Norman G. Lineburg
: A Living Legend Is Honored
...Norman G. Lineburg
: A Living Legend Is Honored
However, Norman G. Lineburg
received the biggest honor of his
legendary coaching career Saturday night when the Radford City School Board
officially dedicated the playing field inside Bobcat Stadium as the Norman G. Lineburg Field.
More than 200 Bobcat faithful, including former and current players and coaches, as well as other coaches from throughout the area gathered to honor Lineburg
.With threatening skies and lightning in the background, school officials moved the event inside following the National Anthem sung by Whitney King and Kaitlin McCue.
"Frequently local governments, school boards and colleges will honor individuals by naming a building, a park, or a field in honor of someone that has past away and that person never has an opportunity to find out how the community feels about them," said Radford Mayor Tom Starnes."Tonight, the school board is doing it right by naming this field the Norman G. Lineburg Field while you still have plenty of time to enjoy this prestigious honor."
The naming of the field came about earlier in the summer when the Radford School Board
voted to name the field in honor of Lineburg
after being approached by the RHS Athletic Booster Club
." Norman has been such an influence on so many Radford athletes, it is almost hard to describe the impact he has had," said former School Board Vice-Chairman Carter Effler in an earlier interview.
sense of fair play - he
has a real sense of integrity that makes him such a fine man and someone who you are happy to put your trust in.That sense of fair play, of never cheating to try to get a win has really characterized Radford athletics and that is to his
Retired Salem head coach Willis White, Va. Tech head coach and former Radford assistant Frank Beamer, Steve Ragsdale (Giles), Jim Hickman (Northside), retired Pulaski County head coach Joel Hicks and Floyd County's Winfred Beale, were just of the few coaches that came out to honor a man that has won two state football championships, six regional crowns and 11 district titles in his
Not only has Lineburg
bought two state football titles to Radford
, but he
also coached the Bobcats to the state Group A track and field championship in 1998.
"Track is a love of mine also," said Lineburg
.Lineburg first came to Radford in 1970 after starting his coaching career as an assistant at Andrew Lewis High School in 1959.
In 1962 he
coached at William Byrd High School
and then started the varsity program at Fieldale-Collinsville in 1965.Ironically, Lineburg and now-retired Salem head football coach Willis White applied for the top spot at Radford.
"I applied for this job the same year that Norman
did," said the legendary White."I backed out because an opening was becoming available at Patrick Henry at the time.I have always loved Radford
and Norman."As Lineburg mingled amongst the gathering like a politician at a political rally, you could see the well-loved coach shaking hands, posing for pictures and kissing babies."The things that I believe in the most as a coach came from Norm," said Frank Beamer, who was an assistant under Lineburg at Radford for two years.
"Treating people right, being respectable to your players, being what you are.I learned all of that from Norm
As the evening continued, a host of speakers in the likes of David DeHart (class of 74), Bill "Skipper" King (Class of 72), Dr. Nick Pappas (coach Lineburg
's teammate at Shepherd College, Gary Tilley (RHS Athletic Booster Club president), Wayne Pridgen (RHS coach) and several others roasted Lineburg.
"A gentleman, a motivator, a great husband, father and a grandfather, a mentor, a great coach, a true friend," were comments echoed by several of the speakers throughout the evening.After several speeches by former players and coaches, Karen Gerlach, Radford School Board Chairperson, and Dr. Minnie Dean, past chairman of the school board, presented the official resolution in naming the field to coach Lineburg and his wife, Joann, in front of standing ovation that lasted several minutes.
"I don't know how to say this…let me just say thanks," said Lineburg
speech was lined with thank-yous and memorable highlights about his
34 years at Radford
One of the remarks that brought a roar from the crowd was when Lineburg
stated that the leading rusher in Bobcat history was his
has ran up and down those sidelines as much as I have," he
continued on about the great stories and memories in Bobcat history he
has experienced over the years from players giving it all to win ball games, to the tough practices they encountered, to individual problems on and off the field.One of those stories Lineburg mentioned included an encounter with a cheerleader when he first came to Radford.
What has been Lineburg's
philosophy been over his
six decades of coaching that has bought him and his
teams so much fame?"Keep life simple.It doesn't need to be caught up in this hype that takes athletes in different directions, especially at the high school level," said Lineburg
."Keep it simple, keep it fun and always make it so that it's never myself, never I, it's always we, it's always team, it's always family and to me that's what the whole deal is about.That's what you should take through life with you and tradition."
was not the only Bobcat to be recognized Saturday night, as the 2003-04 varsity athletes were honored with their Wachovia Cup pins.