Written by Bryan Messerly
Lowry Stoops was a longtime administrator in the WVU Department of Intercollegiate Athletics, serving as Assistant Athletic Director from 1926-62. He served with athletic directors Harry Stansbury, Roy Hawley and Red Brown.
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A three-year letterman in baseball from 1916-18, Stoops served with the Army for 21 months during World War I, following his graduation from West Virginia. Before joining WVU Athletics in 1926, he held positions as principal of Weir High School, superintendent of the New Cumberland School District and athletic director at West Liberty.
A native of Tustin, Calif., Stoops served in many roles in his capacity as an administrator. He handled travel arrangements for WVU football, basketball, baseball and other varsity athletic teams. Stoops was the founder of the Mountaineer Scholarship Fund, which is currently known as the Mountaineer Athletic Club. He traveled throughout the state of West Virginia in difficult times speaking about the merits of West Virginia University, the athletic programs and its student-athletes. His ability to raise money helped lay the foundation for WVU athletics to move to a new level.
Stoops served as interim athletic director in 1954 following the tragic death of athletic director Roy Hawley. Stoops remained as assistant athletic director until his retirement in 1962. At his retirement, Stoops was honored alongside legendary Mountaineer great Ira Errett Rodgers at a testimonial dinner to celebrate their retirements.
Stoops died May 14, 1969, at age 77 in Morgantown. A.L. “Shorty” Hardman, sports editor of the Charleston Gazette said, “Stoops leaves many legends behind him. These legends will never die; the events which marked his life will be remembered as long as anyone talks about West Virginia University and its athletics.”
Stoops was married to Mary Lee Williamson and had two children, Lowry Stoops Jr. and Mary Alice Fite, both WVU alums.