The Friends of Coal have teamed up with longtime West Virginia sportsman drag racer Greg Fowler to share the power of coal with race fans at International Hot Rod Association (IHRA) events throughout the Eastern United States .

Bill Raney, president of the West Virginia Coal Association, said, “Not only is Greg a world-class racer, but he’s a West Virginia native who through his work in and around the coal industry understands the important role coal plays in everyone’s lives.  We’ll all be rooting for him while he’s on tour and we’re sure he’ll pull out a bunch of wins.”

A Point Pleasant, West Virginia native, Fowler is an accomplished drag racer competing in the IHRA’s Hot Rod Sportsman’s Class.  In 2007 he was the IHRA Division I Champion in the eastern U.S. and finished the year 7th in the world.  In 2008, he finished 16th in the world.

Fowler’s 1980 Camero is powered by an 850 horsepower, 498 cubic inch engine and the lightening fast car now has the Friends of Coal logo emblazoned on the side.

“I’m proud to have the opportunity to showcase West Virginia coal and the benefit it provides to our state and nation as I travel the IHRA circuit,” Fowler said.  “Working with the industry and having a tool like my car is a perfect fit. Race fans understand the need for power and I look forward to telling them what’s under the hood, so to speak, in West Virginia.”
Fowler plans to compete at the remaining IHRA National events and at the Divisional events in New York and Pittsburgh. The remaining National event schedule includes July 31-Aug. 2 IHRA Northern Nationals in Martin, MI; the Sept. 11-13 IHRA North American Nationals in Epping, NH;  the Sept. 25-27 IHRA President’s Cup Nationals and the World Finals in Rockingham, NC Oct 22–25.

For additional information, contact Bill Raney at (304) 342-4153.
May 28, 2009 · The president of the West Virginia Coal Association visited St. Francis Elementary school in Beckley.

Raney spoke with third graders as part of a Friends of Coal Ladies Auxiliary project called Coal in the Classroom. St. Francis was the first school to adopt the curriculum but it’s expected to expand to the public school system this fall.

The fifth and final Coal in the Classroom session wrapped up on Wednesday.

Now, Morgan Hylton says she has a better understanding of what her dad does for a living.

“My dad is an above ground miner,” Hylton said. “Learn they burn coal to make electricity if we didn’t have it we wouldn’t be able to have a lot of stuff.”

West Virginia Coal Association Annual Symposium, January 10-12
  Spirit of Beckley awarded to Friends of Coal founder, Dec. 3, 2006   Friends of Coal Soccer Fields at Trace Fork, Ribbon Cutting Ceremony, Oct. 7, 2006   Friends of Coal Bowl, Sept. 2, 2006   Friends of Coal Bowl Game Viewing Parties, Sept. 2, 2006
Friends of Coal sponsored Paint the Capital Green, Aug. 17, 2006     Friends of Coal At The State Fair August 12, 2006    Friends of Coal Auto Fair Concert. July 22, 2006   Friends of Coal is making an appearance in Iraq.    Friends of Coal night at the Power Park with spokesperson Jeremy Starks - June 22, 2006


WV Coal Festival in Madison - June 22, 2006   BrickStreet event with guest speaker, FOC spokesperson, Bob Pruett – June 12, 2006   WV Coal Hall of Fame Inductions, May 5, 2006   WVSSAC Basketball State Championships, March 11th and March 18th    Friends of Coal Honor Mine Rescue Teams, March 2, 2006
17th Annual Mountain State Coal Classic, January 29th-February 4th, 2006    WV Mining Symposium, January 18th-20th, 2006            


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“I am so pleased that a sponsor like Friends of Coal has now stepped up to take this game to a level of national prominence similar to the great in-state rivalries of such schools as Florida-Florida State, Alabama-Auburn and Clemson-South Carolina.”
-West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin

"Coal is a part of everything good in the Mountain State, so it's natural that the Friends of Coal would jump in and become a part of this game. I know all football fans in the state appreciate their generous support."
–Rich Rodriguez, head football coach, West Virginia University

“This series is going to be great for all of West Virginia and to have the Friends of Coal supporting it as a title sponsor makes it even more special. It is only fitting to have West Virginia’s two Division 1-A football programs facing off in the Friends of Coal Bowl. We are excited about the rivalry and look forward to kicking it off in September.”
–Marshall University head football coach Mark Snyder

"We are happy the Friends of Coal are joining us in making this game one of a kind; their support is tremendous. We are looking forward to a great season opener on September 2."
–Ed Pastilong, athletic director, West Virginia University

We greatly appreciate the Friends of Coal for their support in helping to make this a great event. This series will showcase two outstanding Universities that all West Virginians can be proud of and we look forward to opening the season with the Friends of Coal Bowl.
–Bob Marcum, athletic director, Marshall University

“The coal industry is pleased to be contributing to the universities and to this football series. It is only natural that our industry would like to do everything we can to make the Friends of Coal Bowl a great event.”
–Randy Hansford, Chairman, West Virginia Coal Association Board of Directors

“Our industry is the major industry in West Virginia, and we believe that it helps bring our state together. We also believe this football game will bring our state together because it involves West Virginia’s two flagship institutions.
“We’re happy to have an important role in this tremendous game. And we hope that our participation will put a spotlight on the proud working people of the coal industry.”
–Bill Raney, President, West Virginia Coal Association

“I believe the West Virginia-Marshall game is great for the state and I’m awfully happy it’s being named the Friends of Coal Bowl because, in my opinion, coal drives the state of West Virginia.
–Don Nehlen, former West Virginia University football coach, member of the College Football Hall of Fame, Friends of Coal spokesman