Members of WVU's first football team (1981)
Members of West Virginia University's first football team (1891)

A Brief History of Football at West Virginia University

On April 21, 1890, members of the boat and tennis club organized the West Virginia University Athletic Association to help solicit funds to establish a football team on campus of West Virginia University. With the assistance from a play (Richard III), funds were generated by the end of 1890 for football at WVU. The following year (1891), football was organized by students. West Virginia University, however, lost its first game to Washington and Jefferson by the score of 72-0. Historical records indicate that no African-American athletes played on the varsity football team between 1891 and 1963.

First African-Americans to Play Football at West Virginia University

The first African-American athletes who played football at West Virginia were Roger Alford  (offensive guard, 1963-1965) from Winterville, Ohio,  and Dick Leftridge (running back, 1963-1965) from Hinton, West Virginia, .