Three Enter OVAC Hall
One of the most successful wrestling coaches in the history of the conference; a multi-sport coach who also excelled as an athlete and official; and a referee who worked more than four decades are the latest additions to the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference Hall of Fame.
Jim Potts, who made his mark in wrestling at Cameron High; Bob Roe, who achieved coaching success at Warwood and Wheeling Highs as well as at West Liberty State College; and long-time official Jack Prettyman from Moundsville will be part of the Class of 2014. Those three will be formally inducted at the 11th annual OVAC Hall of Fame Banquet on Saturday, Aug. 16 at WesBanco Arena in Wheeling.
Previously announced inductees are Bill Brubaker in the OVAC Family category and James Companion as an OVAC Contributor.
Also to be saluted are five “Legends of OVAC Schools” – Connie Sanford Richardson of Caldwell, Porter Mackey of East Liverpool, Andy Tonkovich of Benwood Union, John Wood of Magnolia and Bill Young of Martins Ferry.
The OVAC Hall of Fame, sponsored by the Robinson Auto Group of Wheeling, and the OVAC Sports Museum are located inside WesBanco Arena.
Here’s a look at this week’s selections for the OVAC Hall of Fame Class of 2014:
Jim Potts (Buckhannon-Upshur High School, Class of 1964): Potts began teaching at Cameron in 1971 and he started the junior high wrestling program there that year.
He spent 31 years as head wrestling coach of the Dragons (1974-2005) and later returned as an assistant varsity coach for several years.
Potts compiled an impressive 363-94-4 dual meet record, winning 87 tournament championships and finishing as runner-up on 36 occasions.
In OVAC competition, Potts-led mat squads amassed 15 OVAC Class A tournament championships (1984, ’91, ’92, ’93, ’94,, ’95, ’96, ’97, ’98, ’99, 2000, ’01, ’02, ’03 and ’05); finishing as the overall second or third place finisher as well. His teams also won 15 OVAC Dual Meet championships.
Potts was named OVAC Wrestling Coach of the Year a total of 15 times. His 1996 team won the first Bob Sandler Sportsmanship Award.
In state competition, Cameron won four consecutive W.Va. Class AA/A championships (1991-94) and finished as the runner-up three times. He was named West Virginia Class AA/A Coach of the Year five times (1989, ’91, ’92, ’93 and ’94).
He received the OVAC’s prestigious “Mr. Mat” award in 2008 for his dedication and service to the sport of wrestling and was inducted into the West Virginia Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2007.
He also served as head football coach at Cameron for 11 years, posting a 55-55 overall record including one appearance in the W. Va. Class A state semifinals. He coached W. Va. to a 22-14 win over Ohio in the OVAC All-Star Football Classic in 1989. Potts also spent time as the head track and baseball coach.
As an athlete, Potts competed in three sports (wrestling, football and baseball) at Buckhannon-Upshur where he was a member of the school’s 1963 state championship football team and then played both football and baseball (a first team all-conference selection) at Glenville State College, earning his degree there in 1967.
Bob Roe (Warwood High School, Class of 1925): He did it all in the athletic realm: a talented athlete; a multi-sport coach who succeeded at both the high school and college level; and even an official.
At the time he retired from high school coaching in 1965 to take the West Liberty State College job, Roe was the winningest football coach in OVAC history with a 182-122-31 record. He coached at Warwood High for 10 years (1931-40) and then at Wheeling High for 24 seasons (1941-64).
He was the winning co-coach (with Irwin Howell) of the first West Virginia-Ohio All-Star Football Game in 1940, beating Ohio 13-7. He later served as the All-Star Game Director from 1946-62.
He also led the Wheeling boys’ track squad to three straight OVAC titles (1944-46) and a rare one-class W. Va. state championship in 1946 (his teams were runner-up in 1943 and ’44).
At West Liberty, he coached the Hilltoppers for nine seasons including an unbeaten season in 1970 and into the NAIA playoffs in 1970 and ’71 as West Virginia Conference champions. His WL coaching record was 50-24-7. He was twice named WVC Coach of the Year.
Roe was also a basketball official for 20 years, serving three terms as president of the Ohio Valley Board of Approved Basketball Officials.
As an athlete, he was a team captain of the Warwood High football team and a four-year varsity performer at Bethany College.
Roe, who passed away in 1984, is a member of five other halls of fame – West Virginia State Sports, City of Wheeling, Upper Ohio Valley Dapper Dan, West Liberty University and Bethany College. He was also the recipient of the OVAC Track Cal Giffin Award.
Jack Prettyman (Moundsville High School, Class of 1958): One of the best-known officials in the Ohio Valley, he retired in 2007 after working 43 years as a member of the Ohio Valley Board of Approved Football Officials, spending two years as president, two years a vice-president and 10 years on the Executive Board; and 20 years as a member of the Ohio Valley Board of Approved Basketball Officials, serving as president and vice-president.
He worked WVSSAC playoff games for 30 years, including the finals eight times, as well as the West Virginia North-South All-Star Game; and spent 20 years working OHSAA playoff games plus the Ohio North-South All-Star Game.
Prettyman officiated the Rudy Mumley OVAC All-Star Charity Football Classic five times and was the Honorary Referee at the game in 2008.
He officiated West Virginia Conference games for 30 years in basketball and 27 in football, including 20 years at the finals in basketball and eight years of playoffs in football; and he also worked games in the Eastern 8 and Atlantic 10 conferences for 25 years, including 10 years of playoff action.
Prettyman officiated thee years in the professional Indoor Football League, working the championship game in 2002.
A resident of Glen Dale, he received the Robert Dawson OVAC Basketball Officials Award in 2002; a Special Achievement Award from the Dapper Dan Club of the Upper Ohio Valley in 2008 and several service awards from various officiating organizations.