FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 23, 2013
For More Information:
Public Relations Department
Glenville State College
(304) 462-7361ext. 6390
Glenville, WV— Four alumni and one coach were inducted into the Glenville State College Curtis Elam Athletic Hall of Fame during the Induction Ceremony and Banquet held on Saturday, May 18th in the Mollohan Campus Community Center Ballroom. The 2013 inductees are Bill Whetsell ’46, Robert Reynolds ’58, Bill Casto ’67, Steve Seals ’70, and Gary Ray ’71.
William O. ‘Bill’ Whetsell, a native of Kingwood (Preston County), West Virginia was inducted posthumously. He died January 5, 1994 at the age of 76.
He was presented for induction by John Rohrbough, son of legendary GSC coach Nate Rohrbough. His daughter Pam Stephanik accepted the award on his behalf.
“Dad touched many lives in his role as a coach, pilot, and teacher. Our family is grateful for the honor that you have bestowed upon him and are appreciative that Glenville State College has recognized him for the athlete and person that he was,” said Stephanik.
Whetsell was a four-year letterman in football and basketball at GSC earning WVIAC ALL Conference honors in both sports. He played at Glenville for three years then served in the Air Force during WWII, then returned to GSC as a player/coach, graduated in 1946, and received his master’s degree from West Virginia University.
He was hired at Marietta College in 1947 and earned Ohio’s prestigious Coach of the Year honors in 1954 at the age of 36 when he turned out the most successful basketball team in Marietta’s 52-year history. His Marietta team posted a 21-1 record for the 1953-54 season. His teams compiled a 148-115 record on the hardwood between 1947-1960.
In addition to being a basketball coach and fulfilling teaching responsibilities, Whetsell coached football, baseball, cross country, and golf at various points during his career at Marietta. He was named athletic director and golf coach for Marietta College in 1959, a position he held for ten years before becoming head of the college’s physical education department and director of its intramural program. He retired from Marietta College in 1988.
Additionally, Whetsell was a retired sports official, honorary member of the Ohio-West Virginia Officials Association, and a founder and life member of the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts. He was a member of the Ohio/WV Officials Association for Football and Basketball. He was inducted into the Marietta College Hall of Fame in 1988 and into the Mid-Ohio Valley Sports Hall of Fame in 2000.
Whetsell was very active in his community where he was a member of American Legion Post 64; B.P.O. Elks 477; Marietta Kiwanis Club; American Union 1, F & AM; Scottish Rite; and Royal Order of Jesters, Court 156, Parkersburg. He was also an ambassador and member of Aladdin Temple and past president of Marietta Shrine Club in 1975.
A veteran of World War II, Whetsell, a Lieutenant, was a B24 pilot with the 8th Air Force in England. He retired from the U.S. Air Force Reserves as a Major and had served as an associate liaison officer for the U.S. Air Force Academy.
Bill and his wife Pauline Burke Whetsell, also deceased, had four children: William ‘Bill’ Whetsell, Jr. and his wife Sharon of Loudon, Tennessee; Robert ‘Bob’ and his wife Samantha of Duluth, Georgia; Linda Driver and husband Bill of Arlington, Virginia; and Pam Stephanik and husband Tom of Marietta, Ohio; 13 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.
Robert M. ‘Bob’ Reynolds, a native of Crown (Logan County), West Virginia graduated from Man High School and was a four-year letterman in basketball for the Glenville Pioneers.
“There were several people at Glenville who were very influential in my life. Custodian Roy Clemens always was there to encourage me. Dean Robert Higgins guided me and to mathematics and was responsible for me going to graduate school which led to my life’s work,” said Reynolds.
Reynolds led the way for the GSC Pioneers to upset WVIAC favorite Fairmont in the 1958 WVIAC tournament.
He graduated from GSC in 1958. In 1960, he received a master’s degree in mathematics from West Virginia University and went to work for Douglas Aircraft Company in Santa Monica, California as a computing engineer. Two years later, he accepted a similar position at TRW Systems in Redondo Beach, California and stayed there for eight years.
His first retirement came when he was 32 years old allowing him his wife Joan Scarritt Reynolds and their two sons to travel and live in several wonderful places throughout the United States and Mexico. This sojourn lasted for twelve years, during which the boys were home schooled ‘on the road.’ At the end of this period, both boys entered college at UCLA and Joan began Chiropractic College in San Francisco. At the age of 44, Reynolds began a second career as a college mathematics instructor and worked in this capacity until retiring from Butte College in 2006.
He and Joan divorced in 1982 after twenty years of marriage and still remain good friends. He resides in Berry Creek, California.
“Bob was a typical West Virginia student. He came to Glenville to get an education and to play basketball. He took advantage of the opportunity and Glenville served him well,” said former teammate and GSC alum Tom McPherson who presented Reynolds for induction.
William G. ‘Bill’ Casto, a native of Bancroft (Putnam County), West Virginia graduated from Poca High School and was a four-year starter on the football team at GSC and a starter on the wrestling team. Coach Bill Douglas, his longtime mentor and friend, was his offensive line coach as well as his wrestling coach.
