With two games remaining in the regular season for the West Virginia men’s basketball team, head coach Bob Huggins has an opportunity to become just the sixth head coach in men’s college basketball history to reach 900 career wins.
In order to accomplish this historic feat before the regular season is over, the Mountaineers will have to defeat TCU on Thursday and Oklahoma State on Saturday for Huggins to reach the 900-win mark.
Huggins would join Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski, Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim, Jim Calhoun, Bob Knight and the most recent coach to accomplish the feat, North Carolina’s Roy Williams. Williams won his 900th game on Feb. 27 when the Tar Heels upset No. 11 Florida State in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
Huggins has been a head coach since he began his tenure at Walsh College in 1980. Since then, Huggins has been the head coach at Akron, Cincinnati, Kansas State and since 2007, at West Virginia.
No matter how historic the milestone is, Huggins says he doesn’t think about it that much.
“I don’t think about it, I don’t really pay attention to it,” Huggins said. “You turn on TV and Roy (Williams) is going for his 900th, well Roy and I are friends. I’m happy for him. I also have the utmost respect for coach (Bob) Knight.”
Even though Huggins has already passed Kentucky coaching legend Adolph Rupp in career wins and he may soon join Knight, he doesn’t want to be compared to them because he appreciates them so much.
“I admire those guys, and I appreciate those guys,” Huggins said. “I would hope that people would not look at guys like Roy and I in that same light because those guys are icons. They are the Jerry West of coaching.”
In his tenure as a Division I head coach, Huggins has earned 24 NCAA Tournament bids, 11 regular season conference titles, 10 conference tournament championships and two NCAA Final Fours. In 13 years at West Virginia, Huggins has reached the NCAA Tournament nine times, gone to the 2010 NCAA Final Four, has reached five NCAA Sweet 16s and has won the 2010 Big East Conference Tournament Championship.
Huggins appreciates the respect he has gotten as a head coach, but he would rather be a mentor to young coaches to further the game of basketball.
“Hopefully, they learn some things from us and take some things that we’ve done over 40 years and continue to make this game the greatest game that there is,” Huggins said. “To me, that’s what’s important. I’m not all caught up on that other stuff and I never have been.”
Huggins says he has been blessed to have the opportunity to coach college basketball and to be around legendary coaches during his time.
“I’ve been blessed,” Huggins said. “I’ve spent a lot of time with Mike Krzyzewski. I’ve spent time with the greatest coaches. I’ve been blessed to have the greatest minds in basketball and I’ve been able to spend time with them. I treasure it.”
Despite the multitude of his accomplishments, Huggins has yet to be inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. That wait might come to an end in 2021, as Huggins has been listed as a nominee for the class of 2021.