Charles (Chuck) HowleyCharles L. (Chuck) Howley (Warwood High School, Class of 1954) was a first team all-West Virginia and all-OVAC tackle in 1953. He lettered in football, basketball and baseball. As a teenager, he also competed for an independent All- America boys gymnastics group.
The West Virginia University graduate is still the only Mountaineer athlete to letter in five sports - football, gymnastics, wrestling, track and swimming. In football he played guard, center, and linebacker while earning All-Southern Conference laurels three straight years. Also the long snapper on special teams, Howley was selected as a third-team All- American his senior year.
Howley, at 6-2, 220 pounds, was considered to be one of the fastest linemen in WVU history. He started in three college all-star games - East-West Shrine Game, Senior Bowl and the College Football All-Star Game. He lettered for the Mountaineers on the trampoline in gymnastics, a heavyweight in wrestling, sprinter and weightman in track and a diver in swimming. In 1957, Howley was selected as the West Virginia Amateur Athlete of the Year.
He was an NFL first-round draft choice (1958) of the Chicago Bears - only the third Mountaineer selected in the opening round. He played a year and a half in Chicago before being sidelined by a serious knee injury. Howley was back home in Wheeling working at a gas station in 1961 when the expansion Dallas Cowboys traded two draft picks for him.
The ex-Bear decided to give it one more try and wound up starting at outside linebacker 12 years for the Cowboys, earning all-pro laurels six times. He starred in two Super Bowls. The 1971 game saw Howley intercept two passes and recover a fumble to earn MVP honors in a 16-13 loss to the Baltimore Colts. He remains the only player on a losing team to be selected as the Super Bowl’s most valuable player. In 1972, he helped the Cowboys win Super Bowl VI over the Miami Dolphins by intercepting a Bob Griese pass to set up a touchdown.
Howley is a member of the West Virginia Sports Writers Association, WVU, Upper Ohio Valley Dapper Dan Club and City of Wheeling halls of fame.