Luck, Huggins Make Trip to Boone County Pig Roast - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

Luck, Huggins Make Trip to Boone County Pig Roast

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MADISON -

The summer months provide many in West Virginia University's athletic department an opportunity to visit parts of the state that typically go untouched during a home schedule of Morgantown events throughout their respective seasons.

One such trip took place this weekend in southern West Virginia when WVU athletic director Oliver Luck and men's basketball coach Bob Huggins stopped by the annual Boone County Pig Roast.

Now in its 26th year, the Pig Roast is held to raise money for Boone County students to receive scholarship money to attend West Virginia University.

Chapter president Charlie Piccirillo says Boone County typically raises $30,000 in scholarship money annually, resulting in over $750,000 and over 300 scholarships to its future Mountaineer students. The Chapter also donated $15,000 to Huggins' cancer research endowment fund and has endowed a total of over $1 million for the West Virginia University Foundation.

In its 26 years, the Boone County Chapter has been selected as the national chapter for WVU 10 times. The Pig Roast is its biggest yearly event.

"It's a lot of fun," says Piccirillo. "It's all volunteers. We have great corporate and individual sponsors and probably have a core group of 25 people who put this on every year."

There are typically about 300 people who make the trek to Riverview Country Club for the Pig Roast itself along with 100 who sign up to play the golf scramble earlier in the day.

Yours truly took part in that golf scramble, and even WVU Mountaineer Jonathan Kimble participated. Kimble showed off his hunting ability by stealthily sneaking up behind some of the golfers and at the top of their backswing, he'd fire off his rifle and many of his victims' follow-throughs were complete shanks into the trees lining the fairway.

That's just a small example of what this event's secondary purpose – having fun.

"It's a great time," Huggins said of the Pig Roast. "I think any time West Virginia people and particularly West Virginia University people get around each other and start talking about, you know, ‘I was there when you were there and I remember this and that,' it's a great time. It brings great memories."

Huggins likes to refer to the people of Boone County as "our people," and he promised those gathered around during his speech that he would make sure his team was full of that sort of people as well. A year ago, he failed at that part of his job, but this year, he would put together an outfit full of hardworking individuals who understood what it meant to represent West Virginia.

Kimble echoed Huggins' sentiment about the type of person he came across as he made his way around the Pig Roast.

"The Mountaineer doesn't get down here a lot, but when I do, the people are always welcoming," said Kimble. "They love West Virginia University and they're always supportive of the Mountaineers and they always want to just help people out. They're genuine, nice people."

While the purpose of the Pig Roast is to raise money for academics, Luck believes the Chapter also helps bring Boone's top athletic talent to WVU with the scholarship help.

"What happens when you have a potential student athlete coming out of Boone County or Randolph County or any of the more rural counties who may get overlooked, they think WVU because there's a history in that county of sending students to the flagship university," said Luck. "These types of things are great for the school because it just establishes every year that some of the top kids coming out of, for example, Scott High School in Boone County are heading up to Morgantown, so a tradition gets established … It gives us the best and the brightest coming to Morgantown and that's important for the university."

Having that presence from Luck and Huggins, two very public figures in the state, is a major help for Piccirillo and the Boone County Chapter.

"It couldn't happen without that," Piccirillo said. "We've had virtually every president since this thing started has been here at least once. We've had the governor here several times. Bob Huggins has been a terrific supporter. You ask and he delivers. We've really had a good time with those guys. I think they enjoy coming."

Certainly the hundreds who came out to the Pig Roast on Saturday enjoyed their time raising money for WVU in the name of Boone County. 

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