Posted by: mseewv | April 7, 2010

Bob Huggins Is West Virginia – UPDATE

Bob Huggins made a surprise visit to the families of miners who have been killed or are missing following the explosion in Montcoal, W.Va. this past Monday.

Huggins departed the plane with food, water and other items and was going to meet with the families of those who are awaiting word on their loved ones.

Bob Huggins, you are a true West Virginian. You showed today that you are not all talk. You do care about the state of West Virginia. This truly made me feel proud of our head coach today.

In the last week the world has seen the true, “Huggy Bear.” The one that his players talk so affectionately about, the one that the cameras almost never catch. But just as my dad has always told me, “It is how a man acts behind the scenes that shows who he really is.”

On Monday, Katie and I were standing at the monument on the circle in downtown Indianapolis when an Arkansas fan walked up to both of us and said this:

“Your team didn’t win the game but you won the class award. Your coach showed class when his player was hurt. If you all get tired of him, send him to Arkansas.”

Huggs, you make me proud to be a West Virginia University graduate and a West Virginian. And don’t even think about going to Arkansas!

Oh yeah…

Rick Reilly…you are still a jerk!

————UPDATE 4-8-10————-

I just wanted to come back and post the full story of Huggins’ interaction with the families yesterday. The full story is below and it definitely draws some very chilling parallels to WVU’s upset win in the Sugar Bowl, the Sago Mine tragedy and the current Final Four run and the Upper Big Branch Mine tragedy.

Huggs – you truly are a great man! I am proud to be a West Virginian and have you lead the basketball team at my Alma Mater!

This was in today’s Daily Mail –


Coach Huggins delivers food, compassion
Daily Mail staff

NAOMA, W.Va.– During West Virginia University’s exciting run to the basketball Final Four, Coach Bob Huggins emphasized to national news outlets his players’ deep appreciation for the blue-collar, hard-working West Virginians who cheered them on.

On Wednesday, he demonstrated what he had spoken about at every opportunity by paying a surprise visit to families of victims of the Upper Big Branch mine blast.

Huggins arrived at Marsh Fork Elementary School by helicopter about noon, bringing pizza, homemade pasta and Mountaineer T-shirts.

Congressman Nick Rahall was on hand to meet him.

“Coach had a pretty heavy bag with him,” Rahall said. “He said it was full of food and water for the families. I highly salute him for being here. The families would not get through this ordeal if not for the outpouring of support from around the world.”

Rahall said Huggins’ presence lifted spirits.

“I was there with the families early this morning and I knew he was coming,” he said. “I hinted at it to a couple of people I knew would keep the news under wraps. It was really nice.”

Huggins, a native of the Mountain State born in Morgantown, spent more than an hour at the mine site before flying back to Morgantown.

Chris Hamilton, senior vice president of the West Virginia Coal Association, said the visit showed Huggins’ compassionate side.

“He was here to show his personal interest in these families,” Hamilton said. “I think it shows a lot of compassion and understanding of the role he plays.”

Hamilton said Mountaineer football and basketball are important to many West Virginians.

“It was an opportunity for the coach to reciprocate some of that good will,” he said. “He really characterizes his team. He’s hard-working, dedicated and makes a lot of comparisons between athletics and the state’s industrial workers.

“They have a dedication and passion for the work they are doing, and so does Coach. It really shows how important West Virginia University sports are to the people of our state.”

In 2006, on the same day WVU upset Georgia in the Sugar Bowl in one of the greatest football wins in school history, the disaster struck the Sago Mine in Upshur County.

The explosion here Monday occurred two days after Duke eliminated the Mountaineers on the national stage.

“There are some striking similarities,” Hamilton said. “Having been involved both here and at Sago as well as having been at the Sugar Bowl and the Final Four, it has made for some very strange similarities.”


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