The Brian Jozwiak Celebrity Golf Classic has been benefiting WVU Medicine Children’s for just shy of 30 years.
While the cause has always remained the same, the name of the tournament did change this year. The 29th annual event, held at Lakeview Resort, is the Legends Tournament to honor some of the best to ever suit up for West Virginia football.
Led by the former WVU offensive tackle and 1985 All-American Jozwiak, the Mountaineer legends in attendance included Major Harris (1987-90), Mike Fox (1986-89), Jeff Sniffen (1988-90), Charlie Bauman (1985-88), Bo Orlando (1985-88), Skip Fuller (1987-89), Doc Basile (1985-87), Brad Hunt (1984-87) and 2020 College Football Hall of Fame nominee Aaron Beasley.
“To see these guys, get them all together and get hugs from them, I’m back to being 19 years old,“ Jozwiak said. “To see all these guys on a yearly basis, see all the different faces, just to come together and be together is special.”
There were 24 teams made up of six players each. The outing commenced with former Mountaineer Mascot Ben White firing off the musket. It was the first time the new musket that current Mountaineer Timmy Eads will use for the upcoming season was used in public.
Supporting the children’s hospital has been a top priority for Jozwiak since he made his first visit as a teenager.
That trip is something he can remember vividly decades later. He was a freshman at WVU and it was the eve of game day in Morgantown. On that Friday afternoon, he and some of his teammates loaded into a van and made the short trip from the stadium to the hospital.
Jozwiak said the memory of walking through the door with his jersey on and seeing the reaction of a child fighting for his life is one that will never leave him.
“To see that kid light up like that while going through what he was going though, I was hooked,” he said, recalling the beeping noises from various machines and tubes hooked up to the boy’s bed.
That visual also helped push him and his teammates on the field.
“When we were out there sweating and working and Coach Nehlen told us we still had one more 40 to run, all he had to say was “think about the kids in that hospital and what they are going though, and you are whining about a couple 40s? Get on the line!” Jozwiak recalled. “That is a lasting impact.”
Decades later, Jozwiak said his connection to WVU Medicine Children’s remains for numerous reasons.
“My son was born there. They saved his life after he had a respiratory virus,” Jozwiak said of the hospital.
“I’ve gone there as a player visiting kids, I’ve helped raised funds, been an advocate and awareness generator,“ he added. “I love what they do, and we are very fortunate to have that in Morgantown.”
Through events like the Legends Golf Tournament, the former Mountaineer football standout hopes he can help give back to WVU Medicine Children’s, the facility that has left a lasting impact on him and countless other WVU student-athletes and coaches.
“It’s all about making memories, and we are going to make some great ones out here today.”