While the West Virginia Mountaineers are new to the stage of Big 12 basketball, but their head coach will not be a stranger. One of the biggest names in all of college basketball is coming to the conference. When October rolls around, Big 12 hoops fans will see a lot of Bob Huggins. Let’s take a look at what the head coach has done in his illustrious career:
Known as “Huggy Bear,” Huggins has been the head coach at institutes such as Cincinnati and Kansas State, and is now the leader at West Virginia. In 30 seasons as a head coach, Huggins comes into the 2012 – 2013 season with 710 career wins, and he is still under the age of 60. In his 30 seasons as a head coach, his teams have reached tournament play in 27 of them.
Huggins started back in 1981 as the head coach at Walsh College. In 3 seasons, Huggins won 71 games, including a 34-1 season at the NAIA school. He was then hired at Akron, which is a division 1 school out of the MAC. For the Zips, Huggins spent five seasons, including a trip to the NCAA tournament, and 2 NIT appearances. He won 20 or more games in all but his first season.
He then went to Cincinnati, where is known for his tremendous job as a recruiter and X + O guy. After two seasons to the NIT for the Bearcats, they ran off a run of 16 straight seasons to the tournament. Following the 2005 season, he spent 2006 season out of coaching. Huggins then went to Kansas State, where he won 23 games in his lone season with the Wildcats.
Huggy Bear then took over in Morgantown, where coming into this season he has won 120 games in five seasons. In 2012, the Mountaineers finished with 19 wins, competing in a tough Big East Conference.
During his tenure as a head coach Huggins has won numerous awards. A few of his most notable include three coach of the year awards from Conference USA,
while at Cincinnati. Huggins also was named the national coach of the year following the 2002 season.
Before becoming a coach, Huggins spent three seasons as a basketball player for West Virginia. He was the captain of the 1976-1977 team, where his team went 18-11 and he was voted MVP of the team. Huggins was an all Academic team member for two seasons, and he graduated magna cum laude, and then received his masters degree.
Huggins is originally from Morgantown, and will turn 60 years old in September of 2013. His wife June have two daughters – Jenna Leigh and Jacqueline.
Some say Huggy Bear has softened up the older he gets – but have no doubts the spirit is still there. He can be a fire ball with his players, but a majority of his former players respect him greatly. He will certainly get the most out of his players, and back them 100%. Huggins has had a history of some run-in’s with officials, but in the world of college basketball ranks near the top as a respected head basketball coach. Huggins will have his Mountaineers as contenders in the Big 12 year after year.