Written by Michael Fragale
Robert Moss was an outstanding running back during WVU’s golden era of football in the glorious 1950s.
Back to Hall Of Fame
A native of Huntington, he had a hand in compiling 7-2, 8-2, 8-1 and 8-2 records, including an appearance in the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 1, 1954. He had career totals of 1,403 yards rushing and 18 touchdowns on 180 carries.
Moss hit a peak in his senior year of 1955, gaining 807 yards on only 98 attempts. His 8.2 yards per carry average set a Mountaineer record.
The 6-1, 200-pound speedster was long-gaited, strong-legged and explosive as a runner. He had to share totes with several other talented backs. He also returned kicks.
Moss is a member of WVU’s all-time team for the period 1950-59. He earned All-Southern Conference recognition as a senior.
Cam Henderson, head football coach at Marshall in the 1940s and 50s, called the Huntington East two-sport all-starter “the best runner I’ve seen in 38 years of coaching.”
After receiving his bachelor’s degree in business administration, he was a fourth-round selection of the Cleveland Browns in the NFL draft. But following a pro tryout, he decided to give up football in favor of a military career.
Moss joined the Navy’s flight-training program in 1957 and spent the next 26 years serving his country as a Naval officer. He retired as a commander in 1983 and settled down in Pensacola, Fla., where he still resides.
He traveled extensively in the service. He recorded stints in Hawaii, the Philippines, Japan, Taiwan, Thailand and New Zealand. He also served in the Vietnam War.
Moss and wife Jackie have three daughters, a son and six grandchildren.