Remembering Dan Callahan | News Messenger

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From the sidelines

By Marty Gordon

 

When I walked into the press box at Pulaski County High School 20 years ago, a booming voice greeted me. That was the day I met Dan Callahan.

Over the years, we shared the same broadcast booth, sat across from each other doing preseason football shows and talked plenty of football. This week we said goodbye to a man who could easily claim the title of “Mr. Cougar.”

He lived Pulaski County High School football and, believe me, you never wanted to get him started on his favorite home state WVU Mountaineers. Many sportswriters have sent me messages, remembering Dan and his stories, and, boy, there were plenty of stories.

He was in his 50th year of newspaper work, the last several with The Pulaski Patriot. For years he wrote a popular weekly column called “The Locker Room,” which touched on high school, college and pro sports and a variety of other topics.

Dan was also known as “The Voice of the Cougars” for his years of work on WPSK radio as the play-by-play man for their Cougar football broadcasts.

He had covered the Cougars since the high school opened in 1974 for The Southwest Times, WPSK and The Patriot. Prior to that he covered the Dublin Dukes for the Radford News Journal beginning in 1970.

I would call two men icons in New River Valley athletics. One is the late Dave Bissett Sr.; Dan is the other.

His death comes as a shock to those people who had worked with him over the years. If you wanted to know anything about high school football, Dan was the man. He could tell you what the score was of the 1988 game between Salem and Pulaski while reminding you how many games his Mountaineers had won head-to-head against Virginia Tech.

In this changing environment because of COVID-19, we might not be able to gather to remember the man, but I say every sportswriter that has met Dan should raise a drink in a salute to him.

He leaves behind his wife, Brenda; two sons, Shane and Jason; his daughter-in-law, Vanessa and his granddaughter, Layla.

Funeral arrangements are pending at this time.