Doug Huff and Hugh Stobbs enter Wheeling Hall of Fame | News, Sports, Jobs
A man has been acclaimed by the state and the nation during his decades as a sports reporter in the Ohio Valley. The other founded a staple of road racing in America and a sporting event that has become a tradition of Wheeling.
The two, former Intelligencer sports editor Doug Huff and the late Hugh Stobbs – founder and longtime director of the Elby’s Distance Run, now the Ogden Newspapers Half-Marathon Classic – will be honored among Wheeling inductees Hall of Fame Class of 2021 during a ceremony on September 10 at the WesBanco Arena.
The catered event, which will start at 6 p.m., is open to the public. Tickets can be purchased at wesbancoarena.com, or by calling 304-233-7000 Monday through Friday between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
During his five decades of sports writing throughout West Virginia, Huff was a mainstay of the Pages Intelligencer, the newspaper’s associate sports editor from 1967 to 1978, sports editor from 1979 to 1999, and contract columnist from 2000 to 2012.
Yet his influence extended far beyond the borders of the Ohio Valley.
When the National Federation of State High School Associations published the first book of national high school sports records in 1978, he was instrumental in the original research as editor.
Huff has also written National Reports on High Schools, All-America Preseason Teams, Top College Rookies, and National Team Rankings for Soccer, Men’s Basketball and Baseball for Street & Smith magazines. from 1975 to 2008.
As a sports historian, he was known throughout the country. When he became the second sports reporter for a newspaper to be inducted into the National High School Sports Hall of Fame in 1999, the award’s biography began: National Base.
He has contributed to countless national sports publications and is also the author of the first all-state sports reference work, “Doug Huff’s Sports in West Virginia, A Pictorial History” in 1978 and co-author of “How to Watch Sports on TV… And Enjoy It ”in 1972, and has contributed to about 30 other books. In his book “Incredible Football Feats”, Jim Benagh called it “a single clearinghouse for high school records.”
Huff has served on six Hall of Fame Boards of Directors located in the Ohio Valley and the state.
He was the original curator and major contributor to the Ohio Valley Sports Conference Sports Museum inside the WesBanco Arena.
A life member of the West Virginia Sports Writers Association and Secretary-Treasurer since 1982, he was a board member of the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association and the Football Writers Association of America, a member of the US Basketball Writers Association of America , and a lifetime member of the WVU Alumni and WVU School of Journalism Alumni.
A New Year’s resolution was the gateway for Stobbs to the world of long-distance running. The only child of Hugh Nevin Stobbs and Adelaide Bachmann Stobbs, was born in 1935 in Montgomery, Alabama. At the age of three, her family returned to their hometown of Wheeling.
The Linsly Military Institute graduate decided in his mid-30s to quit smoking and lose weight. To do this, he began to run. This defining act would lead Stobbs on a path to national prominence in a sport he had never foreseen or anticipated.
In 1976, Stobbs, with the support of several friends and fellow runners, shared a vision for a road running event that involved replicating the experience of running a marathon, without running 26.2 miles. That’s when the Elby’s First National Bank 20-Kilometer Distance Classic was born.
With Stobbs as founder and race director, on May 28, 1977, the first Classic firmly established Wheeling on the international road racing map for many years. The event featured the participation of the world’s top elite long distance runners, with Olympic gold medalist Frank Shorter and Boston Marathon winners Bill Rogers, Tom Fleming and Jack Fultz. Future events would typically include top world-class distance athletes, men and women, from around the world.
With Stobbs at the helm as Race Director for the next 25 years, more than 30,000 runners from 69 different countries took to the start line at Fourteenth and Main Streets in downtown Wheeling on Saturday weekend. end of Memorial Day. This annual Memorial Day weekend event continues today as it morphed into the Ogden Newspaper Half Marathon classic.
During this time, Stobbs found time to complete 56 marathons (26.2 miles) across North America and Europe, as well as compete in numerous ultramarathons and ultra-endurance running events. He later founded the Lois Stobbs Memorial Veterans 10K.
Beyond his work in the running world, Stobbs also served on the Ohio County Board of Education for 22 years, eight of which as chairman of the board; five years as a West Liberty University cross country and track coach, member of the Wheeling Traffic Commission and YMCA Board of Directors, President of the Wheeling Heart Association, and Board Member and President of RESA 6. He was named Distinguished West Virginian and received the Dapper Dan Award for Outstanding Achievement. Stobbs died in December at the age of 85.