The WVU Negri Lamb Sports Hall of Fame has died

MORGANTOWN, W. Virginia – One of the longest serving in WVU athletics history has died.

Morgantown-born Elinor Negri Lamb worked for an incredible 55 years in collegiate athletics during an impressive career spanning 1958-2013. Born on October 10, 1921 in Morgantown, Negri Lamb graduated from the WVU in 1943 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism.

She began her professional career in radio, first at WAJR in Morgantown and then at WPDX in Clarksburg as its director of continuity and women’s programs.

Then, on June 9, 1958, she was hired to become WWU’s personal secretary in Red Brown’s athletics, beginning one of the longest tenures in the department’s history. In 1965, she was promoted to Brown’s assistant and then assistant sports director on July 1, 1971. During these years, her main responsibilities dealt with the department’s finances and the organization of all sporting events, working closely with with the auditors in the state business office.

Lamb was also given the role of ambassador of athletics, organizing hospitable functions and events for visiting sports staff for many years, while developing many close friendships across the country.

She was actively involved in planning the department’s 100th anniversary celebrations in 1963 and worked closely with Brown and men’s basketball coach Bucky Waters to build the WVU Coliseum, which opened in 1971. Lamb played a role in the department’s decision. to install the Astroturf Playing Area on the old Mountaineer Field also in 1969.

A year before Title IX became federal law, she was appointed Assistant Athletic Director in 1971 and is generally considered the department’s first senior female administrator, although she does not hold the title and Athletics did not nominate a senior female administrator until 1993. when women’s basketball coach Kitty Blakemore took over. As the department’s business manager, Lamb’s responsibility was to contribute to the creation of the women’s sports program at the WVU in 1973.

Lamb began reducing some of his responsibilities in 1978, but continued to work closely with athletics directors Leland Byrd, Dick Martin, Fred Shaus, Ed Pastylong and Oliver Luck until the 2000s. She spent some of those years as a volunteer on the WVU Sports Hall of Fame selection committee and also served as a liaison to the department’s sexual harassment, working diligently to develop university policies in this area.

“Elinor was a great role model for the staff and a great resource for all of us for the many years she has worked in athletics,” Pastylong said. “I can remember that as an athlete in the 1960s, the first person you met was Eleanor Lamb, because she was the one who gave us our $ 15 scholarship checks every month. Everything important passed through her desk.

When I became a sports director, her office was right next to mine, and it was always reassuring to know, because I valued her opinion and trusted her judgment. Elinor was a great lady, a great friend to me and Mona, and we go along. our condolences to her family. “

Lamb officially retired on March 31, 2013 at the age of 92 and was inducted into the WVU Sports Hall of Fame in 2018.

She died on Sunday, May 29, at the Stonerise Healthcare in Morgantown at the age of 100.

In addition to her parents Bartolo and Edelina Alfieri Negri, she was preceded in death by her sister Connie Negri. Elinor survived her son Si.P. Negri and his grandson Kazuki Negri.

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