A college football coach with deep West Virginia roots will receive significant - and long overdue - attention from his peers this coming weekend.
It's not Rich Rodriguez.
RichRod is a state native with state coaching history, and he's known for his offense ... but none of his teams ever had 1,215 yards in one game, which the coach to be honored once experienced.
At the American Football Coaches Association's annual convention in Dallas, the seventh AFCA Trailblazer Award will go to Harry "Big Jeff" Jefferson. The honor is presented to early coaching leaders who coached at historically black colleges and universities.
Of the seven honorees, Jefferson is the second West Virginia native. The late Southern University Coach Arnett "Ace" Mumford, the 2006 AFCA Trailblazer, was a Buckhannon native who graduated from Summer High in Parkersburg.
Jefferson was more than a football coach. He made a significant contribution to the fabric of college basketball.
Jefferson, a Parkersburg native, was head football coach at four HBCU schools, but most notably served two stints at Bluefield State, known at Bluefield Colored Institute when "Big Jeff" first moved there in 1925.
Much of Jefferson's story is chronicled in the book "Trailblazers," penned by former West Virginia State Coach and current WVSU instructor Oree Banks a couple of years ago. Jefferson attended the West Virginia Colored Institute, which is now WVSU, back in the early '20s before finishing his education at Ohio University.
Banks will be in Dallas to help represent Jefferson, who died in 1966. Bluefield State will be represented at the AFCA awards dinner Monday by Deirdre Guyton, the BSC director of alumni affairs.
Bluefield State dropped football just before the 1981 season - West Virginia Conference Commissioner Barry Blizzard, then the BSC athletic director, still has a schedule card for that unplayed season - but Big Blue football hasn't been forgotten by the AFCA.
In fact, the Big Blues got their nickname indirectly from Jefferson. His team's stadium was an excavated hollow next to U.S. 52 that became known as the BeCeEye (as in BCI) Bowl. The school's BeCeyes, coached by "Big Jeff," morphed into the Big Blues.