Hometown: Fredricktown, PA
Record: 31-7, Bowl Record: 0-1
Joe Marconi was a punishing runner in the T formation for the Mountaineers in the 1950s. He was a bruising compliment to Bobby Moss, giving the Mountaineers a formidable rushing attack. Marconi originally came to West Virginia as a defensive back recruit, but his talent for running the ball and finding space quickly shown through his freshman season, prompting Coach Lewis to move him to fullback. While he was used predominantly in the backfield, he did see some reps as a defensive back as well, snaring 5 career interceptions. As a runner, he totaled 1,026 yards and 13 touchdowns over four seasons, impressive statistics for a fullback. Marconi left Morgantown for the NFL in the spring of 1956, joining the Los Angeles Rams. He would later end up playing with the Chicago Bears where he won an NFL Championship and earned a Pro Bowl selection. He was inducted into the WVU Sports Hall of Fame in 1993.
Memorable Game: Marconi saved his best performance for the last game of his Mountaineer career, on the road against the North Carolina State University Wolfpack. The Mountaineers had suffered two straight losses after a 7 game winning streak to begin the season. Marconi and the WVU seniors wanted to finish with one more win. The Mountaineers got a big win over the Wolfpack, dominating the game on both sides of the football. Marconi pounded NC State for 118 yards on the ground and two touchdowns.
Competition: As we have done with previous numbers on this countdown, when a WVU Sports Hall of Famer is available, they get the selection. Joe Marconi is a distinguished Mountaineer alumni and more than worthy of this spot on the countdown. I will give honorable mention to Corey McIntyre, who like Marconi, transitioned to a successful Mountaineer career as a fullback.
Teaser: We continue the countdown with another member of the WVU Sports Hall of Fame. The featured player at #33 is a native of Yukon, WV and he is a true mountain man. If he could grow an impressive beard, he would look strikingly like Yukon Cornelius or maybe the “bumble.” Yes, I am making a Christmas in July reference. It’s my birthday and I’ll reference Rudolph if I want to.