MORGANTOWN W.Va- With Saturday’s victory over Kansas St, Mountaineer head coach Bob Huggins passed University of Kentucky great Adolph Rupp, who coached the UK Wildcats from 1930-1972.
Despite leading one of the youngest teams in the Big 12 and all of college basketball, Huggins has already made an impact on many of his fourteen players that make up his 2020 Mountaineer team.
“Huggs is the best,” said freshman Oscar Tshiebwe. “I’ve played for a lot of high school and AAU coaches, but he’s the best coach. “If you listen to him, he’s going to change your game and change the rest of your life.”
With win #877, Huggins has moved into sole possession of the fourteenth place in all-time D1 collegiate basketball wins, and fourth active behind Roy Williams, Jim Boeheim and legendary Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski.
“I’m trying to get him as many wins as I can before I get out of here,” said senior Jermaine Haley. “He’s going to be a hall of fame coach.”
Despite being a surefire hall of fame coach in the future, the team recognizes the entire staff that Huggins has put together with assistant coaches Erik Martin, Ron Everhart, and Larry Harrison as a reason for the continued success this season.
“(Our success) starts with the entire coaching staff,” said Haley. They work harder than us. They’re in the gym before us, and they leave the gym after us. Without them, I don’t think we’d be in the position we are today. I gave all my praises out to them because they continue to work as hard, and they continue to stay honest every day and make us get better.”
While not getting caught up in records as much about the milestones as fans and players, Huggins will have an opportunity to move even higher up the rankings this season as former UNC Tarheels coach Dean Smith and current coach Roy Williams are both in striking distance.
“I’ve never been caught up in that,” said Huggins after the Missouri game. “I’m more caught up in our 16-3 record (at the time), and we need to be 29-3 if we’re going to win the conference title.
The Mountaineers will have an opportunity to improve their 17-4 record this Wednesday as the Iowa State Cyclones come to Morgantown. The game will tip-off at 7:00 P.M.