From Thuggins to Huggins

I used to call West Virginia basketball coach Bob Huggins, “Thuggins.” That’s primarily who he recruited-in my opinion-while at the University of Cincinnati. With a sub-par graduation rate for his players, I never really thought too highly of him. Then I moved to West Va and began to follow his new team. And so I followed “Thuggins” too. My opinions of this coach changed drastically as he wisely coached players who did not bear any resemblance to the top athletes of other programs. Then the Final Four came and this happened.

All American Da’sean Butler tore his A.C.L. while trying to avoid a charge. He didn’t and his college career ended in agony. The video depicts Huggins intimately holding Butler’s head up and somewhat caressing his face with his fingers. Some folks like sports reporter Dan Patrick have called it “creepy.” And perhaps it was a bit over the top?

But there was never any doubt in Butler’s mind that he indeed had a coach who would be with him in his pain and suffering. I don’t see any in the NFL who care that much. They try to distance themselves from the players, with the exception of the Buc’s coach (who has won all of the 3 games).

Of all the religions, only Christianity has a God who suffered. And as a result, he is able to be right there with us in our suffering. Holding, and caressing, and whispering, “Behold, I am making all things new. And I’m right here with you as one who suffered too.”

Thanks Huggins. I guess you lived up to your name, so I’ll drop the “T.” Most of the time. I like the nickname too much to entirely get rid of it, but it will from now on, only be in jest. After all, any coach who visits coal miners families in the midst of their suffering is cool with me.

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