Big Green Donor of the Week - R.V. "Buddy" Graham
Sept. 18, 2013
Graham, a Parkersburg resident, was one of nine new inductees to the Marshall University Athletics Hall of Fame on the Sept. 6-7 weekend. He certainly is deserving to be among the 217 honorees in the "Herd Hall." He also is a longtime Big Green Scholarship Foundation supporter and has contributed to the Vision Campaign for Athletics.
There are many ways in which Buddy, who was born in Pikeville, Ky. - he always has considered himself a native of Huntington - has served the Thundering Herd over the years.
As an MU golfer - he lettered from 1957-59 - Graham helped Marshall finish as high as second place in the Mid-American Conference Team Championship. As an individual, he earned a spot on the All-MAC Team by finishing in the top 10 in 1958 and '59 Conference Championships.
Buddy was the Herd golf coach from 1962-68. His 1966 team won the MAC championship. Buddy also was a member of Marshall Athletic Department's seven-person administrative staff, with duties including business manager for basketball and football team trips, assisting in the ticket office during peak times, and editing football and basketball game programs. Finally, he served as the liaison from MU to the Big Green Club.
After leaving Marshall, he began the first AAU youth basketball program in West Virginia and coached teams to AAU national championships in 1975 and 1977.
Just before his MU Hall induction, Buddy took time to answer a few questions from Herd Insider Editor Jack Bogaczyk:
Hometown: Born in Pikeville, Ky. (moved to Huntington in 1940)
Residence: Relocated to Parkersburg 2004.
Family: Wife, Jane; married for 54 years.
Occupation: Executive Vice President/COO - Professional Services of America, Inc.
Marshall degree: BA Economics, 1966.
Years worked in Marshall athletics: 1961-68
JB: What is your fondest memory of your time as a student-athlete or staffer at Marshall?
Buddy: It was a tremendous feeling to be at Marshall when we became a University (March 2, 1961).
JB: You worked as a coach and in other roles in MU athletics, and with the Big Green. What were the biggest moments and memories in your mind for Marshall during those days?
Buddy: Marshall academics and sports go hand-in-hand with the City of Huntington. To be able to participate on and with the athletic teams and play a role in the growth of the university was a great experience.
JB: Any favorite two or three Marshall athletes over the five decades-plus since you arrived at MU?
Buddy: Mike D'Antoni, Chad Pennington, Leo Byrd, Reggie Oliver, George Stone.
JB: How often do you get back to Marshall from Parkersburg for games, events?
Buddy: I'm a season ticket holder in basketball, and make it to three or four football games each season, too .
JB: Why you feel your support of the Big Green (also the Vision Campaign, if you've contributed there) is crucial to Marshall in this era?
Buddy: Marshall has a long and proud history of giving back by its former athletes like Chad and Mike. I owe the university more than I will ever be able to repay. The Ray Hagley family and all the others that were killed in the 1970 plane crash made the supreme sacrifice. Every one of us must do what we can to support the athletic program and build first-class facilities we can be proud of. Our president, Dr. (Stephen) Kopp and (Athletic Director) Mike Hamrick have started a great building program. We must do our part.