WV Press News Sharing
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Bob Huggins has resigned as the basketball coach at West Virginia University.
Huggins stepped down Saturday after a driving under the influence arrest in Pittsburgh on Friday evening.
The DUI arrest comes just weeks after Huggins created controversy by using an anti-gay slur and making other comments on a radio program. Huggins publicly apologized after that incident and received a suspension and took a salary reduction from the university.
Friday’s arrest, which was Huggin’s second DUI arrest – the first in 2004 while he was head coach at Cincinnati – ended his coaching career at WVU. Huggins issued the following statement Saturday evening:
Today, I have submitted a letter to President Gordon Gee and Vice President and Director of Athletics Wren Baker informing them of my resignation and intention to retire as head men’s basketball coach at West Virginia University effective immediately.
My recent actions do not represent the values of the University or the leadership expected in this role. While I have always tried to represent our University with honor, I have let all of you – and myself – down. I am solely responsible for my conduct and sincerely apologize to the University community – particularly to the student-athletes, coaches and staff in our program. I must do better, and I plan to spend the next few months focused on my health and my family so that I can be the person they deserve.
It has been the honor of my professional career to lead the men’s basketball program at my alma mater and I take great pride in our accomplishments. But I am most proud of the tremendous young men who chose to spend their formative years with us, and who have gone on to do great things with their lives.
I was born in Morgantown, graduated from West Virginia University and had the pleasure of coaching here for seventeen seasons as an assistant or head coach. It will always be my home, and I will always be a Mountaineer.
Thank you to everyone who has supported our program over the years. It has meant more to me and my family than you could ever know.
WVU President Gordon Gee and Vice President/Director of Athletics Wren Baker issued the following statement:
Coach Huggins informed us of his intent to retire and has submitted his letter of resignation, and we have accepted it in light of recent events. We support his decision so that he can focus on his health and family.
On behalf of West Virginia University, we share our appreciation for his service to our University, our community and our state. During his time as a student-athlete, assistant coach and head coach, Coach Huggins devoted himself to his players, to our student body, to our fans and alumni and to all West Virginians. His contributions will always be a part of our history.
In the days ahead, we will focus on supporting the student-athletes in our men’s basketball program and solidifying leadership for our program.
A proven success as a program builder, recruiter and game strategist who has won 935 games as a collegiate head coach, Bob Huggins has directed his alma mater to 345 victories, the 2010 NCAA Final Four, the 2010 Big East Championship and 13 postseason appearances, including 11 NCAA Tournaments (five NCAA Sweet 16s), during his 16 seasons in Morgantown.
Huggins was selected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2022. He ranks first in total victories among active Division I head coaches and has the third-most wins in college basketball history among Division I head coaches.
Huggins, a 1977 graduate of West Virginia University, was introduced as WVU’s 21st men’s basketball coach on Good Friday, April 6, 2007.
Huggins has compiled a 935-414 (.693) record in 41 seasons as a head coach, which includes stints at Walsh College (1980-83), Akron (1984-1989), Cincinnati (1989-2005), Kansas State (2006-07) and West Virginia (2007-present).
Huggins’ teams have participated in postseason play in 35 of his 41 seasons, including 26 NCAA Tournaments. His squads have won 20 or more games in all but 11 of his 41 campaigns, including 30 or more three times, and he has averaged 22.8 victories a season.
In November 2017, Huggins signed an amended employment agreement, extending his employment with the University until 2027.
In 2021-22, the Mountaineers finished with the second-toughest strength of schedule in the final NCAA rankings and played more regular season Quad 1 games (17) in the NET than any other Division I school. WVU won its 11th game in Big 12 Championship history and defeated No. 15 UConn in the Big 12-Big East Battle while recording its 100th career victory against Pitt.In 2020-21, West Virginia was ranked in every week of the season, soaring to high as No. 5 on March 1 and finishing No. 13 in the final AP poll. In an abbreviated season due to COVID-19, WVU won 19 games, advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament and won 11 Big 12 games, including six on the road. Bob Huggins became the sixth Division I coach to win 900 career games when WVU defeated Morehead State in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. During the season, WVU defeated No. 7 Texas Tech, No. 10 Texas Tech, No 12 Texas, No. 19 Richmond and No. 23 Kansas.
In 2019-20, the Mountaineers won 21 games during the regular season, soaring to No. 12 in the AP poll on two different occasions before the season was cut short on the day of WVU’s opening game in the Big 12 Championship due to COVID-19. WVU defeated No. 2 Ohio State, No. 4 Baylor on Senior Day and No. 22 Texas Tech during the season while capturing the Cancun Challenge tournament title. WVU finished No. 24 in the final AP poll. During the season, Huggins moved into sixth place in all-time wins, passing legendary coaches Adolph Rupp and Dean Smith. For the fifth consecutive year, the WVU team ranked in the top 10 percent of all teams in the 2020 NCAA Division I Academic Progress Rate (APR).
