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State coaching legend Leon McCoy passes away; guided Winfield to two football titles

Leon McCoy, a state football coaching legend at Winfield High School, died Saturday. McCoy won 213 games and a pair of state titles during his illustrious career.

A state coaching legend has died at the age of 87.

Leon McCoy, who won over 200 football games and a pair of state titles in Class AA at Winfield High School, passed away Saturday evening.

McCoy compiled a record of 213-68-1 during his time guiding the Generals. He coach at Winfield from 1955-59, then returned for his most successful stint in the seasons of 1969-89. McCoy did return for one more season at WHS in 1994.

His 1985 and 1987 teams went 13-0 and captured the Class AA state championship. He had five other teams to complete their seasons with perfect 10-0 marks.

In all, 11 teams under McCoy's guidance reached the postseason, including seven straight.

His 1988 squad lost an epic four-overtime battle in the AA championship game at Mountaineer Field in Morgantown against Bridgeport, coached by another state legend in Wayne Jamison.

A native of Charleston, McCoy's program set a state-record by winning 41 consecutive games in the early '70s.

Much of his coaching success was attributed to his belief in weight lifting and conditioning during the offseason. He was truly ahead of the game in that area. McCoy actually made many of the weights used by his players.

He welcomed athletes from other areas to workout at Winfield High. One of those who took advantage was current Marshall University head football coach Doc Holliday, a Hurricane resident who later earned a scholarship to WVU.

After a stellar high school football career at Charleston High, McCoy went to the University of Tennessee. He was a starter as a freshman in several games during the 1947 season.

He left the home of the Vols and came back to his hometown to play at Morris Harvey College (now the University of Charleston).

He was an All-West Virginia Conference pick three straight years in 1949-51. In 1950, he gained All-America status. He helped the Golden Eagles reach the Tangerine Bowl of 1950.

Besides coaching, McCoy was a highly-respected educator.

Winfield High's athletic complex is named in McCoy's honor.


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