MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Mountaineer Nation lost one of its proudest members last weekend with the passing of Dale Wolfley at the age of 56.
Over the last week, family members and those who worked closely with the Wolfman have reflected on what made the former WVU offensive lineman and Gold and Blue Nation analyst such a colorful personality.
“If you live your life and leave a lasting legacy and memories, Dale did that,” said WVU play-by-play announcer Tony Caridi. “You just simply say ‘Wolf’, and people knew excitement, energy, and passion.”
Wolfley, who played for the Mountaineers from 1987-90, came to Morgantown in the footsteps of his older brother Ron. In his book “Tales from the West Virginia Sideline”, his coach Don Nehlen described as Dale a ‘tireless worker.’
“Dale was a heck of a football player,” Nehlen added in an interview with Gold and Blue Nation. “He was the kind of guy that you wanted to be in the foxhole with. He was tough. I guarantee you, he would knock the snot out of you. As offensive linemen go, he was the kind of guy that you loved to coach. He didn’t care anything about getting credit, he just wanted to knock that guy out.”
Wolfley returned to Morgantown in 2008 to work under Bill Stewart’s staff as coordinator of player relations, then moved to working with the Mountaineer Athletic Club in 2010.
“He had a great deal of pride for West Virginia,” said WVU senior director for athletics content John Antonik. “He was a guy that wanted to get people involved. All the former players. That role he had with the Varsity Club was just phenomenal. He brought a lot of that back. A lot of those former players that were a little disconnected. Wolf did that. He had that personality and those guys really just embraced him.”
Wolfley also contributed in broadcasting, working with the Mountaineer Sports Network as a radio analyst and with WVIllustrated and Gold and Blue Nation with his weekly “Wolf’s Den” segments.
“Dale was this larger than life personality when he was on a microphone in front of the camera, but he also is this big giant teddy bear,” said Mountaineer Gameday co-anchor Amanda Mazey. “That’s what I thought was really neat about him. People think of him as the ‘boom’ guy and this larger than life personality. But then when you talk to him away from work, he was this gentle giant and he was kind of quiet.”
“Dale made football fun,” said former Gold and Blue Nation producer Jamie Green. “Not that it wasn’t already, but he had that little extra power to just turn it up a notch and make each play bigger than it may not have been.”
Wolfley leaves behind his former wife, Kathleen, and his four kids Stone, Maverick, Jayden Oz and Talley.
Stone Wolfley, his oldest son, followed in his father’s footsteps as a West Virginia player and says he always looked up to the ‘tireless worker’ mentality that he brought.
“He had a passion for everything he did,” said Stone Wolfley. “It didn’t matter what he was doing, coaching, broadcasting, charity work, being a friend, a spiritual leader or a father, he did it with 100 percent effort and passion.”
“Growing up, he was always present even though he was always busy. He always had time for us but he was constantly working on something. Always pushing himself to be great and he had that passion, that work ethic, that natural drive and I remember just admiring that as a kid.”
“He loved WVU. He loved his job. He loved his charity work. He loved the people that surrounded him. He had such a passion for it all. He’d do it all over again if he could.”