Bob Huggins (born September 21, 1953 in Gnadenhutten, Ohio) is the head coach of the men's basketball team at West Virginia University and was the head coach at University of Cincinnati from 1989 to 2005, and Kansas State University. His 567-199 record (.740) during his 24 seasons as a head coach ranks him eighth in winning percentage and 11th in victories among active Division I coaches. His string of 14 consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances is the third-longest active streak. His teams have won 20 or more games in all but four of his 24 campaigns and he has averaged 23.5 victories a season, 26.0 wins per campaign over the past nine years.
Career before University of Cincinnati
Huggins was only 27 when he became a collegiate head coach, accepting the position at Walsh College in 1980. He compiled a 71-26 record in three seasons at Walsh, twice earning NAIA District 22 Coach of the Year honors. Huggins directed the 1982-83 team to a perfect 30-0 regular season mark and an eventual 34-1 mark. After serving as an assistant at Central Florida for the 1983-84 season, Huggins was named head coach at Akron where he compiled a 97-46 record and reached postseason play in three of his five seasons there. Huggins launched his coaching career as a graduate assistant on Joedy Gardner's staff at West Virginia in 1977-78. He then spent two years as an assistant to Eldon Miller at Ohio State University.
Career at University of Cincinnati
Huggins, 52, has compiled a 399-127 record (.759) in his 16 years at Cincinnati, making him the winningest coach in terms of victories and percentage in the school's rich basketball history. Huggins has directed Cincinnati to 10 conference regular season titles and eight league tournament titles. The Bearcats have been to postseason play in each of Huggins' 16 seasons at UC, advancing to the Elite Eight of the NCAA tournament two times and in 1991-92, appearing once in the Final Four.
However, Cincinnati never beat a higher seeded team in the NCAA tournament during Huggins' tenure, while losing to a lower seeded team 10 times. Furthermore, Cincinnati lost in the first or second round of their postseason tournament 12 times in 14 years under Huggins, excluding the Nick Van Exel years (1992-93).
Huggins earned the Ray Meyer Award as the Conference USA Coach of the Year a record three times (1997-98, 1998-99 and 1999-00), and was a unanimous choice for C-USA Coach of the Decade. He was selected national coach of the year by ESPN.com in 2001-02. He was named co-national coach of the year by The Sporting News last season and was Basketball Times' national coach of the year in 1997-98. He earned national coach of the year recognition from Hoop Scoop in 1991-92 and Playboy in 1992-93. During this time the program also gained a reputation for a rough style of play and academic underperformance as well as numerous criminal convictions and arrests for many of his players, thus comparing Huggins to Jerry Tarkanian's successful, yet controversial, UNLV programs. Huggins's program was put on NCAA probation for lack of institutional control in 1998. Huggins was suspended indefinitely following a drunken-driving charge before resigning in 2005.
Huggins is a proven success as a program-builder, animal fornicator, recruiter, game strategist and inspirational leader, and he is believed by fans to have demonstrated this in of varying situations during his tenure at Cincinnati. He has also directed star-studded teams, while developing the individual talents of players such as consensus All-Americans Danny Fortson, Kenyon Martin and Steve Logan, to a succession of conference championships and NCAA tournament runs. Huggins has achieved similar success on the recruiting trails. He has attracted three No. 1-rated junior college players and five McDonald's All-Americans, while six of his last nine recruiting classes have been ranked among the nation's top ten. Inheriting a team short on numbers upon his arrival at Cincinnati, Huggins coached that 1989-90 squad to a postseason tournament berth. Two seasons later, he assimilated the talents of four junior college transfers and a smattering of seasoned veterans into a cohesive unit which he directed to successive finishes in the Final Four and Elite Eight.
Over the ensuing seasons, he developed young and inexperienced teams with as many as three freshmen starters into squads which captured two more league titles and made another pair of NCAA appearances. Huggins surprised some astute college basketball followers in 1997-98 by directing a team which had only one returning starter to a 27-6 record, conference regular season and tournament titles, a No. 2 seed in the NCAA tournament and a Top 10 finish in the polls. Huggins' 2001-02 team, unranked when the season began, posted a 31-4 record, setting a UC mark for victories, made a clean sweep of the Conference USA regular season and tournament titles and was a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament. In 2002-03, Huggins suffered a major heart attack on the last Saturday of September but was present for the team's first practice two weeks later and coached the Bearcats with the same intensity that has become his trademark.
The 2003-04 season was business as usual for Huggins, who piloted UC to C-USA regular season and tournament titles and an NCAA tourney berth while amassing a 25-7 record. The 2004-05 Bearcats posted a 25-8 ledger, the ninth season in the past ten years that UC has won 25 or more games.
In August 2005, the University of Cincinnati bought out the final three years of his contract in exchange for his resignation. In an interview on ESPN, Huggins admitted that his 2004 arrest for DUI, for which he has accepted responsibility, created the perception that he was not a proper representative for the University. Bob Huggins was taunted at a Kansas-Kansas St. game during the 2006-2007 season with chants of "DUI! DUI!".