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Former West Virginia Football Captain, Coach Dave Van Halanger Died



WVU football legend Dave Van Halanger

WVU football has lost its second Peach Bowl legend in less than a week. Dave Van Halanger, mostly known as captain of the 1975 Peach Bowl championship team and the first strength coach in West Virginia football history, has died.

The WVU program learned about Van Halanger’s passing from his former teammate Tommy Bowden Monday morning.

A native of Turtle Creek, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Pittsburgh, Van Halanger spent a year playing at Greenbrier Military Academy in Lewisburg, West Virginia, before the Mountaineers under then head coach Bobby Bowden’s Mountaineer in 1972.

Van Halanger was part of a 1975 offensive line that who paved the way for a WVU ground attack that averaged 251.5 yards per game and produced 29 rushing touchdowns.

After helping to lead West Virginia to a 13-10 victory over NC State in the 1975 Peach Bowl, Van Halanger joined Frank Cignetti’s staff as a graduate assistant coach.

He transitioned into WVU’s first strength and conditioning coach in 1978 and continued in that role when Don Nehlen was hired in 1980.

Van Halanger is survived by his wife, Michele, and children Danielle, Michael, Matthew, Julie and Katelyn.

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