WILMINGTON, N.C. — Former West Virginia University quarterback Bernie Galiffa, a Pennsylvania high school legend who became a two-year starter under coach Bobby Bowden in the early 1970s, died this weekend at the age of 63.

His family said he died from sepsis.

Galiffa led the Mountaineers to a 7-4 record in 1971 and an 8-4 record in 1972, becoming the first West Virginia passer to eclipse the 2,000-yard mark in a season.

Over his WVU career, Galiffa completed 310-of-623 passes for 4,426 yards and 28 touchdowns. He ranks eighth in school history in pass attempts, ninth in passing yards, 11th in pass completions and 12th in total plays.

Galiffa’s 89-yard touchdown pass to Chris Potts in 1971 against Duke is the third-longest pass play in school history.

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  • robbie lester

    Bernie was so fun to be around. I was a student athletic trainer ('68 -'74) during Bernie's playing days and after Mike Sherwood passed the torch to Bernie it was his offense. Buggs deep and Nate across the middle. Very good WVU football. May the Lord be with Bernie's family.

  • WVcoal

    I watched Bernie Galiffa play at Old Mountaineer Field. Galiffa was a good QB and his style fit Bobby Bowden's high-flying offense well. In many ways, WVU football was more fun to be around back then. Rest in peace Bernie.

  • Mister Man


    • ole sasquatch

      Thanks for the link. Teaming with such standout players as Danny Buggs, Marshall Mills, Nate Stephens and Kerry Marbury, Mr. Galiffa orchestrated the nation's fourth-ranked scoring offense in 1972.
      - we remember them well: Played football against Nate Stephens of Farmington Fame.
      I have no doubt that Bernie Galiffa was one of the most humble of people, but I don't think I ever saw any QB have as perfect of technique in his mechanics of setting up and throwing, even in the pros. Film of his style would be a great teaching tool.

  • DP

    Bernie had a very successful career at WV and from what I always heard, was very much liked and respected by his teammates. RIP Bernie and heartfelt sympathy to your wife, kids, grandchildren and other family members.

    You were a GREAT REPRESENTATIVE of Mountaineer Nation!!!

  • Swamp Fox

    Much you who have already posted, I was 11 years old remember going to my first WVU game with my dad. I remember talking with some of the WVU players and one from my hometown, who noted how hard and tight his passes were. Seats were hard, but you were so close to the field and players back then. So sorry to hear about his passing. May the Good Lord be with his family during this tough time. Well Done Mountaineer and thanks for the memories!

  • Ragweed

    Did he do anything with his life besides football?

    • rett

      I am curious too, what has he been doing since he left WV? Family? Children?

  • BR

    I was ten when my dad took me up to Morgantown in late of October 1972. We played a great game against what I think was a top ten team that year in Penn State. I remember Galiffa threw for an ungawdly amount of yards that game, especially for 1972!!
    I'm thinking 350 or so.
    Though WVU lost in a fairly close game I'll remember that day with my dad forever!

  • ole sasquatch

    My first game in person he was back-up to Mike Sherwood. Very noticeable in warm-ups that he had excellent technique and threw a tight spiral with plenty of zip. Went on to a successful career at WVU and is a memorable QB.

  • bill

    There is a nice article about Bernie in the Pittsburg Post-Gazette.

  • aquarius

    you know you're getting old when your sports hero's start dying....rest in peace bernie...and thanks for the wonderful memories.

  • WVU Guy

    It hurts to learn that anyone...athlete or not...dies so young.

  • WV77Steve

    He is the 1st WV QB I saw play in person. I remember how easy he threw. Prayers for him and his family in this difficult time.

    • Jadearth

      Sad day for mountaineer fans everywhere! Good memories of days past, old stadium, old gold & blue!