Q&A: Bob Huggins, W.Va. basketball coach

West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins

West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins

If West Virginia had a Mount Rushmore, Bob Huggins’ face would be on it. He took WVU, his alma mater, to basketball’s Final Four this spring in his third season back in Morgantown. Huggins, 56, broke four ribs in a fall in his hotel room Friday while on a recruiting trip in Las Vegas and remained hospitalized early this week, according to a WVU spokesman. He was expected to be released within days. Huggins spoke with Golfweek in advance of this week’s inaugural Greenbrier Classic, where he was among the many celebrities involved in numerous preliminary events:

How big a deal is it to have the PGA Tour visit West Virginia?

It’s great for us. The Greenbrier is a special place. This is recruiting season for me. I’m coming off the road for the day. That should tell you how much this means to me.

Have you had a chance to spend any time with Greenbrier owner Jim Justice yet?

No, not really. But he’s beloved in the state for saving The Greenbrier and what he’s done there. I missed the casino opening because I was on a recruiting trip, but all of my buddies were there and they said it’s fabulous what he’s done.

photo

Jerry West

Growing up in West Virginia, did you ever meet Sam Snead?

I did. I met him at The Greenbrier, actually. It was great. I was in my 40s, coaching Cincinnati at the time. He was at the range, and I stood there and watched him. He could still hit it good.

The West Virginia foursome of hoops great Jerry West, Gov. Joe Manchin, former WVU football coach Don Nehlen and yourself tour The Greenbrier’s Old White Course. Who wins?

Jerry West. Hands down. He’s a scratch golfer. I used to be about a 14. I’d need some serious shots to have a chance.

Have you received a few extra golf invitations after leading your team to the Final Four?

I’ve been too busy to play. I also hurt my shoulder, which makes it tough. I tore my rotator cuff in my right shoulder. But I’m fond of the game. I used to be a member at Hyde Park and Traditions in Cincinnati, and played Kenwood all the time when I coached there.

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