MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Former long-time WVU assistant men’s basketball coach and fundraiser Gary McPherson died Wednesday evening.

McPherson, whose affiliation with West Virginia University spanned 40 years, was 82.

His daughter Missy announced the news on Facebook.

“It is with great sadness and a heavy heart to tell you that the most wonderful man in my life, my Dad, has gone to heaven to be with Chris and Jesus. His body is whole again and, he is free to enjoy life. Funeral arrangements have yet to be made, but once decided, will be posted. Please respect our family’s privacy at this very difficult time.”

McPherson served as an assistant coach for a total of 20 years, serving from 1970-1974 under Sonny Moran and an additional 15 seasons with Gale Catlett.

“Big on the recruiting trail, great on the X and O trail,” MetroNews “Sportsline” co-host and former WVU Athletic Department official Brad Howe said. “He meant a tremendous amount to that program, meant a tremendous amount to Coach Catlett’s program being with him for so long.”

He also served six years as the director of the Mountaineer Athletics Club and then 14 years as a senior development officer in continuation of fundraising for athletics. He retired in 2013.

“Just a tremendous brand ambassador for the university,” Howe said. “When you thought of WVU, Gary McPherson is just one of those names that is way up that list.”

McPherson, once the youngest head coach in the nation at Virginia Military Institute, was known as highly energetic, funny, and was a legendary story teller.

“He had so many great stories from such a wonderfully long athletic career, that whenever we’d be at events and we’d have downtime after the event or before, you could always count on Gary to give you a great story, make you laugh,” Howe said.

Funeral arrangements will be announced later this week.