Coach Richard Ambrey ‘‘Dyke’’ Raese (July 27, 1909-August 7, 2000) directed West Virginia University to its first major sports national championship, winning the 1942 National Invitation Tournament in basketball. Raese was born in Davis, Tucker County, played all sports at Davis High School, and later coached the high school basketball team to a 110-42 record in six years. He was educated at West Virginia University and married Jane Greer.
The NIT was the major tournament when Raese coached at the university. His players all came from within 75 miles of Morgantown, and included Floyd ‘‘Scotty’’ Hamilton, a Grafton native who became WVU’s first All-American basketball player. Last picked in a tournament field of eight, WVU upset three teams in 1942, including defending champion Long Island University, to take the title. Long Island was coached by Clair Bee, also from Grafton and a best-selling author of boys sports books.
Raese coached at WVU from 1938 to 1942, with a win-loss record of 55-29, before serving in World War II. After the war, he entered Greer Industries, which included radio stations, the Morgantown Dominion Post newspaper, and limestone and steel plants. The father of businessman and gubernatorial candidate John Raese, Dyke Raese was inducted into the WVU Hall of Fame in 1992.
Written by Norman Julian
Julian, Norman. Legends: Profiles in West Virginia University Basketball. Morgantown: Trillium Pub., 1998.
West Virginia University Basketball Media Guide. 1998-1999.