1970 Marshall Plane Crash: We Remember

What are your memories of Nov. 14, 1970? Share them here.

Sunday, August 05, 2012

"There will always be a strong connection between Ferrum College and Marshall University"

I grew up in the small town of Boydton, Virginia. My father was one of the football coaches at the local high school (Bluestone) and coached David Griffith. I remember when they had a moment of silence at the Bluestone football game after the crash. That was my first recollection of the crash, I was 10.

My parents always spoke of what a fine person David was, and they thought so much of him.

I never knew, until I went to Ferrum College in 1978, that David too had attended Ferrum. Coach Rick Tolley was the first full time assistant football coach ever hired at Ferrum, and 7 of the players that were on Ferrum's 1968 Junior College National Championship team, transferred to Marshall.

Of the six persons buried at Springhill Cemetery in Huntington WV, three were Ferrum transfers. David Griffith, Thomas Brown, and Thomas Zborill. Marshall University, and the town of Huntington suffered unimaginable grief in the days and weeks after the crash. I am certain that the pain experienced cannot be done justice in We Are Marshall. While an epic movie, and one of my favorites, it focused most of its content on the rebirth of Marshall football. This was a smart decision by the producers of the movie as to try to duplicate what the community went through would likely have fallen short.

I just hope that people realize that a small college in Virginia, lost six former players, and a former assistant coach. There will always be a strong connection between Ferrum College and Marshall University. 


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

on the night of the crash i was hosting a party at my apartment in cincinnati. i received a call about the crash. one of my guest's sister was a MU cheerleader. She was not on the plane. Several friends from Huntington stayed at my apartment while attending the funerals of team members from Cincy. I knew many of boosters on the plane.

In 1971 i went on active duty with the Army as a 2LT and was stationed at Ft Bragg. One of my young soldier told me he had been to Huntington. He was David Griffith's first cousin. We do live in a small world.

I visited David's grave two days ago. God bless all the MU familydirressn