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0918_StadiumDedication Fred Colvard1

Fred Colvard, the 1959 Kennedy Award winner and former Wildcat Wildcat player poses for a photo with Johnny Walker and Donald Hylton at the stadium dedication event on Friday, September 13, 2019, at the Chief Logan Convention Center.

Fred Colvard 1942-2021

Fred Colvard, the only ever Logan County high school football player to win the Kennedy Award, is being remembered.

Colvard, a Logan High School graduate and winner of the 1959 Kennedy Award, given to the state of West Virginia’s top prep football player, passed away on February 9 at his home in West Palm Beach, Florida, at the age of 78 after a valiant fight against cancer.

Colvard later went on to play collegiate football at WVU and Florida State and professionally with the Ottawa Rough Riders of the Canadian Football League and the minor league Charleston Rockets of the Continental League.

During his senior season in 1959, Colvard, a halfback turned quarterback, scored 14 touchdowns on the ground and threw for eight more touchdowns. He was directly responsible for 145 of the 191 points scored by the Wildcats.

He also had 614 yards on punt and kickoff returns.

The 1959 Wildcats finished with a 7-3 record, winning six out of their last seven games after opening with setbacks to Man (18-6) and Welch (12-7). The Cats closed out with a 32-18 win over Williamson at Lefty Hamilton Park.

Colvard, a member of the Logan High School Athletic Hall of Fame, played football for Coach Todd Willis, who was head coach of the Wildcats’ football team from 1956-65, producing seven winning seasons, including the 1963 team that went 9-1 and is considered one of the school’s best.

Colvard was a special guest in September 2019 at the Logan football stadium dedication luncheon at the Chief Logan State Park Convention Center as LHS named its gridiron facility Willis-Nisbet Stadium in honor of former coaches Todd Willis, Jimmy Joe Willis and George Nisbet.

Colvard spoke to The Logan Banner at the event. It would be his last interview with his hometown media.

When asked about the Kennedy Award, Colvard, seated at a table and eating, pointed to Johnny Walker and Donald Hylton, two of his linemen 60 years ago and sitting across the table from him.

“These are the men who won the Kennedy Award,” Colvard said.

Colvard said all three coaches are deserving of having the stadium named after them.

“It’s time the coaches get some respect,” he said. “They touched the lives of so many kids. We were all kids at that point. Coaches should receive more honors than they do as well as teachers. I had the most fantastic coaches are far as techniques. With the direct snap I was a triple threat kind of player as a running back. I did the kicking. I did the passing, and I did the running. I had Todd Willis as a coach for two years in junior high and all three years in high school. Basically, he taught me everything about football.”

Colvard said Logan ran the Single Wing offense in those years under Coach Willis.

“I took the direct snap,” he said. “Todd had a concept that was, ‘Fred if you go they go,’ meaning that the outside linebackers if they go back to cover the receivers then I go and follow them. If they come my receivers will be open in the flat. That was Todd. He was so into it.”

After winning the Kennedy Award and graduating from LHS in 1960, Colvard went on to play two years at West Virginia University, a year at Florida State then later had short stint with the Ottawa Rough Riders of the CFL and the Charleston Rockets of the Continental League. Colvard’s stay in Canada with the Rough Riders was a short one due to an injured back.

“The equipment is much different today. When I was quarterback at West Virginia, I had no protection on my rib cage,” he said. “I was the starting quarterback in 1960 and 1961. I have a lot of love for WVU also. I was a starter with the freshmen team in ‘60 and a starter in ‘61. I won some awards there, but I got upset with some things, and I transferred to Florida State with Bobby Bowden. I stayed there one year then I went to Canada. I got hurt then I came down to play in the Continental League.”

Colvard said he wouldn’t have been a success in life had it not been for Jimmy Joe Willis, Todd Willis and George Nisbet.

“It all started right here,” he said. “I was in the initial Hall of Fame at Logan. Todd was, and Willie (Akers) was as well. So it began right here.”

Fred was born July 18, 1942 in Charleston, the son of Jess and Marika Glycadis Colvard.

Growing up in Logan, Fred was an all-around athlete playing football, basketball, baseball and wrestling. It was on the football field where the speedster earned the nickname “Colt 45” and many accolades.

Colvard’s stay in Canada with the Rough Riders was a short one due to an injured back.

The following comes from Colvard’s obituary.

While he was an outstanding athlete, Fred made an even greater impact off the football field as he had a passion to help others.

He earned his Bachelors degree from Morris Harvey University (now The University of Charleston), a Masters from Xavier University and his Doctorate from the University of South Dakota. He spent 40-plus years working in educational systems in West Virginia, Ohio, Wisconsin and Florida. He was a staple to education in Lake County, Florida — coach, teacher, principal, deputy superintendent — and he helped to build the first school in The Villages years ago.

