WVU adds to Hall
MORGANTOWN – Eight contributors to West Virginia University athletics make up the 24th class of honorees in the West Virginia University Sports Hall of Fame, announced by Director of Athletics Oliver Luck. The 2014 class includes Michael Anti, Jo Marie (Cinco) Bohn, Chris Enochs, George King, Mike Krak, Gene Lathey, Mike Logan and Lester Rowe.
Induction ceremonies will take place Sept. 20, prior to the West Virginia-Oklahoma football game. This class brings the total number of inductees to 156.
Enochs (1995-97) used his golden right arm to become the highest draft pick in West Virginia University baseball history when the Oakland Athletics selected him No. 11 in the first round of the 1997 Major League Draft.
One of the most sought-after players in WVU history, Enochs was an all-state baseball player, all-state quarterback and 1,000-point scorer in basketball at Oak Glen High. Drafted by the Cleveland Indians in the 59th round out of high school, he also spurned baseball offers from Ohio State and LSU, among many others, and a football offer from Pitt, to play for the Mountaineers.
The hard-throwing right hander from Newell won 12 of 13 decisions and tossed 10 complete games in a junior campaign that saw him earn All-Big East First Team and Big East Pitcher of the Year laurels, as well as First Team All-America recognition from Collegiate Baseball and the America Baseball Coaches Association.
He turned in a signature performance in the Big East tournament that year in front of scouts from every major league organization, outdueling Seton Hall ace and current Pittsburgh Pirates reliever Jason Grilli, 6-4. He finished the year with a 3.03 earned run average and tossed a no-hitter against Villanova that was a passed ball away from being a perfect game.
As a sophomore in 1996, he pitched the Mountaineers into the NCAA tournament – the last time a WVU team has qualified for the postseason – by throwing a one-hitter against Rutgers and then coming back on two-day’s rest to pitch the final inning of the title-clinching game against Notre Dame in the Big East tournament. Those performances earned him tournament Most Valuable Player and Most Outstanding Pitcher honors. He also picked up the win over Georgia Southern in the second game of the Atlantic Regional in Clemson, S.C.
For his Mountaineer career, he was 21-10 with a 4.82 ERA, 14 complete games and three shutouts in 205 innings. His 12 wins in 1997 are the second-most in a season in school history, while the 21 victories rank him 10th all-time at WVU; his 14 complete games are seventh and his three shutouts are third.
As a professional, he won nine of his first 10 decisions between Single A and Double A ball before a shoulder injury derailed his shot at the Major Leagues. He spent seven years with Oakland and one each with the Houston Astros and Pittsburgh Pirates organizations, advancing as high as the Triple A level before retiring in 2005.
Enochs returned to WVU to complete his degree in liberal arts in 2006, received his teaching certificate from Wheeling Jesuit University in 2007 and earned a master’s degree in educational leadership from Salem International University in 2009. He currently is an assistant principal at Oak Glen Middle School.
He and his wife, Jennifer, and their daughters, Reece and Macey, live in Chester.
Krak played golf for West Virginia from 1944-48 and left as perhaps the best golfer in school history.
Krak came to WVU hoping to play basketball for coach Lee Patton, but he was on a team loaded with such star players as Leland Byrd, Fred Schaus and Clyde “Hard Times” Green. Krak gave up basketball and joined the Mountaineer golf team for coach Dr. Richard Aspinall.
In 1947, as the team’s No. 1 golfer, Krak helped West Virginia to an outstanding 12-0 match play record, including a pair of easy victories over arch rival Pitt. WVU also qualified for NCAA regionals in Ann Arbor, Mich., for the only postseason appearance in program history.
Krak played one more season in 1948 for the Mountaineers before landing a job as an assistant golf professional at Canterbury Golf Course in Cleveland. Then, following a three-year stint in the Air Force, Krak joined the PGA Tour in 1954.
Krak played in 15 majors, placing four times in the PGA Championships, his best finish coming in 1963 at the Dallas Athletic Club when he tied for 34th. Yet his memorable major was the 1959 PGA Championships at the Minneapolis Golf Club when he was one of nine players to lead the field after his first round score of 67.
