West Virginia's Bob Huggins remains a busy man throughout the year, but that doesn't keep the veteran coach from making an occasional trip to the area and visiting with Mountaineer fans.
One of Huggins' favorite trips, when time allows, is a trek to Randolph County for the annual Coalton Days celebration.
"I always have a good time when I come to Coalton," Huggins said at Saturday's festivities. "The people are extremely friendly around this area and this a great festival to come to."
The Inter-Mountain photo by Andrew Davis
West Virginia head basketball coach Bob Huggins and Mountaineer mascot Brock Burwell address the crowd, along with Mike Ross, during Saturday’s Coalton Days celebration. Huggins and Burwell took time before the parade to sign autographs, mingle with the crowd and have their pictures taken.
Huggins, who had to cancel last year's trip to Coalton because of a scheduling conflict, took time away from West Virginia's fantasy team camp that he hosts every summer. The camp is for high school teams from throughout the state of West Virginia. Each squad plays contests against one another and each team receives instructions from Mountaineer coaches and former players.
"We had a lot of teams come to our camp this year," said Huggins. "The best part is that we have so many former Mountaineers come in and help out with it."
Mike Gansey is among former WVU players helping out with this year's sessions.
With the graduation of Joe Mazzulla, John Flowers, Cam Thoroughman, Jonnie West and Casey Mitchell, the Mountaineers will have to count on a handful on incoming freshman next season. Huggins brought in what he calls a "very strong" class that includes guard Jabarie Hinds, small forward Tommie McCune, center Pat Forsythe, small forward Keaton Miles, small forward Aaron Brown and point guard Gary Browne. Junior college transfer Dominic Ruthledge is also in the mix.
Of the seven newcomers, Huggins feels that Hinds is possible the one that will be able to come in contribute right away. "I think Jabari will be able to come right in play," said Huggins. "He could possibly be a starter for us a point guard when we play our first game. If that happens we may have Truck "Bryant" at shooting guard where he played in high school."
Huggins also landed two Division I transfers during the offseason as former Dayton guard Jawan Staten and former LaSalle center Aaric Murray (6-10) joined the Mountaineers. Because of NCAA transfer rules, both players will have to sit out one season before suiting up for the Mountaineers.
"Jawan and Aaric are two guys that are really going to help us in a couple years," said Huggins. "It's good that we already have them in here. They'll be able to learn our system and be ready to go when the time comes."
The Mountaineers will begin preseason practice on Oct. 15