ATHENS, W.Va. – Bill Owens, the first African American student-athlete in Concord history, will serve as Grand Marshal for Concord University’s homecoming parade on Thursday, Oct. 3. The parade will begin at 6 p.m. on Vermillion St. in Athens.
A former football player for the Mountain Lions, Owens has also been named an honorary team captain for CU’s homecoming game against Fairmont State on Saturday, Oct. 5. Owens played end for the Mountain Lions during the 1954 and 1955 seasons.
He will be recognized prior to Saturday’s game before joining current Concord captains at midfield for the official coin toss. Kickoff is 2 p.m. at Callaghan Stadium.
Prior to attending Concord, Owens, a Giatto, W.Va. native, served in the Air Force during the Korean War. He majored in biology and physical education at Concord and was a member of the Class of 1958.
Owens’ career path led him to the Long Beach Memorial Hospital in Long Beach, N.Y. where he worked in the engineering department. In 1973, he was asked to oversee the building of an addition to the hospital’s nursing facility. He retired in 2006 following 34 years of service.
From 1989-2002, he served on the city council’s Board of Appeals.