Bill Legg is home.
Home in West Virginia. Home in Morgantown. Home in West Virginia University.
It’s where the Poca native belongs.
But it has taken Legg a while to get back.
Has it ever.
“The last real time I was in Morgantown was before I left to come work for coach [Bob] Pruett,” said Legg, referring to the former Marshall University football coach. “That was the end of February or the first of March in 2001. Then, of course, we played up here, but that’s just in and out.”
So, in reality, it had been 19 years since Legg actually lived in Morgantown after starring for the Mountaineers as a four-year starter at center (1981-85) and then, serving as an assistant and offensive coordinator on former iconic coach Don Nehlen’s staff (1995-2000).
“I have been to Morgantown a couple of times in the last 19 years,” said Legg, who was hired in March as the assistant to WVU coach Neal Brown. “When we played up here and, then, I was part of a home visit for a kid we were recruiting from University High probably five years ago. But we weren’t really in Morgantown. The kid actually lived in Sabraton.
“So, Morgantown has changed dramatically. I’ve gotten lost a couple of times already. It has grown by leaps and bounds. There’s a ton of new construction.
“And as a result of the new construction, they have re-pathed some of the roads. All the medical facilities have grown by leaps and bounds since the last time I was here. It’s just different.”
Legg is still feeling his way back in Morgantown and back at his alma mater because the coronavirus pandemic hit the pause button on his return.
“Well, it’s hard to get a complete grasp on how it feels to be back in Morgantown right now,” said Legg, “because of everything that has been going on. I was only up here a few weeks and, then, they closed the campus.
“I hadn’t even had a chance to find a place to live, so I went back to Georgia — where I have been living the past couple of years. Only recently — I came back on May 30th — so I could be in town long enough, got tested ]for the coronavirus] last week and got cleared that I didn’t have COVID.”
That was the first step.
Now Legg is embarking on this brave new world of collegiate football coaching.
“We’re still not meeting as a group,” said Legg. “Part of that is coach Brown is taking a conservative approach. He has figured out that we can get 90 percent done of what we want to get done with all these virtual meetings.
“He doesn’t want any hiccups to keep our kids from being able to start back next week — because the Big 12 made a rule that you can’t bring them in until July 15 for voluntary workouts. We didn’t want to have staff meetings with a whole plethora of people in there and put ourselves in jeopardy. That’s kind of the approach we’ve taken ... X number of guys are allowed to come in and out of the office at one time.
“But basically, you are in your office. That’s what you’re doing. You are working out of your office, basically. Upload your computer, get everything updated through the hard drive and through the main frame. That way when you’re not in the office, you’ve got the most up-to-date stuff on your computer from a video stand-point.”
So far, so good.
But have Legg and his wife, Kelly, found a place to live?
“There are still some people in Morgantown that like me, even though I worked at Marshall for all those years,” said Legg with a long laugh about his 10 seasons in Huntington. “Actually, a friend of ours has a condo he was thinking about selling and I convinced him to let me rent it until everything calmed down.
“So that’s what we’re doing because you couldn’t look for a permanent place to live. Timing was bad for that. There was nothing I could do about it, so there was no reason to sweat about it. We’re going to do that through the season and then, we’ll figure out what we’re going to do from there.”
But at the end of the day, Legg is home.
“My parents still live in Poca,” he said. “They’re doing well. And I have some aunts and uncles because my mom and dad were the oldest on both sides. The majority of them still live between Putnam County and Kanawha County.”
Yes, Bill Legg is a West Virginian — through and through.
It is so nice to have him back.