In 2018-19, WVU advanced to the semifinals of the Big 12 Championship for the fourth consecutive season, defeating eventual national runner-up and No. 7-ranked Texas Tech in the quarterfinals. During the season, the Mountaineers also defeated No. 7 Kansas and No. 25 Iowa State. WVU was ranked for 55 consecutive weeks in the AP poll from 2015-18, one week shy of the school record. For the fourth consecutive year, the WVU men’s basketball team ranked in the top 10 percent of all teams in the 2019 NCAA Division I Academic Progress Rate (APR).
In 2017-18, West Virginia reached the NCAA Sweet 16 for the third time in four seasons and won 25 or more games for the fourth consecutive year. Finishing second in the Big 12 regular season and conference tournament for the third year in a row, WVU won 26 games and finished No. 15 in the AP poll and No. 13 in the USA Today Coaches’ poll. WVU was ranked every week in the AP poll, rising to No. 2 on Jan. 8, 2018, its highest ranking since Dec. 29, 1959. Off the court, the WVU men’s basketball team ranked in the top 10 percent of all squads in the 2018 NCAA Division I Academic Progress Rate (APR) for the third consecutive year.
In 2016-17, Huggins became the 10th coach in NCAA Division I history to win 800 games when the Mountaineers defeated UMKC on Dec. 17. Huggins led the Mountaineers to 28 victories, the third most in school history, and another NCAA Sweet 16 appearance. Finishing second in the Big 12 regular season and conference tournament for the second year in a row, WVU became the first team since 2011-12 to beat an AP No. 1 (Baylor) and AP No. 2 (Kansas) in the same season. The Mountaineers finished the season leading the country in four statistical categories while setting the school record for points in a season with 3,014. WVU was ranked every week in the AP poll, rising to No. 7 on three different occasions and finishing with a No. 13 ranking. WVU won at No. 6 Virginia, marking the first true non-conference road win over a Top 10-ranked team since winning at Kentucky in 1957. WVU also defeated No. 14 Notre Dame and No. 24 Iowa State to make five wins over ranked teams. Jevon Carter, who was named to the All-Big 12 Defensive Team for the third year in a row, was also named the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year and the NABC Defensive Player of the Year.
In 2015-16, Huggins led the Mountaineers to a No. 8 finish in the final Associated Press poll. WVU tied for the fifth-most victories in a season with 26. The Mountaineers finished the regular season with 24 wins, including 13 wins in Big 12 Conference play — good enough for second-place finishes in the regular season and tournament. WVU defeated No. 1 Kansas, No. 6 Oklahoma, No. 13 Iowa State, No. 15 Baylor, No. 17 Iowa State and No. 19 Baylor during the season. The Mountaineers were ranked for the final 16 weeks in the AP poll. Off the court, the WVU men’s basketball team ranked in the top 10 percent of all squads in the 2016 NCAA Division I Academic Progress Rate (APR).
In 2014-15, Huggins led the Mountaineers to 25 victories and their sixth NCAA Tournament in his eight years in Morgantown, defeating Buffalo and Maryland to reach the NCAA Sweet 16. He was named the Big 12 Conference Coach of the Year, the Jim Phelan National Coach of the Year and the West Virginia State Sports Writers Association Coach of the Year. Juwan Staten earned All-Big 12 Conference First Team honors for the second year in a row and was named to the Lute Olson All-America team. In the final NCAA stats, WVU led the country in steals, steals per game, forced turnovers and offensive rebounds, the first time WVU has ever led the country in the final stats in any category. The Mountaineers defeated No. 8 Kansas, No. 12 Maryland, No. 17 Connecticut, No. 18 Oklahoma and No. 22 Oklahoma State.
On Dec. 22, 2011, Huggins became the 20th Division I coach (minimum 10 years coaching in Division I) to reach 700 victories when the Mountaineers defeated Missouri State. Also in 2011-12, the Mountaineers advanced to their fifth consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance under Huggins. Kevin Jones became Huggins’ 11th All-American when he was named to the John Wooden All-America team while also being tabbed a second team consensus All-American.
