Olympic gold medalist and former Golden Bear standout Michael Thomas Barrett, ‘65, passed away earlier this week. Barrett’s passion for the game was evident throughout his career and rivaled only by his love for life.
A native of Richmond, West Virginia, Barrett proudly wore the Tech uniform from 1961 to 1965. During the 1964-65 season, he led the West Virginia Conference in scoring averaging 27.7 points per game. While at Tech, he earned honorable mention, Little America honors and three All-Conference awards.
He went on to join the navy, where he was twice named to the All-Navy Team and earned Most Valuable Player honors at the 1965 Portsmouth Invitational Tournament in Virginia, and again as he led the Armed Forces All-Stars to a national title in 1968. He later went on to coach his Navy teams to a 68-33-10 records.
Among his many accomplishments, Barrett was also a member of the 1968 United States Olympic Gold Medal basketball team, which brought home the gold, defeating Yugoslavia in Mexico City, Mexico. He then pursued a professional career with the Washington Capitals where he was known for his outstanding shooting and rebounding skills.
Tech Athletic Director Frank Pergolizzi reflected,” Mike’s successes on the court were only the beginning of his lifetime of accomplishments. His charisma and positive outlook on life were evident to everyone that met him.”
“While I did not personally know him, from all accounts Golden Bear great Mike Barrett was an icon at WVU Tech and in his beloved hometowns of Montgomery and Richwood,” said WVU President Jim Clements. “I want to extend my deepest sympathies to the Barrett family and the entire Tech community for the loss of this great man. “
Campus Provost Scott Hurst added, “His commitment to his alma mater and our students will be remembered always. Mike truly was a lifetime Golden Bear and will be dearly missed.”