West Virginia coach Bob Huggins has resigned as Mountaineers men's basketball coach in Pittsburgh for driving under the influence of alcohol. Huggins, who informed the team of his impending resignation Saturday night, intends to retire.
"My recent actions do not represent the values of the University or the leadership expected in this role," Huggins wrote. "While I have always tried to represent our University with honor, I have let all of you – and myself – down. 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."
WVU president E. Gordon Gee and athletic director Wren Baker released a joint statement on Huggins: "We support his decision so that he can focus on his health and family. On behalf of West Virginia University, we share our appreciation for his service to our University, our community and our state. 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, 69, is one of the biggest figures in college basketball with two Final Fours and more than four decades of coaching to his name. Until his ouster, he was the active leader in Division I wins (934) as his head-coaching career dated back to Walsh College in 1980. Huggins was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2022, an achievement many in the basketball community considered long overdue, even in spite of Huggins never reaching the national championship game.
The brash, blue-collar coach has not been without troubles and controversies over the years. Most recently, he escaped job termination after going on Cincinnati radio and making. Huggins quickly apologized and was sanctioned by West Virginia. The school suspended him for three games to start the upcoming season, and he agreed to undergo counseling for issues tied to his inexcusable remarks. Huggins also had his contract reworked so that he was only on a one-year deal moving forward.
All of that is now moot with a Hall of Fame career ending in embarrassment flanked by disturbing details in Huggins' arrest report from Friday night.
Huggins' blood alcohol level upon his DUI arrest read .210, nearly three times the legal limit, according to the Pittsburgh Police Department. It's an intoxication level so dangerous that some adults could be hospitalized if they reach it. Empty beer cans and bottles were found in trash bags on the passenger side floor and in the trunk of Huggins' school-issued SUV. An empty cooler that appeared to have been recently used was also in the vehicle.
His arrest came around 8:30 p.m. ET. Huggins was initially spotted outside his car by an officer due to his GMC Yukon Denali blocking traffic after shredding a tire. Huggins was unable to explain why his tire was destroyed and could not tell police in what city he was located.
"Huggins could not tell us how he got to Pittsburgh," the police wrote in the complaint.
Huggins provided police with a receipt from a Burger King in Washington, Pennsylvania, which sits 28 miles southwest from where he was arrested. The Burger King receipt was timestamped from seven hours earlier in the day. When questioned by police, Huggins could not detail what he'd been doing in the time between and didn't understand what police were asking him.
Huggins also told police he believed he was in "Columbus," presumably in reference to Columbus, Ohio, a city nearly three hours and 185 miles west from Pittsburgh.
"Officer Bertan asked Huggins approximately 10 times where he was actually at, and he never once responded with the current city he was in," the arrest report states.
Huggins failed multiple field sobriety tests and was released on bond Saturday. He has a preliminary hearing forthcoming, the date not yet having been determined.
The DUI arrest is the second of Huggins' career, the first coming in 2004 when he coached Cincinnati. That incident included dashcam video showing him vomiting out of his window after being stopped by police. He resigned from his Bearcats post less than a year later.
Huggins, a West Virginia alumnus and Morgantown native, was hired by the school in 2007. He took the Mountaineers to the Final Four in 2010 and made 11 NCAA Tournaments, including last season. Huggins won 345 games in 16 seasons at his alma mater.
It remains unclear if lead WVU assistant Ron Everhart will be promoted to interim head coach.
Sources previously indicated that the 2023-24 campaign would likely be Huggins' last. Now, instead of a subdued send-off, Huggins leaves West Virginia covered in humiliation. It's an infamous end, but one entirely of his own doing.