Decision Made On Bob Huggins' Future After Arrest

By Jason Hall

June 18, 2023

West Virginia v Maryland
Photo: Getty Images

West Virginia men's basketball coach Bob Huggins has informed the team that he won't be coaching them during the 2023-24 season, a source with knowledge of the situation confirmed to Stadium's Jeff Goodman Saturday (June 17) night.

Huggins informed the team of the coaching change hours after being arrested for driving under the influence Friday (June 16) night, which came several weeks after he made controversial anti-gay comments on a Cincinnati radio show, which resulted in a reduced salary.

"BREAKING: West Virginia Hall of Fame coach Bob Huggins has informed his team that he won’t be coaching them this season, following last night’s DUI incident, source told @stadium. Staff members and coaches were in tears as Huggins delivered the news around 9 pm ET, source told @stadium. Huggins told the players that he was unsure who would be coaching them this season," Goodman tweeted.

Huggins, 69, was charged with driving under the influence, according to a Pittsburgh Police arrest report. The coach's SUV was stopped in the middle of a road blocking traffic with its driver's side door open after experiencing a flat and shredded tire, according to police.

Officers directed Huggins to move forward so they could assist him with the flat tire and observed that he had difficulty maneuvering the SUV to get out of the way of passing vehicles, at which point police turned on their lights to pull him over. Huggins was asked to "perform standard field sobriety tests, which he failed" before being "placed in custody without incident and transported for further testing," according to the arrest report.

Huggins was later released from custody and is scheduled to appear in court "for a preliminary hearing at a later date."

Last month, Huggins amended a deal to return to the sideline next season following a recent controversy in which he used an anti-gay slur twice during a radio interview while describing the fans of rival Xavier, ESPN's Pete Thamel reported at the time.

"Sources: WVU and coach Bob Huggins are finalizing details for him to return to the sideline next season in the wake of him using an anti-gay slur in a radio interview earlier this week. He's expected to receive a suspension, $1 million salary reduction and sensitivity training," Thamel tweeted.

Huggins issued an apology shared by the team on May 8.

"Earlier today on a Cincinnati radio program, I was asked about the rivalry between my former employer, the University of Cincinnati, and its crosstown rival, Xavier University. During the conversation, I used a completely insensitive and abhorrent phrase that there is simply no excuse for — and I won’t try to make one here," Huggins said at the time. “I deeply apologize to the individuals I have offended, as well as to the Xavier University community, the University of Cincinnati and West Virginia University.

"As I have shared with my players over my 40 years of coaching, there are consequences for our words and actions, and I will fully accept any coming my way. I am ashamed and embarrassed and heartbroken for those I have hurt. I must do better, and I will.”

Huggins, who was hired by WVU in 2007, is one of only six coaches in NCAA history with more than 900 career victories, which included past tenures at Kansas State (2006-07), Cincinnati (1989-2005) and Akron (1984-89). The Morgantown native played point guard from 1975 to 1977 and began his coaching career working as an assistant for the Mountaineers in 1977.

Huggins was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2022 and led both West Virginia (2010) and Akron (1992) to the Final Four.

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