HUNTINGTON, W. Va. — (WOWK) — Marshall’s Thundering Herd football team holds its indoor practices in the Chris Cline Athletic Complex. Athletic Director Mike Hamrick was touring the facility Friday remembering his Marshall classmate who donated millions to build the facility.
“I think his legacy is behind me. He built a state of the art athletic facility for our student athletes. He cared about our student athletes. He cared about their education,” said Mike Hamrick, the Marshall Athletic Director.
Cline’s donations to Marshall and other good causes had a ripple effect on the local economy.
“Well I think a lot of times you hear, coal leadership is out of state or the money’s going away. Chris was somebody who invested here in West Virginia and that’s the return,” said Bill Bissett, President of the Huntington Regional Chamber of Commerce.
Cline who became a coal industry billionaire is being remembered for what he contributed to the state economy.
“You know he’s one of our favorite sons of the Southern West Virginia coal industry. He grew up in it. He worked in it in his father’s operation. He worked around the mines at 15, 16 years of age,” said Chris Hamilton, of the West Virginia Coal Association.
Like many of the Marshall University athletic contributors, Cline is enshrined in the schools wall of fame.
“Chris Cline’s contributions to West Virginia won’t be forgotten. They include major gifts to WVU in Morgantown and Marshall University here in Huntington,” said Mark Curtis, 13 News Chief Political Reporter.