He has coached for over 31 seasons, managing over 700 wins and leading five different teams to postseason play, but for West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins, the fact that Saturday was his 1,000th game did not even register.
Huggins announced the signing of JUCO guard Tarik Phillip on Wednesday.
“I had no idea until (SID Bryan Messerly) texted me,” said Huggins on Friday. “I was feeling pretty good, young. My hips and my knees were feeling good until he texted me. Then they started hurting me.”
While he wasn’t aware that the contest against TCU was his 1,000th, the future Hall of Famer can still remember his first game as a head coach back at Walsh College in 1980.
“Yup, sure do. Oberlin College, I’m pretty sure it was,” said Huggins. “Ed Janka was coaching and he went on to become the head of basketball at Nike.”
And his thoughts after the game?
“I thought about retiring,” said Huggins. “1-0, retire undefeated.”
As good as that win felt, there was a pair of other victories that Huggins says meant more to him.
“Obviously the Kentucky game (in the 2010 Elite Eight) was great because I knew how much it meant to the people of this state and having not been able to (reach a Final Four) for forty some years,” he said.
The other option for biggest win was earlier that spring when the Mountaineers won the Big East Tournament, said Huggins, reminiscing about a couple thousand Mountaineer fans singing Country Roads “in the biggest city in the world and one of the best basketball arenas in the world.”
When it comes to regrets, Huggins says the relatively few losses on his record have all blended together.
“There’s about 300 and some that I’d like to have back,” he said. “You do this as long as I have and it’s hard to single out one game.”
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