Jack Fleming Statue, Erickson Alumni Center
Jack Fleming (1923-2001) was an announcer for the Pittsburgh Steelers, Chicago Bulls, and WVU football and basketball. Known as the "Voice of the Mountaineers," Jack Fleming served as WVU's football and basketball announcer intermittently from 1947 to 1996. This statue was commissioned by John and Anita Fleming in 2009 and was completed by artist Jamie Lester. Located in the Fleming Corner of the Erickson Alumni Center, the Vandalia Bronze statue of Fleming serves as a memorial to the man once described by Jerry West as "an artist with words."
Backstory and Context
Jack Fleming was born in Morgantown on February 3, 1923. Fleming served as a United States Air Force navigator during World War II, where he flew 23 combat missions. Fleming found his love for radio while recuperating at Ashford Military Hospital. He attended West Virginia University through the GI Bill, a federal law signed in 1944 that supported millions of veterans returning from war. It was at WVU that he began his career as a sportscaster, announcing games as an undergraduate beginning in 1947.
Known as the “Voice of the Mountaineers,” Fleming served as the school's football and basketball announcer during the periods 1947–1959, 1962–1969, and 1974–1996. He was also the announcer for the Pittsburgh Steelers (1965-1993) and the Chicago Bulls (1970–1973; 1978–1979). He is most famous for his call of the “Immaculate Reception” pass caught by Pittsburgh Steelers’ Franco Harris in the 1972 Steelers-Oakland Raiders playoff game. In addition to play-by-play announcing, Fleming held management roles as the general manager of WAJR in Morgantown (1960-1970) and the sports director of WTAE-TV in Pittsburgh (1970-73).
During his tenure with the NBA and the NFL, Fleming broadcast four Super Bowls, seven AFC championships, and one NBA All-Star game. He was awarded West Virginia sportscaster of the year seven times, as well as the 1996 Gene Morehouse Award and the Chris Schenkel Award from the College Football Hall of Fame in 1999. For outstanding service to WVU and the state of WV, Fleming was inducted into WVU’s Order of the Vandalia. In 2001, he was inducted into the WVU Sports Hall of Fame.
Fleming passed away on January 3, 2001, in Fairmont. His legacy lives on in a statue at the Erickson Alumni Center. This statue was completed by Jamie Lester, also the artist of Morganotwn statues depicting Jerry West, Zackquill Morgan, and Don Knotts. Fleming's statue is displayed in the Alumni Center's "Fleming Corner," surrounded by memoriabilia that showcases the breadth of his career. The Fleming Corner was funded by the West Virginia Radio Corporation.
Julian, Norman "Jack Fleming." e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia. October 22, 2012. Accessed August 2018. https://www.wvencyclopedia.org/articles/2194
Powell, Bob. "February 3, 1923: The Voice of the Mountaineers, Jack Fleming Born." WV Public Broadcasting. February 3, 2017. Accessed August 2018. http://www.wvpublic.org/post/february-3-1923-voice-mountaineers-jack-fleming-born#stream/0
"Voice of the Mountaineers to be honored at The Erickson Alumni Center." WVU Today. April 20, 2011. Accessed August 2018. http://wvutoday-archive.wvu.edu/n/2011/04/20/voice-of-the-mountaineers-to-be-honored-at-the-erickson...