WVU Sports Hall of Fame
Written by Greg Walker
Daniel "Danny" Buggs, a 1973 Kodak first team All-America wide receiver from Atlanta, Ga., may be best remembered for his blazing speed, which baffled Mountaineer football opponents from 1972-74. His 96-yard touchdown reception from Ben Williams versus Penn State in 1973 is still the longest pass play from scrimmage in WVU history.
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Buggs' expertise was his ability to make the big play on the gridiron. In fact, at one point during his sophomore season, Buggs averaged a touchdown for every five times he touched the ball. He still holds the WVU record for most career yards per reception with a 20.9 average. He also ranks fourth in career receiving yards with 1,796 and touchdowns receptions with 15.
In 1972, Buggs put up some astounding numbers. He caught 35 passes for 791 yards and eight touchdowns. That's an average of 22.6 yards per catch. Buggs also averaged 14.2 yards per punt return and ran six punts back for touchdowns. Overall, he scored 84 points in 1972. West Virginia was 8-4 that season and lost to North Carolina State, 49-13, in the Peach Bowl. Following his sophomore campaign, Buggs was named the 1973 West Virginia amateur athlete of the year by the West Virginia Sportswriters Association.
Under Coach Bobby Bowden, Buggs and the Mountaineers compiled an 18-16 three-year record. "Lightning" was selected to play in the 1974 Hula and Senior bowls and caught a 47-yard touchdown pass to help the East top the West 34-25 in the Hula Bowl in Honolulu, Hawaii.
He was drafted in the third round of the NFL draft by the New York Giants, and played 10 seasons of professional ball with the Giants and Washington Redskins of the NFL, the Edmonton Eskimos and Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League, and the Tampa Bay Bandits and San Antonio Gunslingers of the USFL. In 1980, Buggs helped Edmonton win the Grey Cup, the CFL's equivalent of the Super Bowl.
The three-year letterman in track for Coach Stan Romanoski also held nearly every WVU sprint record until 1992 Olympian James Jett surpassed his times. He once clocked a 9.55 100-yard dash in tennis shoes and without warming up.
In fact, Buggs so impressed the track community from the outset of his career, he was erroneously named the winner of the 1973 Ray McCoy Award as the West Virginia track athlete of the year for the year of 1972. Two weeks after the honor had been announced, pollsters discovered that Buggs' and WVU's indoor track season did not start until January, 1973, and they had to reissue another ballot, this time without Buggs' name on it. He was a shoe-in winner of the Ray McCoy Award in 1974.
Born April 22, 1953, at Duluth, Ga., Buggs attended Avondale High School and won all-state honors for Coach Crawford Kennedy. He also set state prep track records in the 100, 220 and 440-yard dashes and the broad jump.