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Paul Snider, veteran middle school football coach, dead at 53

by Mike Nutter

SPORTS WRITER

CLARKSBURG -- Paul Snider, a longtime leader in the educational and academic community in Harrison County, died early Monday morning at Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown from an apparent heart attack. He was 53.

Snider was currently teaching industrial arts at Bridgeport High School after serving the same position at Washington Irving Middle School for many years. He was the boys bas-

ketball and football coach at WI last year. However, Snider's name is synonymous with Roosevelt-Wilson High School where he was a well-respected varsity assistant football and basketball coach and head jun-

ior high boys basketball coach.

"Paul went to school (at Roosevelt-Wilson), he coached there, he taught there ... it's like losing a member in your family," Robert C. Byrd assistant principal Doug Hogue said. "Paul was truly one of the good guys. He coached for all the right reasons."

Snider began coaching in the early '70s for then-head football coach Frank Giaquinto at R-W. He then served under Del Gainer and Roger Gorby at the Nutter Fort school before becoming the head football coach at R-W and Washington Irving Middle Schools.

"Without question, Paul was one of the nicest, gentlest men I have ever been around," Gainer said. "There's probably few people who have ever seen him angry.

"I think maybe once or twice I saw him get emotional during a game. Paul loved working with kids."

After serving as the freshman boys basketball coach at Roosevelt-Wilson High in the mid '80s, Snider became Hogue's varsity assistant for three seasons. After that, the two switched roles in football for nine years in middle school. During that time, Snider's teams won five Harrison County titles and finished runner-up four times. He even coached the WI softball team one season when another coach could not be found.

"Paul was the big, quiet type, and I was a little guy who wanted to voice his opinion," Hogue said. "I think that's why we had so much fun together."

A memorial scholarship is being established in his name through the R-W/WI/Kelly Miller/R.C. Byrd Scholarship Foundation.

Donations to the Paul J. Snider Scholarship Fund may be sent to The Scholarship Foundation, c/o Robert C. Byrd High School, One Eagle Way, Clarksburg WV 26301.

"He loved coaching kids," Hogue said. "If there was anything at all you needed, anything Paul would do it for you. I don't think I ever heard anyone say an unkind word about him.

"It's tough when something like this happens to someone so close. He was a good friend. You don't question why it happens. The Lord may have needed a good coach."

Friends may call at the Davis-Weaver Funeral Home in Clarksburg from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday. A funeral service will be held at 1 p.m. Thursday at the Congregational Missionary Church in Stonewood. Interment will follow at Stonewall Park Cemetery.

Sports writer Mike Nutter can be reached at 626-1444 or by e-mail at mnutter@exponent-telegram.com

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