came as a senior when he had a huge set of feet in the school’s first-ever team to win at Syracuse’s Archibald Stadium.

That 17-6 triumph capped a sparkling 8-2 record in 1962. It had to be disappointing to that team not to receive one of the handful of bowls then in existence.

Woodeshick, who was inducted into the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame in 2002, was a restaurant owner, wrote columns for the Philadelphia Inquirer, and was a stock broker since retiring as a player.

He also squeezed in time for columnist stints with the Philadelphia Bell in the World Football League and was a football coach and intramural athletic director at Moravian College.

From 1985 to the present, he has been in the casino marketing business with associate Juanita Krieger. He has three sons.

1
Text Only
Mickey Furfari
  • FURFARI COLUMN: Comparing pay of coaches and professors

    Stringing together some odds and ends which may be of interest to you:
    • A beautiful lady came up to my table last Sunday at brunch in the Village of Heritage Point’s main dining room with a message.

    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

  • FURFARI COLUMN: WVU women’s team certainly has been special

    There’s lingering heartbreak in the wake of last Tuesday night’s 76-67 loss to LSU that ended the West Virginia University’s women’s basketball hopes to keep alive in the NCAA Tournament.
    The Mountaineers, seeded No. 2 and ranked as high as No. 5 nationally earlier this season, battled the seventh-seeded, home-standing Tigers toe-to-toe on even terms for 35 minutes on LSU’s own Pete Maravich Assembly Center floor.

    March 28, 2014

House Ads
Featured Ads