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Sports journalist to sign new book

By Candace Nelson

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- West Virginia sports journalist Mickey Furfari is coming to Charleston today to sign copies of his new book, "Mickey's Mountaineer Memories Volume II."

Furfari's second book chronicles his experience covering West Virginia University athletics since the 1940s and includes memories that didn't make it into his first book, "Mickey's Mountaineer Memories."

"Some are saying it's even better than the first book four years ago. They encouraged me to start writing two years ago - to date!" said Furfari, 89. "And I hope so; I'm the happiest when I'm writing. I'm still writing for four newspapers, and a fifth uses my column on their website."

This compilation includes a profile on the "Voice of the Mountaineers" Jack Fleming, a piece on longtime basketball coach Bob Huggins, and story about one of his least favorite WVU presidents - Neil Bucklew.

"He was critical of me in the presence of others, and I would think a president of a university should know better. I take him to task, as well as a couple others," Furfari said.

His second edition documents some lighthearted events in his 67 years of covering WVU sports, too.

"The dumbest thing I ever did - I had to dance on the courthouse square at high noon for what the deputy sheriff estimated were 500 people out to watch, including the entire 1965 basketball team because I had foolishly written a column...

"I wrote a column in 1962 guaranteeing West Virginia's basketball team wouldn't win the Southern Conference tournament," Furfari recalls. "West Virginia was on a six-game losing streak, but kicked the hell out of Virginia Tech. The score was 147-73. I will never forget that score.

"The next Monday, three members of the team came to my office at 9 o'clock and said, 'When do you want to do it?' I had written in my column 'West Virginia win the Southern Conference? Perish the thought. If any such miracle come about, Mickey Furfari will dance on the courthouse square at high noon.'"

Furfari pens other tales of WVU player, coach and athletic director Leland Byrd, the late coach Bill Stewart, quarterbacks Pat White and Major Harris, and current Athletic Director Oliver Luck. Furfari's longtime personal friend, former WVU quarterback and NFL referee Fred Wyant, authored the foreword for the book.

Furfari will be signing books at United Bank's main offices at 500 Virginia St. E. from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Mickey's Mountaineer Memories Volume II will be available for $25 plus tax. A limited amount of Mickey's Mountaineer Memories Volume I, which was first released in 2008, will also be available for $25 plus tax. Both books are available together for $40 plus tax.

Copies of Mickey's Mountaineer Memories Volume II can also be ordered on the Beckley Newspapers website at or by calling 1-800-950-0250 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Contact writer Candace Nelson at or 304-348-5148. Follow her at


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