Continuing on with our 100 day countdown to WVU’s season opener against the Alabama Crimson Tide, we have reached day 60, the number once worn by WVU Hall of Fame guard, Gene Corum.
Corum joined the Mountaineer football program in 1941 by way of Huntington, WV. He spent four seasons in the program, playing in 1941-42 before leaving school for four years to serve in the military during World War II. Following the end of the war, Corum returned to school to finish out his playing career in the 1946 and 47 seasons.
Although Corum was significantly undersized for his position as he only weighed 185 pounds, he was able to earn a starting spot during his sophomore season, a post he would never relinquish during the latter part of his playing career.
Corum’s most memorable moment while playing for the school came in the 1947 edition of the “Backyard Brawl.” While playing on special teams during a Pitt punting situation, Corum was able to bust through the line to block the kick. He then picked up the ball to take it for a touchdown. Unfortunately, Corum just happened to stop ten yards short of the goal line due to confusion caused by the entire field being covered by snow. However, the Mountaineer offense was able to score a few plays later, and would go on to beat their rivals 17-2.
Gene Corum would go on to graduate from West Virginia University in 1948 with a bachelor’s degree. He would go on to later earn a master’s degree from the school to complete his educational career.
Corum would then pursue a career in coaching, beginning in the high school ranks in 1948. After a successful two year run at Point Marion High School, WVU coach Art Lewis then would add Corum to his staff at the start of the 1950 season where he would eventually emerge as one of Lewis’s top assistants.
Corum spent ten seasons in the position before being promoted to head coach in 1960 following the resignation of coach Lewis. In five seasons as head coach of the Mountaineers, Corum went 29-30-2, winning two Southern Conference titles (1964 and 1965), and earning a bid to the 1964 Liberty Bowl, the first bowl game to ever be held indoors.
Following his coaching career, Corum spent a great deal of time teaching at West Virginia University in the Physical Education department. He would also serve on Morgantown’s city council for a term.
Corum passed away in January of 2010 at the age of 88. He will always be remembered for his long standing devotion and contributions to the school, the sport of football, the town of Morgantown, and the state of West Virginia. In recognition of all this, Corum is forever immortalized in the WVU athletic Hall of Fame, receiving induction in 1984.
All countdown profiles of numbers 100-61 are still available here at WVUPros.com.