Bob Huggins quit as the men’s basketball coach at West Virginia after he was arrested Friday night for reportedly driving while drunk.
Huggins announced his resignation in a statement released Saturday night in which he said “my recent actions do not represent the values of the University or the leadership expected in this role … I have let all of you — and myself — down.”
Bob Huggins has released a statement. pic.twitter.com/9gwKyKPNRL
— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) June 18, 2023
Huggins, who is 69 years old, is one of the most famous and divisive coaches in the sport. His resignation could mean the end of his Hall of Fame career. Huggins led in 26 NCAA tournaments and two Final Fours, and his teams won 935 games.
In 16 years at WVU, he had a record of 345–203. But the last few months he spent coaching at his alma school were so full of trouble that he couldn’t stay there. Huggins said in his statement that he will put his health and family first.
Huggins wrote in his statement, “I am the only one responsible for my actions, and I sincerely apologize to the University community, especially to the student-athletes, coaches, and staff in our program.”
Sources told ESPN’s Jeff Borzello that Huggins told his team about his choice late Saturday night. He then let the university know he was leaving soon after.
Sources say that West Virginia will likely look for its next teacher all over the country, but that internal candidates will also be looked at. Huggins’ resignation creates a problem for the team’s present roster since he was in charge of recruiting one of the best transfer classes in the country.
This choice gives those players the chance to go to another school if they want to. WVU athletic director Wren Baker’s best ally in the search will be the same NIL financial opportunities from the Country Roads Collective that helped WVU get such a strong transfer class.
This is because coaches are increasingly looking for schools with the NIL infrastructure to consistently put together high-end rosters. Huggins was taken into custody in Pittsburgh after a black SUV stopped traffic around 8:30 p.m. on Friday. The car had a “flat and shredded tire” and the driver’s side door was open.
After telling the driver, whose name was Huggins and he was from Morgantown, West Virginia, to move the car off the road, police saw that Huggins had trouble driving the SUV and pulled him over. The police asked Huggins questions and, thinking he was drunk, gave him field sobriety tests, which he failed.
The police report says that a breath test showed that Huggins’ blood alcohol level was 0.21%, which is more than twice the legal limit in Pennsylvania, which is 0.08%. Huggins’ blood was also taken at the hospital before he was let go.
Huggins was arrested just six weeks after he used a slur against gay people in an interview with a radio station in Cincinnati.
Huggins had already shown signs that the 2023–2024 season was likely to be his last. In response to his use of the slur, Huggins’ pay was cut by $1 million and he was suspended for three games. He was also given a contract that was guaranteed for only one year.
Huggins was born in Morgantown and went to college there. He played for the Mountaineers and has been coaching there since 2007. In September, he was named into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
He has led the Mountaineers to 11 NCAA tournaments, and in 2010, he led them to the Final Four. Huggins went to Kansas State for one season after taking Cincinnati to the NCAA tournament 14 times in a row from 1992 to 2005.
West Virginia said in a statement that it agreed with Huggins’ choice to step down “so he can focus on his health and family.”
The statement said, “On behalf of West Virginia University, we want to thank him for his service to our University, our community, and our state.” “As a student-athlete, assistant coach, and head coach, Coach Huggins gave his all to his players, our students, our fans and graduates, and all West Virginians. The things he did will always be remembered.”
In the coming days, we will focus on helping our men’s basketball student-athletes and making sure our team has strong leadership.
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Huggins was found guilty of drunk driving while he was in Cincinnati in 2004. After he pleaded “no contest,” the school put him on suspension for about two months and told him to go to rehab.
But Huggins’ conviction led to a fight with the university’s head at the time, Nancy Zimpher and Huggins quit as Bearcats coach the next year.
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