By BRIAN WOODSON
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
GREEN VALLEY —
Doug Hubbard wasn’t able to attend the Pocohontas Coal Association/Bluefield Daily Telegraph Player of the Year banquet on Tuesday night at the Princeton Elks Lodge.
He had a good reason.
Hubbard, who is in his 30th season at Honaker, was leading his Tigers in practice, preparing for the Group A, Division 1 state championship game.
Honaker (13-1) will play George Wythe (13-1) on Saturday at Salem Stadium in Salem, Va. Kickoff is slated for noon.
“That is a problem that all the other coaches would like to have,” agreed Hubbard, on a very good reason not to be in Mercer County on Tuesday.
Hubbard was selected as the Coach of the Year for leading Honaker to the state title game, including a 13-1 record and a Black Diamond District championship.
“I am very appreciative of this award,” said Hubbard, during a phone conversation on Monday. “I know how much effort you put into this award and I know all of the other great coaches that are up for the award.
“I really appreciate it for me and my staff. I have great coaches that work with me, but this is very special to me.”
Hubbard, who became the head coach at Honaker in 1982, led the Tigers back from a 26-7 halftime deficit in last week’s state semifinals, scoring 41 second half points to defeat Sussex Central 48-40.
This will be Honaker’s second trip to the state title game.
With current Pittsburgh Steelers’ tight end Heath Miller at quarterback and defensive back, the Tigers took a 13-0 record into the 2000 Group A, Division 2 state championship game in 2000, but dropped a 25-15 decision.
Hubbard repeated his appreciation for being recognized for his accomplishments.
“I have been very fortunate,” Hubbard said. “I have had good players and great coaches. It has been real nice.
“I really appreciate it. It is a really nice honor.”
Other coaches considered for the award were Greg Mance of Richlands, Giles’ Jeff Williams, Josh Houchins of Summers County, Mike Williams at Graham and Bluefield’s Fred Simon.
Todd McCoy of Mount View, Jimmy Redmond at Montcalm and Tazewell’s Shane Allen were also considered after turnaround seasons at all three schools.
—Contact Brian Woodson at email@example.com