Casto was captain of the football team during his junior and senior seasons and remembered for, among other career playing highlights, he final game of his senior year when he was playing defensive tackle and had 22 tackles against West Virginia Tech.
While at GSC, he was Sports Editor for the Kanawachan yearbook staff, a member of Theta Xi Fraternity, an outstanding student athlete during his college career, and has had a most distinguished professional career.
“Being inducted to the GSC Curtis Elam Hall of Fame is the single greatest thrill of my professional life. To have my name listed with the likes of Jesse Lilly, Bill Hanlin, Bob Minnieweather, Jackie Joe Robinson, Leland Byrd and so many other great GSC Hall of Famers is overwhelming to me. GSC is not the mortar, bricks, and buildings; it is the people that make it such a special place. Those people gave me the tools that I needed to be successful, and because of them, I now have so many special people in my life today,” said Casto.
After graduating from Glenville, he coached high school football at James Wood High School in Winchester, Virginia and at Warren County High School in Front Royal, Virginia. He then accepted a position on the football staff at The College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. He served as Offensive Coordinator there for four years.
Casto later coached and then served as Athletic Director for 16 years at Newport News Apprentice College in Newport News, Virginia.
He has been a tireless servant in his roles as a member of the Board of Directors & Regional Commissioner of the National Collegiate Wrestling Association (11 years), the Virginia Amateur Sports Association (10 years), and as Executive Director/Commissioner of the United States Collegiate Athletic Association where he is currently in his eighth year as head of the USCAA.
Casto was recognized as the 2008 Peninsula Sports Club ‘Sports Person of the Year.’
In 2007, he was inducted into the National Collegiate Wrestling Association (NCWA) Hall of Fame.
Casto, who resides in Williamsburg, Virginia, holds a master’s from George Washington University (1982) and additional post graduate credits from the University of Virginia – Guidance Certificate, West Virginia University – Psychology of Sport, and Wake Forest University – Business Management.
Stephen H. ‘Steve’ Seals of Dunbar (Kanawha County), West Virginia was a four-year starter in football for the Pioneers and also participated in track.
Seals was a two-time WVIAC ALL Conference selection in football, where he played both ways for the Pioneers. He was First Team WVIAC ALL Conference as a defensive end during his sophomore year and Second Team WVIAC ALL Conference as fullback in his junior year. He continued to play fullback during his senior year and was team caption in 1967 and 1968.
Seals was captain of the GSC football team that played Norfolk State in the Fishbowl with GSC Hall of Famer Jim Frashure’70 in Portsmoth, Virginia. This was Norfolk’s bowl game which was played for legendary Coach and Hall of Famer Bill Hanlin’53 in front of a record crowd of over 17,000.
“I am honored to be selected for the GSC Hall of Fame. Glenville was and still is a special place. Coach Hanlin and Coach Adolpson are great men and were very influential in my life. It always makes me smile to be at or think of GSC,” he said.
He was named to the Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities in 1969. As a letterman, he belonged to the G Club and was an active member of the Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity.
Seals taught at Roosevelt Junior High from 1970-79.
Seals lives in Dunbar. He is retired from the Kanawha County Parks and Recreation Commission where he served as Manager of the Shawnee Regional Park from 1979-2008.
He has three sons: Walter of Kanawha County; Henry who is in Japan; and Steven, Jr. of Williamsburg, Virginia.
Gary W. Ray, a native of Putnam County, West Virginia graduated from Winfield High School. At Glenville, he was a four-year starter in football for the Pioneers He was team captain in 1970. Ray played offense for two years, defense for two years, and was named Second Team WVIAC ALL Conference during his junior year.
“GSC has put many people in my life including my wife, people that have given my life purpose and made my life special. I hope that someday people will feel about me the way that I feel about the people at GSC who have influenced my life so much,” said Ray.
Ray was an active member of the Theta Xi Fraternity at GSC.
He received a master’s degree in Secondary Administration from West Virginia College of Graduate Studies in 1979.
In 1971, Ray began a six-year tenure as a teacher/coach at Oak Hill High School. He then became a teacher/coach at Buffalo High School in 1977-1978. He returned to Oak Hill High School where he served as assistant Principle and athletic director from 1978-1995, and then principle from 1995-1997. From 1997-2001 he was the Director of Schools for the Fayette County Board of Education.
Ray became Assistant Executive Director of the West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission from 2001-2007 and has served as Executive Director of the West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission (WVSSAC), 2007- present.
He served on the National Federation Strategic Planning Committee from 2008-2009 and has been selected to serve on the National Federation of High Schools Board of Directors beginning in August of 2013.
Ray resides in Parkersburg with his wife Cindy, whom he met at Glenville. They have two children: Amy and her husband Mark Bloomfield, Adam Ray and his wife Amanda, and three grandchildren (Derek, Nathan, and Kendall Bloomfield).
The Curtis Elam Athletic Hall of Fame was established in 2001 through the generosity of the late Curtis Elam, a 1949 GSC graduate. Hall of Fame member plaques are displayed in the lobby of the Jesse R. Lilly, Jr. Gymnasium. The GSC Curtis Elam Athletic Hall of Fame will be moved to its new home in the Waco Center which is currently under construction and scheduled to be completed in January 2014.