He was considered one of the longest hitters on the tour when he played, twice winning long drive competitions at the PGA Championships in 1956 and 1957.
Krak played a full tour schedule until 1956 when his father became ill and chose to return to West Virginia and become the first club professional at Lakeview Resort in Morgantown from 1957-62. While at Lakeview, he was a two-time winner of the PGA Tri-State Championship.
His best finish on the tour came in 1958 when he placed third in the Greater New Orleans Open. Krak was a two-time winner of the Metropolitan PGA Championship and won the Westchester Open in 1969 while working as the club professional at Wee Burn County Club in Darien, Conn. In 1980, he was lured away from Connecticut to help build Pete Dye Golf Course in Bridgeport, W.Va. Krak then became the director of golf at the National Golf Course in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., and played in some Senior PGA Championships.
A Weirton native, Krak, a 2005 College of Physical Activity and Sports Sciences Hall of Fame inductee at WVU, played in nine PGA Championships, five U.S. Opens and one British Open during his career.
Krak graduated from WVU in 1948 with a degree in physical education. He resides in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., with his wife, Susan. They have three grown children, Jennifer, David and Greg, and eight grandchildren.
King, who served as men’s basketball coach at WVU for five seasons from 1961-65, led the Mountaineers to three NCAA tournaments (1962, 1963 and 1965) and three Southern Conference Championship crowns.
King’s record at WVU was 102-43 (.703), which currently ranks third in winning percentage and sixth in victories among WVU head men’s basketball coaches. King coached WVU All-American Rod Thorn, who went on to an eight-year pro career and recruited future All-American Ron “Fritz Williams, the first African-American player to play basketball in the Southern Conference and at WVU.
The Charleston, W.Va., native left WVU in 1965 and served as the head men’s basketball coach at Purdue from 1966-72. King’s seven Purdue basketball teams compiled a record of 109-64, were runners-up for the national championship in 1969 and were invited to the NIT in 1971.
King’s coaching career began at his alma mater, Morris Harvey, now the University of Charleston. His overall collegiate coaching record was 223-119.
He was the first-full time paid assistant coach in WVU basketball history under head coach Fred Schaus.
King was elevated to athletics director at Purdue in 1971 and spent one year (1971-72) as head basketball coach and athletics director before giving up the coaching reigns in 1972. He served as president of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of America (NACDA) and as chairman of the NCAA Committee on Committees and the NCAA Postseason Bowl Committee (now Special Events Committee). He served as Purdue’s athletics director until 1992.
King was named West Virginia’s Amateur Athletic of the Year twice (1949 and 1950) and in 1976 highlighted his meteoric rise through the coaching ranks with selection to the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics’ Hall of Fame just 10 years after he began his coaching career. He was also named to the West Virginia Sportswriters Hall of Fame for athletics in the mid-1970s, to the prestigious Honors Committee of the National Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass., in 1982, to the University of Charleston Athletic Hall of Fame in 1985 and to the Purdue Athletics Hall of Fame in 2001. He was also honored as the recipient of NACDA’s 1990 James J. Corbett Memorial Award.
King received his bachelor’s degree from Morris Harvey in 1950, his master’s degree from West Virginia in 1957 and an honorary doctorate from the University of Charleston in 1983, when he was also named recipient of a Distinguished Alumni Award.
After establishing several national offensive scoring records as a player, including a 31.2 scoring average as a collegian at Morris Harvey, King played one year in the national amateur industrial league with the Phillips Oilers. He then made the jump to the pro ranks with the Syracuse Nationals for five years and the Cincinnati Royals for one year. His steal helped preserve the Nationals NBA title in 1955.
King died at the age of 78 in October 2006. He and his wife, Jeanne G. King, were married for 57 years. He left behind six children, George, Kristy, Jeanne, Kathy, Jan, Kerry Jo and Gordon Scott; 18 grandchildren; and nine great grandchildren.