The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

College Sports

June 7, 2013

Mount Hope duo golfs to support Pruett

Former Herd players have faith in future of MU football program

OAK HILL — Kevin Biggs and Jimmy Parker are teammates. There’s no doubt about that.

The duo helped anchor the Mt. Hope Mustangs for much of the mid-90s, before taking its talents to Huntington and Marshall University.

On Friday, the rather large duo took to the links for the Elsie Pruett Scholarship Golf Tournament at White Oak Country Club in Oak Hill.

“We went to Mt. Hope together. We went to Marshall together, and now we’re out here playing together,” Parker said. “I’d say we play pretty well together.”

More than 20 teams came out in rainy and dreary conditions that would make St. Andrews proud, all in the name of Marshall.

But for Biggs and Parker, it was about supporting a man and his wife who gave them so much, coach Bob Pruett and his wife, Elsie.

“It’s a fantastic event. It’s for a really great cause. Mrs. Pruett is such a sweetheart, and coach Pruett has always been good to us,” Parker said. “He recruited us and wanted us to come down to Huntington to play football. We felt like he’s part of the family.”

“Coach Pruett ... I’d do anything for the ol’ ball coach,” Biggs remarked. “He helped us so much with the scholarships and guiding us the way he did. Coming out here today is nothing — not even with this kind of weather.”

Biggs and Parker both began their careers in kelly green in 1997, the first year Marshall began play in the current Football Bowl Subdivision. By1999, the two had made a mark on the college football landscape by helping the Herd to a top 10 finish.

“When we were there, Marshall proved themselves,” Biggs said. “We proved ourselves as a contender. There were a lot of West Virginia boys on that team.”

Biggs hopes to see more West Virginia talent taking the field at Joan C. Edwards Stadium in the future.

“The current program is what it is. I’d like to see them recruit a little more in state, but I think they’ve got a lot of work to do. I think coach Holiday can guide them in the right direction.”

Parker, who still resides in Huntington, also offered his support for his alma mater, and the hiring of new defensive coordinator, Chuck Heater.

“I think it’s fantastic they’re bringing him in,” he said. “The buzz around Huntington has always been positive about Doc, and Doc is doing a great job with the kids. This time around, he’s got his own players. We’ll get to see what he can do, and he’s bringing in good coaches. Hopefully, the fans will come out and support us.”

The Thundering Herd will begin their quest for Conference USA dominance on Saturday, Aug. 31 when they welcome former MAC rival, Miami (Ohio) to Huntington.

— E-mail: jrollins

and follow on Twitter at @JDanielRollins

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