It’s time for another WVUPros Feel Good Friday – featuring none other than our beloved ‘Huggy Bear’! Not only has he put together and coached this year’s team to a Sweet 16 appearance, but he has also been a part of some pretty awesome charity work that is definitely ‘feel good’ worthy!
As if the title Big XII Coach of the Year didn’t make you feel good enough. . .
This year Coach Bob Huggins took part in the Infiniti Coaches’ Charity Challenge. He was participating to raise money for a charity set up by him and his siblings to honor their late mother, who passed away from colon cancer in 2003. The Norma Mae Huggins Fund aids in cancer research and helps families in West Virginia dealing with cancer.
The Coaches’ Charity Challenge is set up similarly to the NCAA Tournament, with coaches and their respective charities being put in different regions and competing through brackets based on fan votes. The Mountaineer community rallied together to advance Coach Huggins into Round 3, earning him $10,000 for his fund. Coach Matt Painter of Purdue went on to be the overall winner.
There are various events hosted by Coach Huggins and held around Morgantown and state of West Virginia to help fundraise for cancer research. He has held several dinner events, including several ‘roast’ events where a star-studded roster of coaches–John Calipari, Frank Martin, and Tommy Bowden–came together to crack jokes at Huggins’ expense, all to benefit the Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center.
Many of you probably remember just a month ago when Make-A-Wish sent 5-year-old Nick Wince, who is battling a rare heart condition, to be a member of Coach Huggins’ squad for a day.
Coach and the team welcomed Nick to the WVU Basketball program, putting him through the ‘recruiting’ process and eventually ‘signing’ him to the team.
“It’s really neat. I think it’s part of the culture here. Most kids want to go to Disney World, I understand that,” Huggins said. “It’s great that kids think enough (and) that are wishful enough to be here and be part of West Virginia basketball.”
We know that Coach Huggins is already a legendary basketball coach, but his legacy will include much more than just a win/loss record on the court.