W.Va. basketball coach visits miners’ families

West Virginia men’s basketball coach Bob Huggins delivered
homemade pasta and Mountaineer T-shirts on Wednesday to the
families of miners who have been killed or are missing following an
explosion.

Huggins, who is affectionately known as “Huggy Bear,” arrived
by helicopter and met with the families for over an hour.

Huggins phoned Gov. Joe Manchin to ask how he could help, said
Sara Payne Scarbro, a spokeswoman for the governor. The coach
enlisted friends who made pasta, which he then delivered along with
other food and water to the families who have gathered to await
word on their loved ones, Payne Scarbro said.

“He said to me, ‘Boy, these families are really strong,”’ she
said. “I could see the families were touched. They were very
appreciative.”

Monday’s blast at Upper Big Branch Mine killed at least 25
miners. Another two were in the hospital with injuries, and rescue
crews were working to try to reach four missing miners.

Huggins also relayed prayers from his players, Payne Scarbro
said.

Huggins is among the state’s most recognizable and perhaps
popular residents. He led the Mountaineers to their first Final
Four since 1959. They lost 78-57 Saturday to eventual champion
Duke.