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Herock has impressive pro resume

June 7, 2012

MORGANTOWN-Ken Herock, an outstanding tight end on the West Virginia University football teams of the early 1960s, has the most impressive resume I've ever seen athletically.

The Pittsburgh area native spent 38 years in various National Football League-related positions, including seven years as a player with Oakland, Cincinnati, and Louisville.

He even coached a year with the legendary John Madden, then the head coach with the Raiders.

"But I really did not like to stay in coaching," Herock recalled last week from his Gainesville, Ga., home. "I wanted to be working in front office jobs."

That's what he did for some 30 years. His most frequent role was director of player personnel. Others included vice president, scout, and general manager (with the Atlanta Falcons organization.)

After retiring in 2001, Herock started his own football-related business. It's titled "Pro Prep" and, at age 70, he still runs the show. It is designed to prepare college players for the NFL combine and the eventual player draft.

"We tell them exactly what they need to know before the combine and how to handle themselves in interviews," Herock explained. He actually held the first-ever combine.

Before this year's draft, The New York Times did a front page article about Herock's business and his long, interesting career. What's more, the newspaper sent him a copy of that story in keepsake form.

He sounded both surprised and grateful.

After a standout four years at Munhall (Pa.) High School, Herock was recruited by Art "Pappy" Lewis, then WVU head coach.

He played on the 1959 freshman team, and then started for the varsity in 1960-61-62.

"I loved my years in West Virginia," he said. "Not winning a game in my sophomore year (0-8-2) felt awful. But we were somewhat better when I was a junior and pretty darn good my senior year when we went 8-2."

Herock enjoyed his years in Morgantown so much that he'd loved to have come back and contributed to his alma mater as athletic director or as a similar role. But he never applied for any opening here.

The 6-foot-2, 215-pound tight end is credited with 24 pass receptions, 292 yards, and two touchdowns as a Mountaineer. He also was a hard-hitting blocker.

For his seven seasons as a professional tight end, Herock had 64 receptions, 924 yards, and he scored four times.

Ken and wife Barry were high school sweethearts. They have two grown sons and five grandchildren.

"What's ironic," Herock said, "my middle name also is Barry, same as my wife's first name."

Son Shaun has been with the Green Bay Packers for 19 years as a scout. His father had been executive director of the player personnel for the Packers previously.

Son Ken owns and operates a restaurant in Atlanta.

Ken Herock (Sr.) has received numerous honors for his outstanding achievements. He is in both the Pennsylvania state and Western Pennsylvania Halls of Fame. He's in Munhall High School Sports Hall of Fame and the WVU Physical Education Hall of Fame.

Herock is also on the WVU all-time team for the period 1960-69.



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