Bob Huggins: West Virginia men’s basketball coach resigns and announces retirement following his DUI arrest

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Embattled coach Bob Huggins has resigned as the men’s head basketball coach at West Virginia University and announced his retirement Saturday after he was arrested and charged with driving under the influence in Pittsburgh.

“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,” Huggins said in a statement on Saturday.

“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.”

Pittsburgh Police said in a statement that just before 8:30 p.m. Friday, officers observed a black SUV with the driver’s door open in the middle of the road, blocking traffic. The vehicle had a “flat and shredded tire,” according to the statement.

Police said they directed the driver, Robert Huggins of Morgantown, West Virginia, to move the vehicle off the road and noticed Huggins was having difficulty maneuvering the SUV. Police said they questioned Huggins and, suspecting he was intoxicated, performed standard field sobriety tests, which Huggins failed.

Huggins was placed in custody without incident and transported for further testing.

A copy of the police report obtained by CNN affiliate WTAE states that a breathalyzer test registered a blood alcohol level of 0.21% for Huggins, nearly three times Pennsylvania’s legal limit of 0.08%.

The 16-year Mountaineers head coach was later released from custody and will face a preliminary hearing at a later date.

“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,” university president E. Gordon Gee and vice president/director of athletics Wren Baker said in a statement.

West Virginia has not named a replacement but said the school will be focused on supporting the student athletes in the men’s program and solidifying the leadership of the program.

Last month, Huggins had his salary reduced by $1 million per year and received a three-game suspension after he used a homophobic slur while appearing on a Cincinnati radio show. Huggins was also instructed to participate in sensitivity training and had his multiyear contract amended to a year-to-year deal.

After his comments, Huggins apologized and admitted there was no excuse for his hurtful language.

“I deeply regret my actions,” Huggins said. “I also regret the embarrassment and disappointment it has caused our Athletics family, members of our campus community and the state of West Virginia.”

At the time, Gee described the long-time Mountaineers coach’s language as “inexcusable” and “offensive.”

Huggins was previously arrested for DUI in 2004 while the head men’s coach for the University of Cincinnati Bearcats. Huggins pleaded no contest to those charges, according to CNN affiliate WLWT. He was suspended by the school for more than two months over the incident.

In his coaching career, Huggins tallied 935 victories in his 41 seasons as head coach, which ranks as the third-most wins in college basketball history among Division I head coaches.

During his tenure as West Virginia head coach, he led the men’s program to 345 wins while reaching the NCAA Tournament 11 times, including five NCAA Sweet 16’s and the 2010 NCAA Final Four.

Before becoming the head coach of the Mountaineers, Huggins was a head coach at the University of Akron (1984-1989), University of Cincinnati (1989-2005), and Kansas State University (2006-2007).

Huggins was selected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2022.


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