Billiard’s contributions will be remembered
For many years, when someone thought of Brooke County, they probably also thought of Paul “Bud” Billiard.
Over a 23-year coaching career, he guided the Brooke Bruins football team to 185 wins, with 15 playoff appearances, three Class AAA state championships and seven OVAC championships, bringing attention from not just the Ohio Valley or even the state, but also other parts of the country.
He also spent six years coaching wrestling at the school in addition to his role as a teacher.
For his success on the field, he was honored with the H.V. Corcoran Sr. Award, named West Virginia Coach of the Year, Upper Ohio Valley Dapper Dan Man of the Year and was inducted into multiple halls of fame.
The football field at Brooke Memorial Stadium now bears his name.
However, if you ask anyone from those years, whether a fellow teacher, coach, student or player, many of them will tell you his focus was on building for the future.
Even after his retirement from the gridiron, Billiard’s thoughts were on giving back and finding ways to build up his community.
In recent years, Billiard put his energy into improvements to Brooke Hills Park and honoring local veterans, as well as serving with several other community-based groups.
Officials with the park have noted his efforts to develop upgrades for recreational vehicles, as well as the installation of disc golf and foot golf courses, and the Brooke County Veterans Memorial Park, which overlooks the paddle boat pond at Brooke Hills.
The disc golf course was named in honor of him and his wife, Carol.
No matter the role, “Bud” Billiard looked for ways to contribute for the benefit of others, and thousands of individuals have been affected in some way as a result.
There has been sadness in Brooke County in recent days because of his loss, but his memory, and the lessons he provided to generations of county residents, will last for lifetimes to come.