Bob Huggins’ father earns HOF nod


WVU basketball coach Bob Huggins has established himself as a legend in the college basketball coaching ranks.

He is respected across the nation for his passion, dedication and loyalty. Huggins loves his players like they are his own kids. In turn, he is the child of a great basketball mastermind.

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Charlie Huggins has been a staple of the Ohio High School basketball scene for many years and he is finally getting his due. The elder Huggins will soon be inducted into the Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame.

This is just the 11th annual induction ceremony for the Hall of Fame, which includes such brilliant names as Zydrunas Ilgauskas, D’Artis Jones, Campy Russell and Kenyon Martin.

The inaugural class of 2006 included nearly 30 people. Headlining that class were Bevo Francis, Oscar Robertson and John Havlicek. Along with Charlie Huggins, 16 others will be enshrined on May 21 at a ceremony in Columbus.

Over the years, especially around NCAA Tournament time, stories emerge about Bob Huggins’ humble beginnings in rural, eastern Ohio. Port Washington, OH is where Bob Huggins grew up and his father still resides in the area.

Charlie Huggins has led several high school basketball teams to the state tournament and, on a personal note, has won numerous coahcing awards within the Buckeye State.

Along the way, Charlie Huggins coached at Strasburg, Conotton Valley, Indian Valley South and Hiland. His 1967 Strasburg team went undefeated at 27-0 and won a state title. Huggins also won a state title with Indian Valley South in 1972 and 1976.

The Huggins family has been instrumental in establishing the Eastern Ohio Basketball Camp, an instructional session that serves thousands of young players in Ohio each year. The camp is a direct correlation to the encompassing basketball mentality that Bob Huggins grew up with, thanks to his father.

"“You spend a lot of time in the gym,” Huggins said last year. “You grow up in a gym. My dad started the first overnight basketball camp in the state of Ohio. We pretty much had it year-round and I was always around the game.”"

Not only did Charlie Huggins inspire his own son to become one of the best college coaches in all of history, he has inspired thousands of his own players over his own storied coaching career.

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Few, if any, of Charlies Huggins ever went on to play college ball at a high level, but they mostly went on to do great things. That right there is the mark of a good coach. One of his star pupils was Mike Gunther, who, in 2014, still spoke highly of Coach Huggins.

"“Whether it was his piercing voice, his impressive knowledge, his motivational tactics, his unceasing baiting of officials, or his reputation for winning, we all knew he was the one who was going to make us better players and better individuals than we had been. Simply put, we believed . . . and that was the key,” Gunther wrote on"

The family business for the Huggins’ clan is basketball. For more than 100 years, combined, Charlie and Bob Huggins make up one of the greatest father-son coaching tandems in all sports.