Written by Shelly Poe
Gale Catlett was a Mountaineer basketball player from 1959-63, helping the Mountaineers to records of 24-4, 26-6 and 23-8 and two NCAA tournament berths.
After graduation in 1963, he started a career in college coaching that took him to Richmond, Davidson, Kansas and Kentucky. In 1972, he was named head coach at Cincinnati, posting a 126-44 record in six seasons, with three NCAA and one NIT appearance. During the 1976-77 season, his team was ranked as high as second in the nation.
Catlett returned to his alma mater as head coach in 1978, posting a WVU record of 439-276 over the next 24 years and an overall coaching mark of 565-320, making him just the 45th Division I coach all-time to win 500 career games.
Taking 20 teams to postseason play (11 NCAA/9 NIT), he coached two Metro Conference champions (1975-76), five Atlantic 10 regular season and two A-10 tournament (1983-84) champions, and shepherded WVU’s move into BIG EAST competition, where his 1998 club advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16. He retired in 2002.
Catlett and his wife Anise, a Morgantown native and former WVU cheerleader, have two daughters, Krista (who is married to Ed Neumann) and Kara. They spend their time between homes in Morgantown and his hometown of Hedgesville, W.Va.