In 2022 a group of dedicated West Liberty alumni established a scholarship in memory of their beloved coach, Bob Roe. They held multiple events over a three-year period including the Coach Roe Era Reunion in the fall of 2021, which was a huge success and had over 75 participants. The Bob Roe Era Steering Committee is comprised of former players that were coached by Roe: Rod Reese, Tony Filberto, Tom Fato, Nolan Cox, Gay Lucci, Dave Galbraith, Tony Kuklica, Kevin Bonitatibus, Frank Sworden, Greg Harris and Chuck Bowers. It is their intent to honor a man who inspired more than 300 football players to be the best men they could be on and off the field.
Roe served West Liberty State College as the football coach from 1965-1973 where he compiled a record of 50-24-6. During his nine years at the helm, he guided the Hilltoppers to two West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WVIAC) championships (1970, 1971). WLSC also earned NAIA national semifinal berths during that two-year span.
During the 1970 season, the Hilltoppers went undefeated in conference play to earn the school’s first NAIA playoff bid. The success continued the following year as the Hilltoppers cruised through the regular season without a mark in the loss column. Roe was also on the sidelines during an NCAA milestone during the 1972 season. On Oct. 7, 1972, West Liberty State College and West Virginia State battled in what would be college football’s first overtime game. The Hilltoppers kicked a field goal in the extra period to secure a 17-14.
Along with earning two conference championships, Roe also guided two players to some of college football’s most prestigious honors. In 1970, Tom Priest and Dennis Knight became the first two Hilltoppers to be named NAIA-All American. Priest became the first player in school history to earn that honor twice. Also on the 1970 team was Lou Piccone, who went on to play nine years in the National Football League.
The legendary coach retired after the 1973 campaign. Roe has been inducted in the West Liberty University Hall of Fame, the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference Hall of Fame and the West Virginia Sports Hall of Fame. He passed away in 1984 with a legacy that will live forever on the Hilltop.
USES AND PURPOSES
The Coach Bob Roe Scholarship has been created to financially assist future WLU football players from WV, Eastern Ohio, or Western Pennsylvania (WPIAL | Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League). The amount and number of scholarships awarded will be based on the income available in the fund.
Minimum Requirements for Consideration:
- Graduate of an accredited high school from:
- the State of West Virginia,
- Forty Counties in Eastern Ohio
- Any member school in the WPIAL (Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League).
- 5 GPA as an incoming freshman
Selection of Recipients:
The recipient will be selected by the Head Football Coach in conjunction with Financial Aid and in compliance of NCAA rules and regulations.
The uses and expenditures of this Fund shall be consistent with the West Liberty University Foundation policies. This fund shall be administered by the treasurer of the Foundation or his/her designee and the named University representative or his/her designee(s).