Charles J. Huggins, 87

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Charles Jennings Huggins, 87, finished his final contest with an overtime (Psalms 90:10) victory then celebrated with a New Life Eternal. He will be best remembered through the ages to come by the hundreds of souls who will someday join him due to the Gospel presented at his basketball camp in Sherrodsville, OH.

Born Sept. 1, 1933, in Morgantown, WV, he was the son of the late Harry Edward and Iva Poe Huggins. His wife, Norma Mae Sabolo Huggins, whom he married May 24, 1952, passed away May 24, 2003. In addition to his wife and parents, he was preceded in death by a brother, Edward Huggins; a granddaughter, McKenna Mae Mathias; and a son-in-law, Mike Burr.

He was an active member of First Baptist Church in New Philadelphia, where he was an Adult Sunday School teacher for 20 years.

He was a graduate of Morgantown High School as an All-State basketball player, and was a 1952 graduate of Alderson-Broaddus College and received his master’s degree from West Virginia in 1962. 

Coach Huggins was one of Ohio’s outstanding coaches. He spent 20 years in high school basketball at Stone Creek, Strasburg, Conotton Valley, Indian Valley South and Berlin Hiland, where he amassed an amazing 398 wins and 74 losses. His teams won eight league, 15 sectional, 10 district, seven regional, and three state championships.

Huggins led teams to five consecutive state tournament appearances. His first state title came at Strasburg in 1967 with a 27-0 record. His other state titles were at Indian Valley South in 1972 (26-0) and in 1976 (25-1). He was honored eight times as Coach of the Year (1967, 1970, 1972, 1973, 1976, 1978, 1979 and 1981) in District 5, and two times Coach of the Year at the state level. He coached in the North-South All-Star Cage Classic in 1967 and 1978.

In addition to basketball, he coached football for eight years as assistant coach and one year as head coach, with a record of 8-2. He was head baseball coach two years, winning 25 and losing just 13. As a head track coach, he was 152-56 in dual meets.

He also conducted the highly respected Eastern Ohio Basketball Camp in Sherrodsville from 1969-2010, which is currently operated by his son, Larry and his family.

He was named to the Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame in 2016. 

Charlie Huggins was:

Connoisseur of Ice Cream – attested to by gallons eaten from Chico’s and Goshen Dairy;

Ball Player -All will remember his “baby soft hook”;

Frugal – Ask any person that sold to him;

Teacher – As he taught Sunday school classes at First Baptist Church;

Camp Director – He never forgot a camper’s name and something pertinent to his/her family;

Electric-Phobic – Turn it OFF, Shut it DOWN, UNPLUG IT!

Communicator –  Players will always remember ‘where they are supposed to be & when they are to be there by the little reminders he gave through clipboard, foot, thrown ball, ear tug, etc.;

Gospel Quartet Music – A member of the Ernie Haase fan club, if there is such a thing?

Auctioneer Wanna-Be – His favorite pastime was the call of the Auctioneer;

Dependent  – We are sure Mom passed first to help their LORD “prepare a place for Charles”;

He will be sorely missed by family and friends.

He is survived by his seven children, Bob (June) Huggins of Morgantown, WV, Linda Burr of Coshocton, Harry (Tracey) Huggins of Dover, Mrs. Debbie (Jeff) Hutson of Coshocton,  Larry A. (Lori) Huggins of Sunbury, Mrs. Judy (Bill) Mathias and Mrs. Karen (Paul) Monaco, both of Dover; 14 grandchildren, Jenna and Jacqueline Huggins of Morgantown, WV, Jacie Wright of Warsaw, OH, Ryan (Beth) Burr of Chili, OH, Tyler (Autumn) Bradford, Travis and Trevor Bradford, all of Coshocton, Samantha and Kara Huggins of Columbus, Madison Mathias of Dover, Anthony Monaco of Maryville, TN, and Moriah, Andrew, and Anne-Marie Monaco, all of Dover; and his six great-grandchildren, Avie, Elyn, Isla, Burkley, Myles and Ceanna.

Private graveside services will be held Sunday, May 2, in Sherrodsville Memorial Gardens with Pastor Todd Gopp officiating with interment to follow. Baxter-Gardner Funeral Home at Sherrodsville has been entrusted with arrangements. 

In lieu of flowers, for contributions in Charlie’s memory, checks should be made payable to the Norma Mae Huggins Cancer Foundation, Inc., Attn: Rocky Gianola, 1714 Mileground Rd., Morgantown, WV 26505.

The Huggins Family will be present at  the camp (Eastern Ohio Sports Complex), 8155 Dawn Rd. SW, Sherrodsville, OH, May 2 from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. to welcome anyone who would like to stop by to visit and reminisce about Charlie. To leave an online condolence message, visit www.baxtergardner.com.

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