“Great Coach-Great Flaws”
I expected this to end badly, it did end badly, for Bob Huggins at West Virginia, forced to step down after 2-incidents off the court in a 6-week span.
I’ve known Bob Huggins since 1980, the son of a legendary high school coach outside New Philadelphia, Ohio. I saw what he did as a player, what he did as a small college coach at Walsh College and Akron University
Followed the tremendous run he had at Cincinnati, recruiting, taking the Bearcats to the NCAa final four.
He duplicated the same going across the state line to rally the West Virginia basketball program in his native state.
But despite his accomplishments on the court, the 300-plus wins with the Mountaineers, the 900 plus career wins in college ball, there were always warning signs.
There were academic issues at UC, where only 28% of the Bearcats graduated. There were NCAA violations. Clashes with the School President. And DUI incidents. He exited at war with the President.
Some of the same issues followed him to the Mountaineers in Morgantown. Call it lifestyle issues. Call it lack of institutional control by the University over things going on off the court.
Then six weeks ago, what appeared to be an innebriated Huggins doing an interview with a Cincinnati station that led to a firestorm of controversy after he slurred Xavier University fans and then Catholics, using gay terms. No one does that these days, he did.
And then the weekend explosion in Pittsburgh, his arrest in a damaged car, filled with beer cans, and with a (.21) blood alcohol count. Call it acute drunk driving.
His career is over. Luckily his life is not, because that type of BAC usually ends in drunk driving fatalties.
I am so disappointed at what has befallen Huggins. I guess what I don’t understand is that no-one in his inner circle of basketball friends, or at the upper level of the WVU administration could not see this coming.
No one ever did an intervention. No one tried to get this street smart basketball guy into an intensive rehab program.
It is obvious his alcohol lifestyle is out of control, and maybe life threatening.
Maybe two of his greatest UC players, Nick Van Exel or Kenyon Martin can step forward to guide him into intensive rehab for drinking. They owe their NBA careers to that coach. Hopefully he will listen to his former Bearcasts players.
Great coach-great flaws and his health, career and life nowin great jeopardy.
I am so sad what Huggins has gotten himself into. I hope there is a way out, but fixing his flaws may be harder that fixing the basketball programs where he coached.