Written by Shelly Poe
The late Marvin "Bucky" Bolyard was a two-sport star at West Virginia from 1957-59 despite being blind in his left eye as a result of an accident sustained in high school.
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An all-state performer from Aurora, W.Va., he was nicknamed the "Aurora Borealis," lettering three years in baseball and two in basketball. On the diamond, Bolyard was an infielder and pitcher for WVU, leading the team in ERA for three seasons; his ERA was 0.75 his senior year. He led WVU in batting as a junior with a .413 average, 26 hits and four home runs.
In basketball, this fan favorite platooned as a guard in the same backcourt as Jerry West, helping WVU win an NCAA record 44 consecutive regular season games in the Southern Conference. Bolyard started 30 of 34 games as a senior, helping WVU advance to the NCAA championship game in 1958-59. That year WVU had a 29-5 record, the most successful season in school history; Bolyard averaged 10.1 points and scored a career high 26 in a game at Northwestern.
After graduating from WVU in 1959, Bolyard played two years in the American Basketball Association for the Pittsburgh Wrens (1961-62) before beginning his coaching career as an assistant basketball coach at VMI. He went on to a lengthy career teaching in the California (Pa.) School District, living in nearby Belle Vernon, Pa. He died September 29, 2001, suffering a heart attack while playing golf.