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Bob Huggins: It Was ‘Gratifying’ to Celebrate 900th Career Win With Players



(Photo by Justin Tafoya/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

When the final buzzer sounded on West Virginia’s win over Morehead State in the first round of the men’s NCAA Tournament Saturday morning, every Mountaineers player mobbed WVU coach Bob Huggins. They had not won the championship nor pulled off an improbably upset, they were celebrating Huggins reaching career win number 900.

With the win, Huggins becomes just the sixth coach in the history of Division I men’s basketball to reach 900 wins, and the only one not enshrined in the Naismith Hall of Fame. He joined Bob Knight — the first coach to get to 900 wins — Mike Krzyzewski, Jim Boeheim, Jim Calhoun and Roy Williams — who also reached the milestone this season.

When asked about the postgame celebration, Huggins said is was the players who were most excited about the achievement.

“That was their topic of conversation, it wasn’t mine. That kind of tells you what kind of guys we have. We have good guys, really good guys,” Huggins said. “I love those guys. It’s gratifying that they can be a part of it.”

It was not just the current Mountaineers who celebrated Huggins’s accomplishment. Former players soon took to social media to congratulate their old coach.

Sophomore point guard Miles “Deuce” McBride said being a part of Huggins’s 900th win was special for him. After suffering a severe foot injury in high school, McBride’s only major scholarship offer came from Huggins. McBride scored a career-high 30 points in the win over Morehead State, his first March Madness appearance.

“It means a lot, him being the first and only major coach to offer me,” McBride said. “Thinking back to that time, he really showed a lot of loyalty and a lot of trust that I was going to come back and be a great player. Being able to be here for him to get that 900th win, it means a lot. I’m really happy we got it done today.”

Huggins had been sitting on 899 career wins for a while. A loss to Baylor and two in a row to Oklahoma State delayed the celebration by a few weeks.

“It took them long enough though,” Huggins said with his dry sense of humor. “Took us three games to finally get there.”

West Virginia’s next game in the NCAA tournament will just so happen to be against one of those other coaches with 900 wins, Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim. That game will tip-off at 5:15 p.m. Sunday and be broadcast on CBS.

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