The Fayette Tribune, Oak Hill, W.Va.

Sports

January 30, 2014

Barrett portrait unveiled

MONTGOMERY — West Virginia Tech, Carolyn Barrett said Saturday, gave her late husband, Mike, a huge, early stepping stone to what turned out to be a very rewarding life.

On Saturday, the WVU Tech athletic community unveiled a portrait of Barrett, who passed away on Aug. 8, 2011.

“Mike was at Tech at the beginning of his whole adult life,” Carolyn Barrett said. “He made lasting friendships.

“He thought so much about West Virginia.”

Barrett, a Richwood High standout and a member of the WVU Tech Athletic Hall of Fame, had his number 10 retired by Tech in 2003.

In addition to his stellar career in Montgomery, Barrett’s basketball-playing days also featured a spot on the United States basketball team which won the gold medal in the 1968 Summer Olympics at Mexico City, followed by a four-year stint in the American Basketball Association, during which he was a first-team member of the ABA All-Rookie team.

He was named the 1968 Amateur Athlete of the Year in West Virginia.

“Mike Barrett was one of the greatest players I ever coached,” legendary Tech coach Neal Baisi once said of Barrett. “He changed things around for our team.

“I’m proud to have coached a player like Mike Barrett.”

In 1994, Barrett told The Montgomery Herald, “The basketball at Tech was the most enjoyable basketball I’ve ever played. We had a huge rivalry with Morris Harvey (now the University of Charleston), and the conference (WVIAC) was real strong.”

After basketball, Barrett built a successful career with Wrangler jeans.

“Basketball changed his life,” said Carolyn, who said she was very appreciative of Saturday’s event.

“I don’t want anybody to forget about him,” said an emotional Barrett, who now resides in Loganville, Ga.

She hopes the public’s continued support of the Mike Barrett Scholarship at Tech “could help change someone’s life.”

Donations can be sent to the WVU Tech Department of Athletics, 405 Fayette Pike, Montgomery, WV 25136. The memo line should read WVU-F Mike Barrett Scholarship.

— E-mail: skeenan@register-herald.com

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