Whether he was a teacher, coach, mentor, principal, administrator or professor, Fred was known for driving results and improving community relations. Fred could always be found walking the halls of the school with a cup of coffee in hand wearing a ‘Save the Children’ tie.

It was in his last position as the principal of Marathon High School in the Florida Keys, where he met the love of his life, local real estate broker Diane Chaplin, and they settled into retirement. Together they traveled the world making memories.

Fred loved God, his family, college football (especially the West Virginia Mountaineers and the Florida Gators), the Miami Heat and anything or anyone from West Virginia. He will be remembered for his infectious smile, willingness to lend a helping hand to anyone in need, bad ‘dad jokes’ and showing his family the true definition of love and happiness.

A celebration of life will be held at a later date.

He is survived by his soulmate and wife of 19 years, Diane Chaplin; devoted children Rick, Tim (Mary Beth), Kaylee and Kellee (Sean) Anderson; loving grandchildren Will (Briellen), Christopher, Clayton, Macsen and Brayden; adoring great-grandchildren Cayden, Ben and Ty; and loyal yorkies T-Bo, Lucky & Lady.

Kennedy Award Winners

(1947-2020):

2020—Blake Hartman, Musselman

2019—Ethan Payne, Poca

2018—Connor Neal, Fairmont Senior

2017—Mookie Collier, Bluefield

2016—Jeremy Dillon, Mingo Central

2015—Tyrhee Pratt, Capital

2014—Kashaun Haley, Capital

2013—Chazzy Thomas, Morgantown

2012—Ryan Switzer, George Washington

2011—Ryan Switzer, George Washington

2010—Justin Fox, Magnolia

2009—Tyler Harris, South Charleston

2008—Will Cole, Bluefield

2007—Jordan Roberts, Scott

2006—Kyle Allard, Fairmont Senior

2005—Josh Culbertson, Nitro

2004—Nate Sowers, Martinsburg

2003—Brandon Barrett, Martinsburg

2002—Brandon Barrett, Martinsburg

2001—Marc Kimes, Parkersburg

2000—Mark Wigal, Morgantown

1999—Todd Mosby, Musselman

1998—Quincy Wilson, Weir and J.R. House, Nitro

1997—Chris Yura, Morgantown

1996—J.R. House, Nitro

1995—Frank Aliveto, Hedgesville

1994—Randy Moss, DuPont

1993—Mark Cisar, Magnolia

1992—Mark Cisar, Magnolia

1991—Daryl “Boogie” Johnson, Wheeling Park

1990—Eric McGhee, Wheeling Central

1989—David Mayfield, Morgantown

1988—Keith Jeter, Weir

1987—Jed Drenning, Tucker County

1986—Jeff Swisher, Sistersville

1985—Ted Kester, Winfield

1984—Joel Wilson, Sistersville

1983—Tony Johnson, Morgantown

1982—Brad King, North Marion

1981—John Koontz, Petersburg

1980—David Bayer, George Washington

1979—Tim Stephens, Parkersburg South

1978—Curt Warner, Pineville

1977—Mike Estes, George Washington

1976—Robert Alexander, South Charleston

1975—Robert Alexander, South Charleston

1974—Robin Lyons, Herbert Hoover

1973—Danny Williams, DuPont

1972—Danny Williams, DuPont

1971—Rick Petty, Williamstown

1970—Rick Hurt, Charleston

1969—Kerry Marbury, Monongah

1968—David Morris, Wayne

1966-67—no award

1965—Melvin Walker, Dunbar

1964—Frank Criniti, Charleston Catholic

1963—Jim Smithberger, Welch

1962—Joe White, Charleston Catholic

1961—Paul Allen, Huntington

1960—Bob Kelley, Weir

1959—Fred Colvard, Logan

1958—Larry Drake, Fairmont Senior

1957—Jim Bargeloh, Parkersburg

1956—Johnny Frye, Huntington East

1955—Tags Meredith, St. Albans

1954—Noel Whipkey, Charleston

1953—Bob Barrett, Barboursville

1952—Don Griffith, Stonewall Jackson

1951—Dale Boyd, Vinson

1950—Jim Early, Parkersburg

1949—Hoppy Shores, Stonewall Jackson

1948—Randy Broyles, Woodrow Wilson

1947—Darrell Patrick Shires, Hinton

Paul Adkins is the Sports Editor of the Logan Banner. Follow him on Twitter at @PAdkinsBanner or email him at padkins@hdmediallc.com

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