Tweels create endowment for Marshall basketball program
HUNTINGTON — There are a number of reasons why Dan D’Antoni admires longtime Marshall fan and Huntington native Larry Tweel.
“He bleeds green,” said D’Antoni, a Herd hoops legend and fifth-year head men’s basketball coach. “Through good and bad; through sunny times and rainy days. I appreciate that.”
D’Antoni also recently welcomed Tweel’s latest contribution to the athletic department and, specifically, the men’s hoops program. Larry, 73, and his wife, Cheryl, have created an endowment through the Big Green Scholarship Foundation, the fundraising arm of Marshall athletics. The $25,000 endowment is specifically for the men’s basketball program — 5 percent of the endowment will be used annually to help fund a scholarship for a member of that team.
“I think Marshall is one of the major economic engines in our area,” Tweel said. “It’s one of the key factors in whether or not this community grows and thrives. It’s important to invest in that growth.”
Tweel’s contributions are unique because he never attended Marshall. Born in 1944, Tweel attended Huntington High School before heading to Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia. He received his Juris Doctorate in 1969 from the University of Kentucky College of Law. Tweel returned to Huntington in 1976 and has enjoyed a legal career that has spanned more than four decades.
Tweel’s wife, Cheryl, is a Marshall graduate. They have a son who also attended Marshall, so connections to the school are strong. The men’s basketball program has been a significant part of Tweel’s life since he was a boy.
He remembers watching Leo Byrd, Hal Greer and Sonny Allen. He has traveled around the country for NIT appearances.
“I have been a Marshall basketball fan forever,” Tweel said.
The Tweel family has been a fixture in Huntington forever, too. Larry’s dad, Jim Tweel, was the founder and namesake of Jim’s Steak and Spaghetti House. That gives Larry and his family a unique perspective for what makes the community prosper. D’Antoni has long been a fan of the restaurant and the family behind it.
“I love his family,” D’Antoni said. “Their family values ... they promote everything that I promote here.”
The gesture by the Tweels to create a men’s basketball-focused endowment meant a lot to D’Antoni.
“You have to have people like that,” D’Antoni said. “He’s good people. That’s the kind of people we want on board - people who have done a lot for Marshall and are strong advocates for athletics and academics.”
Larry said he is a fan of all Marshall sports. He follows the softball and volleyball programs, and his son, Brad, played golf at Marshall. Larry called it an “honor and privilege” to provide an assist, no matter where he received his education. He knows what it means for his hometown when the university and its athletic programs experience success.
“We’ve got a lot of ties to the community and want the community to grow,” Tweel said. “Sometimes you have to invest in order for the community to grow. I’ve invested in Marshall and we’re tickled to death to do it. I think it’s really great what Danny has done for the program. He’s got fine athletes, fine people, fine coaches. They’re good solid citizens who do it the right way.”
For more information on the Big Green Scholarship Foundation, contact Todd Childers at firstname.lastname@example.org or 304-696-3407.