When it comes to athletics, Colonel Crawford and the county mean a lot to Chuck Huggins.
Huggins, who has coached girls softball for the past 28 years at his Alma mater, was inducted in the 2015 Crawford County Sports Hall of Fame.
“I feel very blessed,” he said.
During Chuck’s high school years at Col. Crawford, he had the pleasure of having fellow hall of fame member, Robert Morrison as his high school principal. After graduating from the home of Eagles, Huggins received his degree in elementary education at Bluffton College and later received a master’s degree in administration from Ashland University. Huggins taught three years at Lima City Schools before going back home to the Colonel Crawford district where Chuck taught sixth-grade math, science and language arts for 32 years. He retired from the classroom in 2013 after 35 years in the teaching profession.
Huggins entire softball coaching career has taken place with the Eagles. Chuck’s overall record is 568-204 with his winning percentage at .704. Huggins is in the top five for total wins in Ohio high school softball with 63 total championship victories including 16 at the conference level, 25 for sectionals, 14 for districts, seven regional, three state runner-ups and one state championship victory in 1995.
“Every championship is special,” he said.
Many of Chuck’s teams had the honor of receiving their championship medals from his old high school principal Robert Morrison, as he was a long-time member of the Northwest District Athletic Board.
Huggins’ remembered Morrison presenting him with his championship medal: After shaking hands and embracing, Morrison looked Chuck in the eye, got a big smile on his face and said, “I want you to know, young man, how much of an honor it is to continually present you and our Colonel Crawford teams with these medals…you keep up the good work!”
Other career highlights include being inducted into the Ohio High School Fastpitch Softball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in June 2004; winning the Ohio High School Athletic Association Northwest District and statewide versions of the “Sportsmanship, Ethics and Integrity,” award for the in May 2014.
The Colonel Crawford community honored Huggins by naming the high school softball field “The Chuck Huggins Field” in September 2007. Huggins said that honor along with the latest induction into the Crawford County Sports Hall of Fame are his top honors.
“It really makes these two honors really special to me,” he said. “They come from our community that makes its special.”
Family is also important for Huggins. He and his wife Julie have been married 33 years, and are the proud parents of three children, Chuck, an accountant, Neil a law student, and Natalie, a language arts teacher in the Shelby School System. From 2007-2010, he had the opportunity to coach Natalie, where she earned 1st Team All-Ohio Honors in 2009.
Huggins is looking forward to starting the upcoming season of high school softball, which is around the corner.
The Crawford County Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2015 Induction Banquet will take place at the Trillium Event Center, 1630 E. Southern Ave., in Bucyrus 5 p.m. March 19. Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for 12 and under. The tickets can be purchased at the Crestline Advocate, the six high school athletic department offices or by calling 419-571-6284.
The other inductees are Bill Durtschi of Galion, Jack Hewitt of Bucyrus, Chuck Huggins of Colonel Crawford, Natalie Winkelfoos of Bucyrus and the 1985 Girls basketball state championship team.
Information submitted by Carolyn Helbert.
Reach Klein at 419-468-1117, ext. 2048 or on Twitter at @brandoneklein.
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