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WVU Football Great Mickey Walczak Dies at 63



Mickey Walczak

A WVU football legend has passed away.

Mickey Walczak, who was named the MVP of West Virginia’s 1981 Peach Bowl victory over Florida, has died. He was 63-years-old.

WVU confirmed Walczak’s death Tuesday morning through one of his childhood friends.

In the Mountaineers’ upset big Peach Bowl win, Walczak caught eight passes for 75 yards and scored a touchdown.

Walczak, from Saratoga Springs, New York, signed with WVU to play for then head coach Frank Cignetti in 1978. He eventually became a staple of the offense when Don Nehlen took over the program in 1980.

Walczak’s best season was his junior year in 1981 when offensive coordinator Gary Tranquill used him as more of pass catcher coming out of the backfield than he was previously. This was suited for a pro-style offense led by quarterback Oliver Luck’s style.

He recorded 49 receptions for 338 yards and six touchdowns that season, ranking second on the team to All-American tight end Mark Raugh’s 64 receptions. Walczak rushed for a season-high 55 yards and scored a touchdown in one of West Virginia’s best wins of the year, a 38-10 win at Boston College. In addition to his six touchdown catches, he also ran for two and threw a 21-yard TD pass to Raugh in WVU’s 27-6 home win over Virginia Tech.

Overall in his college career, Walczak rushed for 566 yards and three touchdowns and caught 69 passes for 469 yards and eight scores.

After graduating from WVU in 1982 with a degree in finance, he worked as an investment broker in New York City and later got into golf course design and development for the Golf Group in the United States, as well as real estate development in Quebec, Canada.

He was most recently living in the Saratoga, New York, area and was inducted into the Capital Region Football Hall of Fame in 2017.

Walczak is survived by three brothers Todd, Larry and Scott, son Dillon, and granddaughters Aliyah and Luna.

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