Written by Bryan Messerly
Ed Pastilong spearheaded WVU’s growth into one of the nation’s finest intercollegiate athletic programs on and off the playing fields during his 20-year tenure as director of athletics from 1989-2010. His vision helped guide, mold and shape the student-athlete experience into a positive one at WVU through a successful, across-the-board, total athletic program. At the time of his departure, Pastilong had one of the longest-serving tenures of any athletic director at a BCS-level school.
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During his tenure, Pastilong directed more than $65 million in facility renovations, witnessed the athletic department’s budget increase from $20 million to more than $50 million, steered WVU into the Big East football conference in 1991 and full-fledged member status in the league in 1995, the school’s first-ever association in a major athletic conference. He also initiated the Athletic Director’s Academic Honor Roll, where nearly 4,000 student-athletes have been recognized for outstanding work in the classroom. Pastilong solicited financial support to start the Athletic Scholarship Endowment Fund, providing a perpetual source of financial support for athletic scholarships that has now grown to nearly $30 million dollars.
The facility upgrades and capital improvements alone have been staggering. Since 1989, WVU has made tremendous strides to its football facility, Mountaineer Field at Milan Puskar Stadium. Suites to three sides of the stadium, Touchdown Terrace, the Caperton Indoor Practice Facility, new locker rooms, the Academic Center and the Hall of Traditions highlight the making of WVU’s football facility into one of the nation’s finest.
Other facility improvements under Pastilong’s tenure include renovations to the WVU Coliseum and Hawley Field and the construction of Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium, Cary Gym for Mountaineer Gymnastics, a state-of-the-art wrestling facility and a basketball practice facility.
On the playing fields, the last five-plus years have arguably been the most successful in the history of West Virginia University athletics. As proof, WVU has finished in the top 50 in the Directors’ Cup standings for four straight years, including a school-best 30th place in 2009.
Pastilong joined the athletic department as football recruiting coordinator in 1976 and two years later became its scholarship officer.
In 1979, he was named assistant athletic director for facilities and operations. He spearheaded the planning and management of all home athletic contests, as well as the scheduling and the maintenance of the Coliseum and stadium; Pastilong was also on the board for the planning and building of Mountaineer Field. He remained director of athletic facilities until his promotion to associate athletic director in 1987.
For the last two years, Pastilong has served as director of athletics emeritus at WVU.
Prior to West Virginia, Pastilong served football coaching stints at Scott High in Madison, W.Va., and at Salem College, where he tutored the Tigers from 1969-75, winning more games than any other West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference team during that period. He was also the school's dean of health and physical education from 1972-75.
He received his bachelor's degree from WVU in physical education in 1966, and later earned a master's degree from WVU. As a Mountaineer player, Pastilong lettered in 1964 and 1965, completing 37 of 115 passes for 728 yards and six touchdowns, despite playing with a debilitating shoulder injury.
Pastilong and his wife, Mona, have two daughters – Kim DeFelice and her husband, Anthony, and Amy Richter and her husband, Pat, and four grandsons, Michael and Nick DeFelice and Ryan and Shawn Richter.