MORGANTOWN - It became official July 1 that Ed Pastilong has retired after 37 years of work as an administrator in West Virginia University's Department of Intercollegiate Athletics. That included 21 years when he served as athletic director, plus the last two as interim AD.
All in all, I firmly believe Pastilong did a truly outstanding job leading the Mountaineers to numerous achievements over the years.
Pastilong, who's 69, was available if needed to help Oliver Luck in taking over and running the show during record-breaking changes.
I've known most of WVU's athletic directors, dating back to the late Harry A. Stansbury and Roy M. "Legs" Hawley. The institution has been blessed in that regard.
"Yes, I've really enjoyed my years in athletics administration at West Virginia University," the native of Moundsville said. "Those were exciting years. They were during a lot of changes in athletics here."
He noted that during the 37-year stretch he worked for and also with not only outstanding staffs, but many highly regarded people.
Those included Dr. Leland Byrd (AD), Bobby Bowden (football coach), Frank Cignetti (football coach), and Fred Schaus (AD, among other key roles).
"I also was briefly associated with Gene Corum when he was athletic director," said Pastilong, who lettered as a quarterback in the mid-1960s. "So it was enjoyable working for those gentlemen," he said.
"Then there were some presidents I liked working for as athletic director and I can't say enough good things about those 200-and-some people on my staff."
Pastilong admittedly admired his staffers' work ethics and the responsibilities they shared.
He also remembers how nice it was dealing with other departments that cooperate with athletics, including academics, compliance and other vital units.
"One thing that bothers me is that some people don't realize the enormous responsibilities that are involved in running an athletic department," he said. "What's significant to me and has always been important to me is how those workers keep the department operating so smoothly. Another thing I'm so excited about is that we had the opportunity to be part of the formation (in the 1990s) of the Big East as an all-sports conference.
"For many years, we were an independent in some situations. Being in a good conference is beneficial to West Virginia. We had the opportunity and responsibilities to be part of that."
Pastilong believes that the Mountaineers fared extremely well in that league. He mentioned the school's 3-0 record in the league's BCS football bowl games and the men's basketball teams advancement to the Final Four two years ago.
And the Big East basketball tournament was played in Madison Square Garden - the world's largest sports venue.
"It's been very, very satisfactory to me."
He added: "We also are very proud of the fact we were able to not only upkeep, but expand our facilities. The addition of suites at Mountaineer Field and improvements at the WVU Coliseum were significant."
Those suites also provide annual income for the department. And Pastilong's last major project was completion of the state-of-art basketball practice facilities next to the Coliseum.
Pastilong and wife Mona have two children and four grandchildren.
Kimberly is married to Anthony DeFelice and Amy is married to Pat Richter. The grandchildren are Michael and Nick DeFelice and twins Shawn and Ryan Richter.