12 Aug Statue Stories: Coach Duvall
Remember our statue story last month? Well, it’s a new month and that means a new story! This statue will have it’s first birthday in just a few weeks so we thought we’d share the story behind it.
Coach Harold “Deacon” Duvall was a very successful football coach. With an amazing record of 125-42-3, he had a winning percentage of 73.5%. He lead teams through national championships, undefeated seasons, and created the magnificent program of football for Fairmont State. However, this wasn’t what Duvall wanted to be known for. His motto, engraved on the base of the statue, says “Among my life time goals non is more important to me than preparing my students for success in life.”
We wanted to get to know Coach Duvall a little bit more so we reached out to Stephen Lipscomb, who we worked closely with on this project, to hear this statue’s story.
“Deacon was inducted into the NAIA National Hall of Fame, West Virginia Football Hall of Fame, and received the NAIA 1967 National Coach of the Year award. And in his book “Duvall Football winning a National Championship” Deacon states: The backbone of worthwhile accomplishments is mostly substantial effort and hard work. His accomplishments speak for themselves. But not only was he a model for “substantial effort and hard work”, his morals were truly exceptional! Deacon never used bad language and when his team scored he would neither make an “in your face” jester or say anything negative. He had respect for the game. As an example of his consistency, when Matt Glenn was working on Deacon’s statue, it was suggested by others that Deacon’s arm should be extended with a clinched fist. Deacon’s response? He said his statue should only covey the enjoyment of being a coach using a pleasant facial expression. Following Deacon’s comments, Matt Glenn created Deacon’s superb Statue. Deacon coached at Fairmont State University, West Virginia. “
The statue is placed under the scoreboard at Fairmont Statue football field. Deacon’s wife was there to accept the statue and said, “I wanted to thank all of you on behalf of Deacon. He has been humbled about this. In fact he kept saying ‘I don’t deserve this. My players deserve this. People probably will be mad at me; they think I shouldn’t have this honor, they should have it.’ He really believes that. He has been a great coach. He didn’t get blue chip players because he had no recruiting; he had no scholarships; only two coaches were all he ever had. He still won games. What he did was he had all kinds of strategy and kept a lot of secrets up his sleeve and knew right when to pull them, didn’t he? He would tell you about them if he were here. It’s really, really a great honor. And these guys, they deserve the very best. He didn’t recruit blue chips, but he made blue chips out of them.”
Mrs. Duvall was given a smaller replica of the statue.
We’ve loved learning more about Coach Duvall and the amazing example he set! Share with us your statue story today over on our Facebook page! Thanks for reading!