Nov 11, 2017
BUCKHANNON -- West Virginia Wesleyan Alumnus George Claffey is giving back to the institution. On Saturday morning, the new golf room and its array of equipment was officially dedicated on campus.
Presentations were offered by Wesleyan Athletic Director Randy Tenney, Vice President for Advancement Bob Skinner, and President Joel Thierstein. Claffey followed with a speech detailing his memories at Wesleyan, and what the institution has meant to him. He closed the ceremony by presenting a check to golf coach J.D. Lamm.
A reveal of the equipment itself followed. Claffey's gift provided a simulator that can be used in a variety of venues for the program. The Bobcat teams can get extensive practice indoors during the season, and can get in their needed reps over the winter months.
Claffey was a 1980 graduate, and was a standout kicker on the football team. On November 8, 1980, he kicked the 53-yard game-winning field goal over West Liberty to give the Bobcats an epic 10-9 victory. It was a school record that still stands.
Skinner spoke of the memory of that kick.
"West Liberty's band was in the back of the end zone, prepping to start the fight song to celebrate a victory," Skinner said. "But George's kick hit the cross bar, and bounced over and into the middle of their band."
Claffey has spent over 30 years as an educator and golf professional, and is an avid ambassador for the sport. He is a First Tee program leader, and travels to Indonesia and the Philippines to introduce kids to the game of golf. He also has the Canes for Claffey program which helps crippled children and adults walk.
Wesleyan's golf program is moving in a very positive direction. This season, the women's team placed second in the Mountain East Conference, the school's highest finish ever. The men finished third, the highest Bobcat placing during the five years of the MEC existence. The new upgraded facilities will be a major boon to the current corps of Wesleyan golfers.
"My greatest memories are at Wesleyan, and in the state of West Virginia," Claffey said. "I am honored to be able to give back, and to help the current athletes here at Wesleyan."