Huggins led the Mountaineers to another NCAA appearance in 2010-11, finishing with a No. 20 ranking in the final AP poll. Huggins became the first WVU coach to win 20 games in each of his first four seasons. The Mountaineers finished with 21 victories, including 11 Big East wins. Along the way, WVU defeated No. 8 Notre Dame, No. 8 Purdue, No. 11 Louisville, No. 13 Georgetown and No. 16 Connecticut. Off the court, for the second year in a row, West Virginia finished ranked in the top 10 percent of all basketball teams in the 2011 NCAA Division I Academic Progress Rate (APR).
In 2009-10, Huggins guided West Virginia to one of the most memorable seasons in school history. The Mountaineers reached the NCAA Final Four for the first time since 1959 and won their first Big East Championship. WVU recorded a school record 31 victories and also posted a school-best 13 Big East victories, finishing the season ranked No. 3 in the final ESPN/USA Today Coaches’ Poll. For the third year in a row, Huggins was named state coach of the year by the West Virginia State Sports Writers Association.
Da’Sean Butler, winner of the 2010 Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award, earned first team All-America honors by Basketball Times and the John Wooden All-America team. In June, Butler was the 42nd selection in the second round by the Miami Heat, while Devin Ebanks was taken one pick later by the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers.
Off the court, the WVU men’s basketball team ranked in the top 10 percent of all squads in the 2010 NCAA Division I Academic Progress Rate (APR). In addition, the Big East awarded WVU the team excellence award for the highest grade point average among Big East men’s basketball teams.
In 2008-09, Huggins led the Mountaineers to 23 victories in his second season at WVU, advancing to the NCAA tournament for the second year in a row. Huggins became the second Mountaineer coach to win 20 games in his first two seasons in Morgantown. The Mountaineers reached the semifinals of the Big East Championship for the second year in a row. After the season, Huggins was named state coach of the year by the West Virginia State Sports Writers Association, his second-consecutive honor.
Butler was named to the All-Big East Second Team, Ebanks was tabbed to the All-Big East Rookie Team and All-Big East Tournament Team and Alex Ruoff was named honorable mention all-conference. Ruoff was named a first team Academic All-American by CoSIDA, the Big East Men’s Basketball Scholar-Athlete of the Year and Big East Sport Excellence award winner.
In his first season at WVU, Huggins took the Mountaineers to the NCAA Sweet 16, becoming the first Mountaineer coach to take a team that far in NCAA Tournament play in his first season. With 26 victories, he won more games in his first year than any other coach in WVU history. West Virginia tied the school record for Big East victories with 11. After finishing the season with a No. 17 ranking, Huggins was named state coach of the year by the W.Va. State Sportswriters Association.
Huggins also had his sixth first round NBA draft pick and fourth lottery pick when WVU’s Joe Alexander was selected as the eighth pick by the Milwaukee Bucks. Alexander’s first-round selection was WVU’s highest NBA pick since Ron Williams went in the first round of the 1968 NBA Draft.
Huggins has coached 20 NBA draft selections as well as 14 All-Americans. He has also guided 78 all-conference selections in Division I. Since Huggins has been at WVU, three players earned All-Big East First Team honors — Jones (2012), Butler (2010) and Alexander (2008), while Juwan Staten (2014 and 2015), Jevon Carter (2018) and Derek Culver (2021) garnered All-Big 12 First Team honors. Other Big East honorees were Butler (second team, 2009), Darryl Bryant (third team, 2012), Ebanks (third team, 2010) Ruoff (honorable mention, 2009) and Jones (honorable mention, 2011). Jaysean Paige and Devin Williams earned All-Big 12 Second Team honors in 2016, while Carter and Nathan Adrian earned All-Big 12 Second Team and All-Big 12 Third Team honors, respectively in 2017. Derek Culver garnered All-Big 12 Second Team honors in 2019, Oscar Tshiebwe in 2020, Miles McBride in 2021 and Taz Sherman in 2022, while Sagaba Konate earned All-Big 12 Third Team honors in 2018 and Erik Stevenson did so in 2023. Deniz Kilicli (2013), Eron Harris (2013, 2014), Williams (2015), Culver (2020) Taz Sherman (2021) and Sean McNeil (2021 & 2022) earned All-Big 12 Honorable Mention honors.
Alexander was just one of four Huggins’ players to earn major awards in 2008. Ruoff was named a third-team Academic All-American by ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA, one of just 15 players named nationally and the only student-athlete from the Big East. Darris Nichols earned the Big East Sportsmanship Award, while Ted Talkington was named the Big East Men’s Basketball Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Ruoff also earned the Big East Scholar-Athlete Sport Excellence Award.
On Dec. 22, 2007, Huggins became the 29th Division I coach (minimum 10 years coaching in Division I) to reach 600 victories when the Mountaineers won at Canisius.