July 27, 1909: WVU Basketball Coach Dyke Raese Born in Tucker County
Coach Dyke Raese was born in Tucker County on July 27, 1909. He played all sports at Davis High School, and later coached the school’s basketball team. Between 1938 and ’42, he coached West Virginia University’s basketball team to a 55-29 record.
His crowning achievement came in 1942, when he led WVU to a National Invitational Tournament championship. At the time, the NIT was a bigger event than the NCAA Tournament. Picked last in a field of eight, WVU upset three teams, including defending champion Long Island, to take the national title. Interestingly, Long Island was coached by Clair Bee, a native of Grafton. The victory marked WVU’s first national sports championship. It was made even sweeter by the fact that all of WVU’s players had come from within a 75-mile radius of Morgantown. This included ‘‘Scotty” Hamilton, who would become WVU’s first basketball All-American.
Dyke Raese later joined his wife’s family business, which included radio stations, the Morgantown Dominion Post newspaper, and limestone and steel plants. He was the father of businessman and gubernatorial candidate John Raese. Dyke Raese died in 2000 at age 91.