From the Bench: How Mike Carey Came up the Loser in Battle against Bob Huggins and His Treadmill

By Jeff Toquinto on September 24, 2017 from Sports Blog via

About one month into the official launch of Connect-Bridgeport, I was able to meet with West Virginia University Coaches Mike Carey and Bob Huggins at a Mountaineer Coaches Caravan event that was held at the Bridgeport Conference Center. The event was May 22, 2012 to be exact.
Since we were still fledgling at the time and have expanded our audience, I would really hate for those of you who know Mike Carey and to actually have missed this. So for the good of the cause, I thought I’d rehash this wonderful tale involving the former Bridgeport resident, Clarksburg native and Liberty High School graduate.
Prior to the start of the event, the lobby of the Bridgeport Conference Center was filled with plenty of food and drink (and yes, since I was involved and Scott Duarte was involved with the freebies I partook) for those on hand. It was also the time where we media types could get an interview with the coaches that were on hand.
Since I don’t cover WVU sports on a regular basis and was fairly certain no one was going to be unveiling anything significant or what the other media members in attendance didn’t already know, I figured I would go another route. The only thing I needed was for Carey and Huggins to be in attendance.
They both were.
The question I needed to ask involved Huggins’ notorious treadmill. For those that don’t know, Huggins is known to keep a treadmill out at practice and for those falling into his disfavor to utilize.
By all accounts, it’s not a fun utilization of practice time. So what’s that got to do with Carey, who is the women’s basketball coach at WVU? As it turned out, plenty.
The story I had heard, and Carey’s good time and one time color commentator Travis Jones primarily confirmed, was that Carey himself was a user of the treadmill. As it turns out, he was also a victim of it.
As Huggins answered media questions politely and his very low-toned voice, I waited until everyone else was finished. I wanted to know if a story involving himself and Carey was true and could ask him about it.
Huggins was immediately inquisitive.  And when I asked him about Mike Carey on the treadmill, he actually chuckled, and was ready to talk about the treadmill incident that left the former Salem College basketball playing and coaching standout with a broken rib.
The only part Huggins couldn’t remember was how Mike approached him on the subject. The rumor was Carey approached Huggins during one of his practices and in vintage “Mike Carey voice,” said he was tired of hearing about the treadmill on television and it wasn’t nothing he couldn’t handle.
Understand that Carey and Huggins aren’t just friends. They’re best of friends. And for those knowing Carey they know this isn’t being aggressive or angry, it’s just Mike being Mike. 
While Huggins couldn’t confirm what the initial conversation was, he did remember that the treadmill incident wasn’t urban legend. It happened.
“Mike figured he could run our treadmill as fast as the girls could and it just threw him off. He (thought) he broke a rib,” said Huggins with a chuckle. “He keeps things livened up.”
Huggins also said there is footage of the incident. He’s watched it, but doesn’t have it in his possession. Huggins added that he knows where the tape is located and he would have no problem releasing it to the public.
Five years later, the film hasn’t made it on social media. I’ll gladly make a contribution to any fund of Huggins’ choosing if he releases it to me.
As for there being any chance that Huggins was making the story up was quickly dismissed by Carey. The women’s coach said the incident certainly happened and it left him battered and bruised.
“It was pretty bad. I thought I could run it. As it turned out, I couldn’t. I cracked a rib and had a knot the size of my fist on the back of my head. I ended up in the fetal position when it all was over.”
When asked if Huggins and the others laughed at him, Carey said, “I don’t remember, but I’m sure they were. I was hurt.”
Another incident likely only left Carey’s pride hurt. This time it involved a basketball and Carey’s leg.
“Another thing I can tell you is that he never punted in football,” said Huggins. “ … I think we should have him come out and try to do it for one of our games or something. Mike got mad at a practice one day, grabbed the ball, tried to punt it and missed the whole thing. I think he threw his hip out.”
Carey wasn’t sure if that happened. He did, however, admit to one thing.
“I’ve been known to kick a few balls when I get upset,” Carey said. “So, yea, it probably happened.”
Feel free to add that story to the list of Carey Classics. Someone could write a book on them, but the only problem is he’s still adding to the list.
Editor's Note: Top photo, courtesy of WVU Sports Communications, is of Mike Carey, left, Dana Holgorsen, center, and Bob Huggins, while Carey's intensity is shown in this photo in the middle. The bottom photo is from the 2012 Caravan event at Bridgeport where Huggins revealed the treadmill story.

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