WVU Still Like Home to Fisher
- By Tim Goodenow
- May 06, 2011 09:45 AM
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Talk to any adult about going to college and it’s more than likely you will hear the phrase “the best years of your life” at least a couple times. Count former Mountaineer Charles Fisher (1995-98) among them.
The former all-Big East cornerback from Aliquippa, Pa., helped West Virginia to 28 victories during his time in the Old Gold and Blue uniform. But it was beyond his stellar gridiron play where he enhanced his knowledge and created lifelong friendships.
“It always feels good to be back on campus,” said an appreciative Fisher. “I learned so much as a student and as a football player here. It helped shaped my life in so many ways, meeting so many good people.”
Fisher was fortunate enough to extend his playing career beyond Mountaineer Field, landing a spot in the National Football League following his second round draft selection by the Cincinnati Bengals in 1999. His much anticipated career in the NFL was cut short, essentially before it even started.
In the Bengals’ season-opening game at Tennessee, Fisher’s knee buckled in the first quarter as he tore three ligaments – the anterior cruciate, medial collateral and posterior cruciate. The devastating injury abruptly ended his career.
Despite the hard luck, his preparation and attention to detail while in Morgantown helped prepare him for front office life and on the entrepreneurial track.
Currently an NFL scout for the Seattle Seahawks, Fisher made a return visit to campus last weekend for West Virginia’s spring game activities, including a luncheon honoring associate athletic director Garrett Ford, who’s retiring after 44 years of service to WVU.
“Coach Ford always took the time out of his day to develop young guys into men,” said Fisher of Ford’s impact on student-athletes. “It’s easy for guys to come here and start to lose their way or try to figure out life a little bit. He was very instrumental in getting guys to understand you have to go to school, you have to play football and to do the right things.
“He has played a large role in a number of guys graduating and becoming adults while they were here.”
Unlike many former student-athletes who struggle to make it back each year because of their busy schedules, Fisher is among the few who frequent the hallways of the Puskar Center.
“I’ve been an NFL scout for quite some time now,” explained Fisher. “Every year it was a point to make it to at least one, if not two or three games per year. So, I get to come back quite often. I love coming here and watching the football games and the environment in which games are played.
“This is home to me and I love coming back. “
Returning to campus means reminiscing about the good times, but also embracing the growth around town.
“Well, if you just look around the university and the city, it’s totally different,” laughed Fisher. “A lot of things that were once here are no longer. Even the house with the sign that read ‘if you live here, you would be home by now’ when you come around the circle, it’s gone. Those types of places are gone.”
Also among the change is a new system for his Mountaineer football team with its much-anticipated, high octane, Dana Holgorsen-led offense.
“I’ve heard a lot about him through my NFL contacts and scouts,” said Fisher. “And a lot of guys think he is a brilliant offensive mind. I am very excited to see what he brings to the table.”
There are still bragging rights with your former college, especially for individuals such as Fisher in the football profession. He finds himself enjoying West Virginia’s recent success, and hopes to be able to continue some good-natured ribbing with guys from other schools.
“I think Mr. (Oliver) Luck is putting his best foot forward to get this right,” added Fisher. “I think he has championship aspirations on his mind. And that makes me feel good, to know he thinks highly enough of this university that he may be able to bring a championship here.”