This past Monday night, West Virginia University basketball coach Bob Huggins recorded career victory No. 729.
That is good for a tie for 16th place all-time in the NCAA Division I ranks.
Huggins is with elite company. The win ties him with Jerry Tarkanian and Norm Stewart.
Huggins will see part of Norm Stewart’s legacy firsthand when he takes his Mountaineers on the road to Missouri tonight (ESPN2 at 9 p.m.).
“As I’ve said many times, I don’t look backwards,” said Huggins after the win. “It’s probably a good thing, too. You keep looking out the windshield and going forward.”
Huggins has done well since he came back to his alma mater. He played guard for the Mountaineers from 1975-77. He then went on to become a coach.
He has taken WVU to seven straight NCAA appearances. In 2010 he led the Mountaineers to the Final Four and won the Big East Tournament championship for the first time in school history.
Huggins started his coaching career at Walsh College in Ohio, then he moved to Akron, had a long stint with Cincinnati where he had a lot of success. Then after a year off, he coached one year at Kansas State, before coming home to Morgantown.
Huggins’ teams have played in the post season in 27 of his 31 years.
Last year was a tough one for Huggins and the Mountaineer fans. The squad finished with a losing record in the inaugural Big 12 season.
But, with a revamped roster and a new attitude, this year’s squad has started out 6-2 and has been entertaining to watch. If you had any doubt that Huggins would turn things around this season, then you must have not followed his career.
He has coached 11 All-Americans and sent several players to the NBA.
But he also stresses for his players to get their education and to become better people. Huggins was a two-time academic All-American and graduated magna cum laude with a Master’s Degree.
He may be “old school” when it comes to coaching and his practices are tough.
But he gets results and that is what his players and the fans want.
WVU his lucky to have Huggins and he is sure to get many more wins for the old gold and blue.
But for now, Huggins legacy is still being written.
(Kyle Lovern is the sports editor for the Williamson Daily News. Comments or story ideas can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com)