Football, Local Sports, Sports, University

University High Sports Hall of Fame inductee Marc Magro looks back happily on late switch made by coach John Kelley

MORGANTOWN — Marc Magro thinks back to before his senior year at University High and what would be different if a switch wasn’t made.
A defensive end his entire career before, Magro, who played for the Hawks from 1999-2003, was asked to move back to linebacker by head coach John Kelley.
“Coach Kelley was paramount in me moving on to the next level at WVU,” Magro said. “Just a little insight into his wisdom and experience, he moved me to linebacker my senior year. If it wasn’t for that move, I never would have received a scholarship to play at WVU.”
Magro was one of 10 members inducted into the inaugural UHS Sports Hall of Class on Friday night. He was an all-state defender for the Hawks before joining the Mountaineers, where he played in 51 games as a linebacker from 2004-07. He finished his college career with 188 tackles — 20 for loss — and four forced fumbles.
Magro even got a shot in the NFL, playing with the St. Louis Rams, Miami Dolphins and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
All of his college success at West Virginia and short professional career came down to a decision from Kelley, with the help of some others.
“Coach (Rich) Rodriguez and Tony Gibson even told me that they wanted to see how I moved in space and how I played at linebacker. With Coach Kelley moving me to playing linebacker, WVU got the opportunity to witness me play there.”
Rodriguez was known for being a tough coach during his time at WVU, but Magro got a little taste of that while he was in high school with Kelley. It made Magro a better player and man moving onto the next level.
“Rich Rodriguez was a demanding coach and expected a lot of out of you, and coach Kelley, in a similar fashion, was that way,” Magro said. “Coach Kelley was very respectively but he expected a lot of you and you had to prove yourself each and every day.”

Others enshrined Friday were Rich Braham, Jedd Gyorko, Rebecca Burbridge, Duke Pride, Bobby Watts, Edward Solomon, Homer Fizer, John Harvey and M. Steven Davis.
Behind the sunny backdrop of Mylan Pharmaceuticals Stadium, the inductees were honored before the Hawks’ football game against Wheeling Park. A new plaque was dedicated inside the school between the main and auxiliary gyms.
“I’m humbled to be honored to be with the likeness of these men and women,” Magro said. “I’m extremely grateful for the men and women that got me here. It’s not about what Marc Magro accomplished, it’s about what everyone else accomplished to get me to where I’ve gotten. My parents, my sisters, all the coaches, the athletic trainers — it’s really an honor to those people more than anything.”
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