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November 15, 2013

FURFARI COLUMN: WVU honors two former football standouts

MORGANTOWN — It was most pleasing recently to learn that two outstanding former West Virginia University football players were inducted into the institution’s College of Physical Activity and Sport Science’s Hall of Fame.

Paul Bischoff of Beaver Falls, Pa., earned All-America status as an end in 1950-51-52, and Dave Van Halanger of Turtle Creek, Pa., starred as an offensive tackle in 1973-74-75.

Each man served as a team captain his senior year.

Bischoff, now 83 and still living in Beaver Falls, said he did not expect to be taken into what originally was called the School of Physical Education Hall of Fame. “But I certainly appreciate this honor.”

He already was a member of the WVU Sports Hall of Fame and the Pennsylvania Hall of Fame.

Bischoff, who has been retired since 2005, spent several years as a coach and teacher in Pennsylvania high school circles.

Van Halanger said this about his induction:

“My wife, Michele, and I had a wonderful time at the ceremonies. Dr. Dana Brooks and his staff did a great job of making us feel like king and queen. Dr. Ziata introduced me, and everything he said about me was wonderful and humbling.”

Van Halanger, who graduated from WVU in 1976, was named director of player welfare at the University of Georgia in January of 2011. He had served 10 years as director of strength and conditioning for the institution.

During his tenure there, the 63-year-old Pennsylvania native has been a member of a staff that led Georgia to 106 victories, two SEC championships, four SEC Eastern Division titles, seven bowl wins and six Top 10 finishes in the football polls.

UGA ranked No. 2 in 2007 and No. 3 in 2012. He has worked with an amazing 29 consecutive bowl teams, including some at Florida State and West Virginia University.

Before leaving WVU, he put together the Mountaineers’ first strength and conditioning program which still stands in Morgantown.

In June 2001, Van Halanger was awarded the title of Master Strength and Conditioning Coach. It was presented to him by the College Strength and Conditioning Coaches Association.

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