Written by Shelly Poe
The late Roger Alford was a three-year letterwinner offensive guard from 1963-65. During his tenure, the Mountaineers posted a record of 17-14.
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An outstanding offensive lineman, he was a part of the 63-48 win over Pitt in 1965 and the 28-27 upset win over ninth-ranked Syracuse in 1964 that propelled the Mountaineers into the Liberty Bowl against Utah.
It was WVU’s first bowl game in 10 years and, with the game played at the Atlantic City Convention Center, was the first time a Mountaineer team played indoors.
Aside from his outstanding play on the field, perhaps one of the most important aspects of his career at West Virginia was the breaking of the "color barrier". Along with fullback Dick Leftridge, Alford was the first African-American student-athlete to receive an athletic scholarship at West Virginia. He was named to the WVU football all-time team from 1960-69.
Alford went on to earn four degrees, completing his studies for bachelor’s, master’s, physical therapy and dental degrees.
A native of Wintersville, Ohio, Alford went on to distinguish himself as a dentist and humanitarian. He served on the board of directors of the WVU Alumni Association and the visiting committee of the WVU School of Physical Education. He died in 1996.