Bowl trophy an all-state effort
August 23, 2006
by JACK BOGACZYK
Charleston Daily Mail,
The Friends of Coal wanted "unique" to be the best way to describe
the momentous memento being created for the resumption of the West
Virginia-Marshall football series.
Well, the trophy designed and painstakingly manufactured for the
Mountain State rivalry fits Webster's definition -- single, having
no like or equal.
There's only one of them . . . so no one had better drop it.
It's called the Governor's Trophy, etched with the seal of the
state's top executive, and it goes to the winner of the Sept. 2
game at Mountaineer Field. It speaks of the game's sponsor and the
state's natural resources, craftsmen and artisans.
It stands nearly 2 feet, weighs about 60 pounds, and is made of
crystal glass and coal, sitting on a carbon base. A hand-blown
crystal football (nearly regulation size), intricately etched with
laces and stripes, holds 5 gallons of pulverized coal.
"The trophy is made of probably 98 percent West Virginia
materials," said Rick Mogielski, the trophy's designer. "From the
start, we wanted to use materials from the state and West Virginia
artisans as much as possible. The work was 100 percent done by
"After our first meeting, we felt like the game and industry
deserved something unique, something somewhat elegant. It's a big
game; glass makes the trophy more elegant.
"We kept coming back to coal-filled glass. We really didn't know
if it would work."
The Governor's Trophy was to be reviewed by Gov. Joe Manchin this
morning at the State Capitol, then taken to Huntington and an
11:30 a.m. unveiling in the Big Green Room at Edwards Stadium on
the Marshall campus.
The trophy is scheduled for a stop at tonight's "House Divided"
public reception for fans of both schools at the Charleston Civic
Center, then heads to Morgantown on Thursday for a 6 p.m. media
viewing in the Puskar Center after a Mountaineer practice.
Mogielski, a 46-year-old Wheeling native, is senior vice president
and creative director for Charles Ryan Associates, the public
relations firm for Friends of Coal. He credited about 15 state
craftsmen and artisans in the process, which began with his design
shortly after Friends of Coal decided it would approach the two
schools about the sponsorship of the game.
Friends of Coal is paying $1 million for sponsorship of the
seven-year series between the state's only Division I-A football
programs. The schools have played only five times and only once
since 1923. That was in 1997.
"We've been kind of hooked at the hip since the process began, and
Rick has done a fabulous job," said West Virginia Coal Association
President Bill Raney, who was to be at Marshall for today's
unveiling with Herd Athletic Director Bob Marcum and Coach Mark
"What we wanted was a West Virginia trophy, one that was as much
native product and people as it could be.
"That's what Rick has given us. That was enormously important, and
we obviously wanted to incorporate coal in the design. It has been
a big part of our state's heritage, and it will be a big part of
"Having something unique was important to us, too. We wanted
people to walk into the (Puskar Center) facilities building at WVU
or the Henderson Center, wherever trophies are displayed, and have
people attracted to the trophy, to make it stand out, as an
important trophy for an important game."
Mogielski, a graduate of West Liberty State and the Art Institute
of Pittsburgh, is the creative force behind the Friends of Coal
television commercials that feature former coaches Don Nehlen and
Bob Pruett, and BASS tour pro Jeremy Starks of Charleston.
Designing a trophy was different.
"I thought of the Sears Trophy (now Waterford Crystal ADT National
Championship Trophy)," Mogielski said, "and I sort of went from
there. It has that crystal football, and that makes its special.
"The message in the trophy is the importance of the game in this
state. In a TV commercial, you try to communicate a message. This
trophy conveys a message."
On Tuesday, the Coal Bowl trophy cleared a potentially dicey
hurdle. In Ansted, Bob Dickenson of Mountaineer Coal Creations
inserted the 5 gallons of coal -- "ground to the consistency of
flour," Mogielski said -- into the football through a drilled
Before Dickenson went to work, the coal was pulverized at SGF
Minerals in Kanawha City.
"It's not like pouring bits of coal through a hole," Mogielski
said. "The temperature, the barometric pressure, they have to be
just right to pour the liquid coal (heated to 180 degrees).
"If you have too much moisture, the coal solidifies and you can't
pour it. You let the moisture come out of the glass football as
it's cooling. If it's not the right temperature, moisture forms
around the inside of the glass, like you see on a window."
The coal came from Riverton Coal's Kingston mine in Fayette
County. The hand-blown football and 10-inch pedestal were crafted
at Fenton Art Glass in
The coal-filled glass football traveled from Ansted to there
Tuesday for assembly.
The pedestal features a sand-etched and painted Friends of Coal
logo, the latter painted by Stacy Williams of Fenton. The pedestal
sits atop a carbon base, weighing 40 pounds. The base was produced
by GrafTech in Clarksburg.
The exception to the West Virginia products on the trophy is a
small piece of out-of-state granite on the base that is etched
with the Governor's Seal and words "Governor's Trophy," work done
by Curry Brothers Monuments of Alum Creek.
The carbon could not be etched. Casto Tile of Charleston cut the
piece of granite.
Mogielski consulted with glass blowers Boyd Miller of Beckley
(Tamarack studio) and John DesMeules of Eleanor. At Fenton, the
designer had input from Ken Moore and Denny Lumbatis, before Dave
Fetty, a retired glass blower, was brought in to do the unique
task of making a football that could hold coal.
"It's been a team effort," Mogielski said. "The people at Fenton
hand-blew several samples, just to see what could be done. It's
something you have to work through, heat the glass to form the
glass football, and the combination of the two have to react just
right or it won't work.
"Working with the glass and coal together was the big challenge."
Contact Sports Editor Jack Bogaczyk at email@example.com or
[PHOTO CAPTION ABOVE]
Glass blower Dave Fetty positions
the glass football that he made on top of the glass pedestal at Fenton Art
Glass in Williamstown. Rick Mogielski, standing, designed the trophy. Stacy
Williams of Fenton Art Glass painted the logo on the vase.