West to Enter OVAC Hall of Fame
Three highly successful coaches – two who made their mark in girls’ basketball and one in football – and one of the most recognizable three-sport officials, are the latest additions to the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference Hall of Fame’s Class of 2016.
Girls’ basketball coaches Stan Blankenship of John Marshall and Dave Linn of Buckeye Trail; football coach Tom West of Valley and baseball/basketball/volleyball official Andy Cross will be inducted into the OVAC Hall of Fame on Saturday, Aug. 13 at WesBanco Arena in Wheeling.
Previously named to the Class of 2016 as athletes were Jay Handlan of Triadelphia (1940s); Eddie Becker of Wheeling and Neil Habig of Wheeling Central (1950s); Robbie Munn of Bridgeport and Ben Wiley of Powhatan (1960s); Jim Wood of Steubenville Catholic and Jim Woofter of Oak Glen (1970s); Kim Augur of East Liverpool and Dave Delande of St. Clairsville (1980s); Jodi Bates of Meadowbrook and Matt Powell of Barnesville (1990s); Zach Amedro of John Marshall and Kacie Vavrek of Bellaire (2000s); Bob Koch (OVAC Family); John Nese (OVAC Contributor); and Jimmy Mountain (Media).
The OVAC Hall of Fame, sponsored by Robinson Auto Group, and the OVAC Museum are located at WesBanco Arena.
In two weeks, the “Legends” of OVAC member schools will complete the announcement of this year’s honorees.
Here’s a look into Tom West selection: Tom West (Mannington High School, Class of 1957) When he made the move to to coach and teach at Valley High, West did so for the long haul.
After four years at Midview High in Grafton, Ohio, he came to Pine Grove where he became a coaching institution, guiding the Lumberjacks’ football team for a total of 36 years over two terms -his first from 1971-2000 and then, after a seven-year absence, he returned from 2008-2013.
During his 40 years as a head coach, he amassed a record of 242-176-1, including a 223-151 mark at Valley.
West-coached Valley teams made the West Virginia Class A playoffs 10 straight years from 1991-200 and finished as the state runner-up five times (1993, ’94, ’95, ’96 and ’98). His 1993-94-95 teams all went undefeated in the regular season.
The Lumberjacks won OVAC championships in 1995 and 1997 and captured the Mason-Dixon Conference crown 11 times (1979, 85, 87, 89, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96 and 97) West also served as an assistant basketball coach from 1971-83. The football field at VHS is named Tom West Field in his honor.
West received his bachelor’s degree in Education from Fairmont State College in 1961 and his master’s degree in Administration from Akron University in 1971.
He began his teaching career in Midview in 1961 where he was an assistant basketball and football coach and then the head football coach from 1967-70 before taking the job at Valley High.