Retired coach, teacher earns volunteer award

CHARLESTON – If anyone believes the words passionate and dedicated are overused when it comes to describing volunteers, they have never met Paul ‘Bud’ Billiard.

Since he retired after many years as a teacher and coach, he has taken his volunteering to a new level. Those volunteer efforts will be honored in the coming weeks when Billiard is among those presented with the Governor’s Service Award.

Billiard said he is “humbled and honored” to receive the award, which will be presented to him by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin at the annual Governor’s Service Awards banquet July 30 at the Charleston Civic Center.

The banquet is held as a part of Faces of Leadership, the annual state volunteerism conference.

Presented since 1995, the Governor’s Service Awards honor individuals, families and organizations that exemplify outstanding dedication to volunteerism and community service in West Virginia. Billiard will receive his award in the senior category.

For tickets or information, contact Moya Doneghy at (304) 558-0111 or (800) WV-HELPS, or by e-mail at

In his days as Brooke High School teacher and head football coach, he often recruited football players for various volunteer efforts, and he has volunteered himself many ways since retiring.

Billiard was recently elected chairman of the board for the Brooke Hancock Family Resource Network. He has recruited community members for their committees and helped grow the network.

Rachael Ferrise, drug-free community liaison for the FRN, described him as “a regular hometown hero with a heart of gold for lending a helping hand wherever he can. He looks to the future of the community and understands that it takes more than one person or organization to make a difference.”

Billiard has been a member of the Governor’s Substance Abuse Task Force and the Advocates for Substance Abuse Prevention.

He also is a member of Concerned Citizens, a group working to address homelessness in the area.

As a charter member of the Brooke County Veterans Memorial Park Foundation, he helped raise $200,000 for the park and its maintenance and has served as master of ceremonies at Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day services held there and an annual dinner honoring a local veteran.

Billiard also is a member of the Community Emergency Response Team, a group of volunteers trained by the Brooke County Office of Emergency Services to assist in various functions in the event of a flood, blizzard or other community-wide emergency.

Billiard’s interests and efforts include coaching football, membership in the Brooke County Association for Retired School Employees and local Retired and Senior Volunteer Program, serving on the St. John the Evangelist Parish council and assisting with its youth group and transporting members of the Ex-Prisoners of War Barbed Wire Brigade to meetings.

Billiard said volunteering “gives me energy and a feeling of purpose and achievement. This gives me personal satisfaction. I always feel better when a plan comes together.”

He said his own role model is his wife, Carol, who helps many through her various roles, and his mother and grandmother were the same way.

The Governor’s Service Awards are administered by Volunteer West Virginia, the West Virginia Commission for National and Community Service. Recipients are selected by a volunteer committee based on individuals’ achievement, community needs, continuing involvement, innovation and impact of service.