Continuing on with our 100 day countdown to WVU’s season opener against the Alabama Crimson Tide, we have reached day 4, the number once worn by WVU quarterback, Marc Bulger.
Originally from nearby Pittsburgh, PA, Bulger was a four-year member of the WVU football program, from 1996 to 1999. During his Mountaineer career, Bulger made 38 career appearances (32 starts) for West Virginia. In those contests, Bulger completed 630 career passes for 8,153 yards, and 59 touchdown passes.
Bulger finished his career as the all-time school leader in all three of those particular stat categories. Currently, he ranks second in each category after being passed in recent years by Geno Smith. Bulger made two bowl appearances for the school (1997 Carquest and 1998 Insight) and he was a second team, all-Big East selection following his junior season.
As a freshman, Bulger made just six appearances for the Mountaineers over the course of the 1996 campaign. That season, Bulger completed 19 passes for 352 yards, three touchdowns, and an interception. The Mountaineers finished the 1996 season with a record of 8-4 overall after they lost to North Carolina 20-13 in the 1997 Gator Bowl.
The following season, Bulger took over as full time starter at the quarterback position for the departed Chad Johnston. In 12 games, Bulger completed 192 passes for 2,465 yards, 14 touchdowns, and ten interceptions. Bulger turned in two 300+ yard passing games in the season’s final two games, and helped lead to a berth in the 1997 Carquest Bowl. The Mountaineers would fall in their post season match-up to Georgia Tech 35-30.
In his junior season in the program, the 6’3” 203 pound gunslinger had a career year statistically as he completed a then school single-season record 274 completions for passes for 3,607 yards, and 31 touchdowns. Bulger set three different school single-game passing records that season as he recorded six touchdown passes in a 52-14 road victory against Pitt, and then completed 34 passes for 429 yards in the 1998 Insight.com bowl against Missouri. West Virginia finished the year with a mark of 8-4 overall after dropping a 34-31 decision to Missouri in the postseason. Bulger, however, had his season end on a bright note as he earned a second team, all-Big East selection following the 1998 season.
As a senior, Bulger missed three of the team’s 11 games due to injury. He was able to have another fine season for the old Gold and Blue in his final season at the school as he completed 145 passes for 1,729 yards and 11 touchdowns. The team struggled throughout due to injuries and inconsistent play as West Virginia finished the year 4-7 overall.
Marc Bulger graduated from West Virginia University in the spring of 2000 with a bachelor’s degree in sports management. Bulger went on to pursue a career in professional football following his graduation as he went on to be selected in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL draft by the New Orleans Saints.
Bulger was quickly cut by the Saints leading him to sign with the St. Louis Rams as a member of the organization’s practice squad. He would wait two years before he would appear in a single regular season game for the Rams. During the 2003 regular season, Bulger was able to make a name for himself league wide as he helped lead the Rams to an NFC West Division title, and a first-round bye in the 2003 postseason after finishing the year 12-4. That year, Bulger completed 336 passes for 3,845 yards, and 22 touchdowns. St. Louis fell in double-overtime to Carolina in that year’s NFC divisional round. For his individual efforts during the year, Bulger was honored with his very first Pro Bowl selection. Bulger helped lead the NFC all-star team to a 55-52 victory over the AFC to be awarded the game’s MVP award.
Bulger would go on to lead the Rams back to the playoffs the following year, and earned one more Pro Bowl (2006) selection during his memorable ten years in St. Louis. After 11 seasons in the league, Bulger finished his career with 1,969 completions for 22,814 yards, 122 touchdowns, and a career passer rating of 84.4.
Currently, Bulger is retired from the NFL. He is the brother of two WVU women’s basketball stand-outs, Kate and Meg Bulger. Marc Bulger is also a member of the WVU Sports Hall-of-Fame, having received induction in 2010.
All countdown profiles of numbers 100-5 are still available here at WVUPros.com.