The West Virginia University Department of Intercollegiate Athletics lost two of its valued members recently.
James “Jim” Montgomery died Wednesday, Aug. 29 in Morgantown and Homer E. Shaffer died Sept. 3 in Waynesburg, Pa.
Montgomery, an Indiana, Pa. native, was a longtime member of the football team video crew before retiring from that capacity in 2008. Montgomery was hired by WVU Photographic Services in 1970 and served in various capacities in that department until his retirement.
Montgomery was 67 at the time of his death.
Shaffer, born in Sines, Md., was a three-year letterman on the Mountaineer baseball team in the mid-1940s playing for legendary coach Steve Harrick before becoming a high school teacher and coach in Virginia, West Virginia and Pennsylvania. Upon his return to the area, Homer became a trusted scoreboard operator for Mountaineer football and basketball games, at one point working 278 consecutive football games before his retirement.
“Homer dearly loved the University and he dearly loved the Mountaineers,” said Jay Redmond, who worked alongside Homer for many years and eventually replaced him as the scoreboard operator for WVU home football and basketball games. “He was a great story teller and he would just regale in stories, especially about the old coaches and the old athletic directors here.”
Homer also spent time working as Jack Fleming’s spotter on Mountaineer radio broadcasts.
“He started here in the early 1950s and he never missed a game until his health and his age caught up with him,” said Redmond.
Shaffer was 91.
The Department of Intercollegiate Athletics sincerely appreciates their great service to West Virginia University and our thoughts and prayers go out to the Montgomery and Shaffer families.Check out Antonik's new book The Backyard Brawl: Stories from One of the Weirdest, Wildest, Longest Running, and Most Intense Rivalries in College Football History now available in bookstores. A portion of the sales benefit the WVU Department of Intercollegiate Athletics. Also, be sure to "Like" the new Backyard Brawl Facebook page and tell us your personal WVU-Pitt story.