Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey, who was in attendance when a street in Pittsburgh’s Hill District was named after West Virginia football legend Major Harris, posted a public message on his official Twitter account to once again recognize the occasion.
Congratulations to College Football Hall of Famer Major Harris. Raised in The Hill, Harris has lived a life devoted to excellence… and now he has a street named after him.
I am not surprised he was raised here, after all, we are all Strong as Steel. Let's celebrate this history pic.twitter.com/chODukxqW5
— Ed Gainey (@gainey_ed) July 18, 2022
Gainey also spoke at the ceremony on Saturday.
“A lot of times, particularly in the African American community, our heroes don’t get recognized. We don’t tell our young people why our heroes are so great. We don’t talk about it,” said Gainey. “But to make this a diverse city, to make integration our creation on why we can move this city forward, the stories of Major Harris have to be told.”
The stories of Harris are comprised of 5,173 career passing yards, 2,161 rushing yards and 59 career touchdowns (41 passing, 18 rushing). He was the second quarterback ever to throw for over 5,000 yards and run for over 2,000. Those combined 7,334 total was a school-record at the time and currently sits at No. 7 in school history, led by Geno Smith’s 12,004 career yards.
He was an All-American in 1989, ECAC Player of the Year in both 1988 and 1989, finished within the top five in Heisman voting twice (1988 – 3rd, 1989 – 5th), was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2009 and had his jersey number (No. 9) retired by the school last fall.
Perhaps his most memorable season was that 1988 season when he lead West Virginia to a undefeated 11-0 regular season record. It was the closest West Virginia ever came to a National Championship since finishing the 1922 season undefeated, as they faced No. 1 Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl, which essentially served as the championship game. They fell in that game against Notre Dame 34-21.