Some may know that the origin of Mother's Day started in Grafton, West Virginia when Anna Jarvis held a memorial for her mother at St. Andrew's Methodist Church. Today is Father's Day where we celebrate the bonds of fatherhood. For many Mountaineer fans, they are fans of the old gold and blue because of their fathers. So many fans can remember sitting at home, watching the Mountaineers play on Saturday with their dad by their side. Others would make the hour or multiple hour long drive to Morgantown to watch the Mountaineers play.
One of the greatest pleasure for a father is to see his son grow up and follow in his footsteps. Whether or not that is being an engineer, doctor, or athlete, watching your son follow in your footsteps is a great pleasure for dads. The Mountaineers have had many father-son combinations throughout the years. With the help of John Antonik at WVUSports, here is a list of a few of the many father-son combinations. You can see the full list here.
Charlie and Bob Huggins (Men's Basketball)
Men's basketball head coach Bob Huggins played at West Virginia. He spent years at Cincinnati, Kansas State before coming home to coach the Mountaineers. But did you know his dad played at WVU? The elder Huggins was an outstanding player at Morgantown High where he earned a scholarship to WVU. He would eventually transfer to Alderson-Broaddus College.
The Charlie Huggins era as a head coach at Stone Creek, Strasburg, Conotton Valley, Indian Valley South and Hiland covered 20 seasons and spanned the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, and is among the most impressive in Ohio basketball history.
Bob Huggins started his college career at Ohio University before transferring to WVU. He averaged 13.2 points as a senior and scored over 800 points in his three years at WVU. After coaching at Akron, Cincinnati and Kansas State, Huggins returned to WVU in 2007. He's led the Mountaineers to a Final Four appearance and Sweet 16 appearance. His team competed for a Big 12 Tournament Championship this season.
JT Thomas Sr and JT Thomas Jr. (Football)
J.T. Thomas Sr attended WVU in the early 1990s where he lead the team in tackles. He was named the 1994 Carquest Bowl Defensive Player of the Game. He left school early to pursue a football career. He played linebacker in the Arena League for the Albany Firebirds. He returned to WVU in 2000 where he graduated. In 2007, he was inducted into the Minor League Football News Hall of Fame.
JT Thomas JR was a linebacker on the 2007 team that had a chance at a national title berth and ultimately destroyed Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl. JT Jr was drafted by the Chicago Bears. He has bounced around the league, playing for the Bears and Jaguars before signing a free agent contract with the New York Giants last off season.
Jerry and John West (Basketball)
Jerry West is known as "The Logo", despite what Stephen A. Smith may have to say. Jerry led the Mountaineers to the NCAA Championship game in which he was named Most Outstanding Player despite a 71-70 loss to UCLA. Jerry was drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers where he became known as Mr. Clutch and Mr. Outside. He was a Finals MVP in 1969 and won a championship in 1972.
His son Jonnie knew the challenges of playing at West Virginia but wanted to be coached by John Beilein. Beilein would leave for Michigan after the 2006 season and West played for Bob Huggins the remainder of his career. While his father has carved out a hall of fame career in both college and the professional level, as a player and general manager, Jonnie West is making his mark as a scout for the Golden State Warriors.
Another father-son combination will be added to list next year when current in-state commit Maverick Wolfley follows his dad Dale and becomes a Mountaineer on the football field.