Bob Huggins rakes in cash for cancer cause

West Virginia coach Bob Huggins certainly isn't selling Huggie Bear coffee mugs and T-shirts bearing his cartoon caricature while allowing himself to be the butt of jokes at his annual roast for nothing.

Huggins has gone out of his way to raise money for cancer research after his mother's death in 2003, and in recent years, the endowment fund in her name has done very, very well, according to the Charleston Daily Mail.

The Norma Mae Huggins Cancer Research Fund is based at WVU's Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center. Will Armistead, the cancer center's director of development, said the Huggins Fund, with matches received and those pending, "is a little north of $467,000 right now."

Before the coach's concerted efforts to boost the fund, Armistead said, that number was in the $35,000-38,000 range.

That's a lot of cash generated in a short amount of time, and Huggins has been happy to contribute his time and even let his peers take some shots at his quirks at his celebrity roasts for a good cause.

Every little bit counts, and according to the Charleston Daily Mail, even the nicknacks selling at huggiebearproducts.com have generated another $10,000 toward the cause. The way the fund has taken off is great news not only for Huggins, but those who will benefit from it.

"We didn't do much with the fund until the (roast) here," Huggins told the paper. We've got to get it to the point where we actually have enough to do some really good things ... and we will.

"The (roast) here was a good start and the last two were just great. People came to us. Once word gets out, people want to help. Everybody is affected by cancer in one way or another, lost someone in their family or someone they knew well, and it's a cause everyone can relate to."