Coach Kenny Wright, 83, of Parkersburg, WV (formerly of Pennsboro, WV) departed this life on Tuesday, March 30, 2021, at his residence. Coach Wright was born April 15, 1937 in St. Marys, WV, a son of the late Donald R. and Lillian E. (Johnson) Wright.
He was a graduate of St. Marys High School with the class of 1955 where he excelled athletically, especially on the baseball diamond. After high school, Coach Wright attended Glenville State College and earned his bachelor’s in education while pitching for the Glenville State College Baseball Team. Coach Wright will be remembered for his great love of sports and coaching high school athletes. He began his 42-year career as a coach and educator at Van High School in Boone County, WV. After 6 years at Van High School, Coach Wright became the head football coach, the head basketball coach, the athletic director, and educator at the former Pennsboro High School in 1965. After 21 years at Pennsboro High School, consolidation created the new Ritchie County High School in which he continued his coaching duties, athletic director duties, and being an educator for the next 15 years. During his tenure as head football coach for the Ritchie County Rebels, he led them to the AA State Playoffs six times. Most notably, the eleven consecutive games won in 1994 and advancing to the Class AA Semifinals. Also, in his last season with the Rebels leading them to an 8-3 record and birth in the Class AA playoffs in 2000.
During his 42 year career, Coach Wright earned athletic director of the year in 1989-1990, Award of Merit from WVADA in 1998-1999, inducted into the 1st class of the North-South Football Hall of Fame, President of the WV Schools Athletic Coaches Association for 5 years, Secretary-Treasurer of Coaches Association for 20 years, Director of the North-South All Star Football Game for 19 years, member of the Board of Directors of the National Coaches Association for 15 years, received the National Distinguished Service Award from NHSACA in 2001, Head Coach of the North-South Football Game in 1978, member of the Mid-Ohio Valley Hall of Fame Committee, President of the Ritchie County Teachers Association, President of the Little Kanawha Conference, earned the Wayne Underwood Coach of the Year in 1969 and 1994, was named St. Marys High School Alumni of the Year in 2005, and was inducted into the Mid-Ohio Valley Hall of Fame in 2003.
Coach Wright has also served as sports editor for the Pennsboro News since 1976 where he would also write his weekly “Fox’s Den” section for the paper. He was a member of the Pennsboro United Methodist Church and he was a proud supporter of the Pennsboro High School Alumni, Ritchie County Athletics, and his community. Coach Wright will be greatly remembered for his sense of humor and storytelling. He loved his children and family dearly and was a man of great integrity. He lived as he died with great compassion and love. He was an Icon in not only Ritchie County but around the State of West Virginia.
Coach Wright leaves behind his wife, Carolyn (Waller) Wright; his daughter, Kenna Sue Wright of Pennsboro, WV and his son, Ronnie Wright and wife Teresa of Pennsboro, WV; his grandchildren, Jordan Fluharty and wife Ashley of Pennsboro, WV; Emily Fluharty of Pennsboro, WV, and Tristian Wright and Ally of Barberton, OH; his one great grandson, Treyton Tanzey; step children, Teresa Ramsey and husband Shaun; Rich Kincaid wife Surona, and Todd Alan Kincaid, all of Yorktown, VA; sister in law, Sally Wright of St. Marys, WV, along with several nieces, nephews, dear friends and colleagues.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his brother, Ramon Wright, his faithful companion, Lady, and the mother of his children, Linda Floyd Wright.
Funeral services for Coach Wright will take place at 1pm, Wednesday, April 7, 2021, in the Sullivan Gymnasium of Pennsboro, WV where his coaching career in Ritchie County began. Rev. Karen Brown will officiate the service and burial will follow the service at Pleasants Memorial Estates Cemetery near Belmont, WV where a procession will travel through the newly named “Kenny Wright Drive” at Ritchie County High School. Visitation will take place from 2pm-8pm on Tuesday, April 6, 2021, also in the Sullivan Gymnasium. While attending the funeral for Coach, the family has asked to wear your Rebel or Cardinal attire in typical Coach Wright fashion.
McCullough-Rogers Funeral Home in Pennsboro, WV is assisting the family with the arrangements.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Ritchie County Athletic Boosters, 201 Ritchie County School Road, Ellenboro, WV, 26346.
Online condolences for Coach Wright can be expressed at www.mcculloughraiguel.com
Roll on Rebels!!