THE HOME OF WVU BASKETBALL COACH BOB HUGGINS AND WIFE JUNE IS A LAID-BACK OASIS FOR ONE OF West Virginia’S BUSIEST COUPLES.
Originally published in the April/May 2013 issue of Morgantown Magazine
Written by Laura Wilcox Rote
Five bedrooms, five full baths, two half baths, 17 televisions, and zero pretense. Once you’re buzzed through the large gate that opens up to the Huggins property, you’ll quickly feel at home. June Huggins—wife of perhaps the most well known face in West Virginia, WVU Men’s Basketball Head Coach Bob Huggins—will probably answer the door. She’ll probably be wearing gold and blue and holding her Chihuahua, Sophie, and she’ll definitely greet you with a smile.
Bob and June moved into their Suncrest house, built by Larry Goff of Trulargo in Morgantown, in 2011 and home feels well lived in—in the comfortable, inviting sort of of way. High ceilings, an open floor plan, dark wood, and low lighting combine for a cozy feel. The smell of scented candles fills the air and plants of all varieties—a rubber tree, violets, and vines—decorate shelves and counters. “If there is anything green—I don’t care if it’s a leaf—I can’t throw it away,” June says.
The nearly 8,000-square-foot house is full of personality, with family photos and sports memorabilia filling the walls. The main floor has plenty of room for family and friends to stretch out, and an open kitchen with hidden spice racks and drawers looks tidy. A beautiful copper sink catches your eye in the kitchen, and a back deck off of the breakfast nook is the perfect place to start the day on sunny mornings. “It’s so nice in summer. I love to go out here,” June says.
June remembers when she first saw plans drawn for the house, when the builder stopped by the couple’s Waterfront Place residence. The first draft was nearly 9,000 square feet. “I said, ‘We are not planning on building a house that big.’” That night, June couldn’t sleep. “I called him the next morning. I said, ‘Just squeeze it all together,’ and they were all laughing at me. They said, ‘You can’t just squeeze it together. Your stairs will be in your bedroom.’”
In the end, everything turned out the way she and Bob wanted. She says some spaces, like the coach’s office, could probably have been bigger, but the open floor plan and tall doors and ceilings her husband hoped for are just right. June has a workspace behind the kitchen, and Bob’s office is just off the main entrance to the house. There, he prepares for upcoming games. “He can watch film and make his practice schedules,” June says.
The kitchen and living room are among June’s favorite places in the house. She says she likes to cook, but she’s modest about her skills. “Bob likes to cook when he has time, but that’s not often. He likes to do breakfast, he has a pasta recipe he likes, and he does all of the grilling. He’s really good with steak and pork chops.”
The Huggins house is a grillers’ dream come true, with a generous backyard, modern-meets-rustic patio off of the basement “man cave,” and quite the cookout setup. “We use this area a lot in the summer,” June says. “We like to have the team over and we’ll hang out here.” A large stone fireplace towers over stamped concrete with the Flying WV logo in the center. A stainless-steel grill, mini fridge, sinks, and plenty of storage make get-togethers easy, and a ceiling fan whirs overhead on the patio as guests can flip to their favorite sports network on the outside TV. Family and friends are important to the Huggins crew, and that’s clear in every space of their home. “If we’re in town for Christmas or Thanksgiving, we always have the team over,” June says.
Having company over is a cinch when you live in a home with no shortage of entertainment. The Huggins basement is the center of activity when guests are over, as a full bar, wine cellar, pool table, and theater room welcome everyone to relax. June says they have the best bar in town. Fully stocked, the bar in and of itself is a beauty, complete with an overhead trophy case displaying special basketballs from over the years. An overstuffed couch and fireplace add to the comfort, and the whole room reflects a place where family and friends can simply be themselves. June says she’s always wanted such a space in their house, but their Morgantown home is the first of their homes to have one. In the next room, June finds herself watching away games on a big screen in the 16-seat home theater, complete with floor lights and a popcorn machine.
Support for local businesses can be seen in every corner of the house, too, from oversized chairs and tables from Chuck’s Furniture to cabinets from Hardwood Interiors. All of the granite in the home comes from Preferred Services in Morgantown except for the bright blue granite on the basement bar’s counters, which comes from Pittsburgh.
A man from Ohio did all of the house’s glasswork—including the fantastic Flying WV etched in the master bathroom’s shower—and a Buckhannon company does all of the property’s landscaping.
Almost everywhere you look in the home, you’ll find reminders of how the Huggins family got to where it is today— photos of Bob in his younger days as a player, photos of players he once coached who now play in the NBA, “Huggy” bear gifts from fans, and newspaper and magazine covers and clippings. A basement storage room has even more relics—there’s just not enough wall space for so many memories. Most recently, framed black and white photos of both Bob and his father, former high school basketball coach Charlie Huggins, sat on the floor against the wall. June gushes over the framed shots of both the Huggins men pointing passionately toward the courts. “It’s his dad when he was coaching and Bob when he’s coaching, and they are both yelling. I just don’t know where to hang it.”
Walking through the large house, June shares quick stories over everything from signed Cincinnati Reds baseballs to gag gifts like a Pitt (rival University of Pittsburgh) locker room toilet paper holder. A few unusual features dot the home—like higher sinks for Bob, who is taller than most, and a urinal in the “man cave” bathroom—but mostly, it’s like any nice home you would wish was yours. “Our house is not as fancy as most of the places you might go into,” June says. “I don’t want people to be afraid to come in and touch things. It is what it is.”
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