Huggins resigns as WVU coach in wake of arrest

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By Usa Express Daily

Bob Huggins has resigned as the men’s basketball coach at West Virginia in the wake of his arrest Friday night for allegedly driving under the influence.

Huggins announced he was stepping down in a statement Saturday night in which he said, “My recent actions do not represent the values of the University or the leadership expected in this role. … I have let all of you — and myself — down.”

The resignation of Huggins, 69, could mark the end of a Hall of Fame career for one of the sport’s most successful and divisive coaches. Huggins won 935 games and coached in 26 NCAA tournaments and two Final Fours. In 16 seasons at West Virginia, he went 345-203.

But his final months at his alma mater were steeped in such controversy that no path toward him continuing to coach there existed. Huggins said in his statement that he was going to focus on his health and his family.

“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,” Huggins said.

Huggins informed the team of his decision late Saturday, sources told ESPN’s Jeff Borzello, and let the university know of his resignation soon after.

Huggins was arrested Friday in Pittsburgh after police observed a black SUV blocking traffic around 8:30 p.m. with a “flat and shredded tire” and the driver’s side door open, according to a police report.

Officers told Huggins to move the vehicle off the road then pulled him over when they observed Huggins having trouble maneuvering the SUV. The officers questioned Huggins, saying he had trouble answering such questions as where he was. Believing he was intoxicated, police asked Huggins to perform field sobriety tests, which he failed.

According to the report, a breath test determined that Huggins’ blood alcohol content was 0.21%, more than twice the legal limit of 0.08% in Pennsylvania. A blood sample also was taken from Huggins at a hospital prior to his release.

The arrest came just six weeks after Huggins used an anti-gay slur in an interview with a Cincinnati radio station. He received a $1 million salary reduction and a three-game suspension along with an amended contract that was essentially guaranteed for only a year.

West Virginia is expected to conduct a national search for a new coach, sources said, although internal candidates will be considered. West Virginia athletic director Wren Baker’s best ally in the search will be the same NIL financial opportunities from the Country Roads Trust that allowed the Mountaineers to lure such a robust transfer class, as coaches increasingly are prioritizing schools with the NIL infrastructure to consistently assemble high-end rosters.

Huggins’ resignation leaves the current roster in a dilemma, though players will have the opportunity to potentially leave for another school.

In a statement, West Virginia said it supported Huggins’ decision to resign.

“On behalf of West Virginia University, we share our appreciation for his service to our University, our community and our state,” the statement read. “During his time as a student-athlete, assistant coach and head coach, Coach Huggins devoted himself to his players, to our student body, to our fans and alumni and to all West Virginians. His contributions will always be a part of our history.

“In the days ahead, we will focus on supporting the student-athletes in our men’s basketball program and solidifying leadership for our program.”

Huggins, a Morgantown native who played for the Mountaineers in college, had coached at his alma mater since 2007 and was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in September. He guided the Mountaineers to 11 NCAA tournament appearances, including a Final Four in 2010. Huggins spent one season at Kansas State after leading Cincinnati to 14 straight NCAA tournament appearances from 1992 to 2005.

He was convicted of drunken driving in 2004 while at Cincinnati. After pleading no contest, Huggins was suspended for approximately two months by the school and ordered to undergo rehabilitation. But the conviction led to a standoff with then-university president Nancy Zimpher that ultimately resulted in Huggins resigning as Bearcats coach the following year.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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