Robert ‘Bo’ McConnaughy (Class of 1966)
Already a member of the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference and West Liberty University Halls of Fame, Robert “Bo” McConnaughy has been selected for the same honor from his high school alma mater. The 1966 Wheeling Central Catholic High School graduate, recognized as one of the best shortstops in Ohio Valley history, was a stellar four-year letter-winner in both basketball and baseball.
In baseball, McConnaughy was the captain of the 1966 all-West Virginia Catholic team. He also received a third-team berth on the big school all-state squad. Central won state titles in 1964 and 1966 in the diamond sport and he also was a stalwart guard on back-to-back Mountain State Catholic state basketball winning teams.
After graduation, McConnaughy began a near 40-year relationship at West Liberty University as both a player and a coach. He lettered four years in both basketball and baseball. Bo was twice named as the MVP in the Golden Valley Holiday Basketball Tournament and was an MVP in the 1969 Hall of Fame Tournament held in 1969 at Springfield, Massachusetts. He received second team All-West Virginia laurels as a senior in 1970. He was also a first-team all-conference honoree in baseball that spring when Bo was the Hilltoppers captain.
In 1969, McConnaughy was drafted in the 21st round by the Cincinnati Reds, five rounds ahead of Ken Griffey Sr., but he returned to school for his final year before signing a professional contract with the Baltimore Orioles. He played three years in the Orioles farm system and then returned home to join the Ohio Valley Baseball League Warwood Reds.
Bo returned to West Liberty and was the head baseball coach for 30 years, collecting over 500 wins, five conference championships and earning numerous coach-of-the-year awards from the WVIAC (5 times), NAIA District 28 (6 times) and Area 7. He guided the Black and Gold to the NAIA World Series in 1990 and to the NCAA Division II regional playoffs in 1998.
McConnaughy also coached both men’s and women’s basketball, track and football at WLU. He returned to Wheeling Central last year and coached the Maroon Knight baseball team to a 27-7 record, finishing as the WV Class-A state runner-up. Central also won the OVAC AA crown. He continues to serve as co-director for the Beast of the East Baseball Classic which has drawn thousands of young, aspiring players and fans to the Ohio Valley each year.