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Mike Tomlin Shares Coaching Technique He Learned from Watching Bob Huggins

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Steelers HC Mike Tomlin
Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

Even though his legacy includes controversy, Bob Huggins still left a lasting impact. Huggins’ impact extends beyond just to his players and fans, and all the way to other coaches like Mike Tomlin.

On Friday night, a video surfaced of the Pittsburgh Steelers head coach referencing a lesson he learned from Huggins from his time coaching the Cincinnati Bearcats in the 1990’s. Tomlin, a coach likely headed to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, credited the Basketball Hall of Famer with helping to shape him as a coach.

“I think about the lessons I learned in coaching. When I was at Cincinnati, they were the No. 1 team in the country, man. They had Kenyon Martin and other guys and so forth like that. And I watched Hugs (Bob Huggins) go at those guys, go at Kenyon Martin in an effort to extract the best from him,” said Tomlin while referencing what watching Huggins taught him at the NextUpCoaches event.

Tomlin, who served as defensive backs coach with the Bearcats from 1999-2000, would then elaborate on what exactly he witnessed from Huggins that he still incorporates into his coaching style today.

“It was a really cool thing to see that component of coaching, that talking about creating a culture and environment, and upholding a standard by making sure that everybody understood the very best player was going to get coached. It resonated with me, man. That’s something that I took from him,” Tomlin, the NFL’s longest tenured coach with one franchise, added about Huggins.

“Really to be quite honest with you, I do it to this day. Sometimes it’s easy to be hard on the backup, easy to make coaching points on the guys that’s seemingly insignificant. Nah man, I big game hunt.”

No matter what anyone may think of Huggins, there’s no denying his technique worked well for a long time. And there’s also no denying that Tomlin has sprinkled some of Huggins’ style into his own career, one that allowed him to win at the highest level.

For some of their coaching highlights, Huggins accumulated 935 wins while leading both Cincinnati and West Virginia to a Final Four appearance. He led WVU to the Big East Tournament title in 2010 and was named the Big 12 Coach of the Year in 2015. Huggins was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2022.

As for Tomlin, he currently owns a 173-100-2 record as an NFL head coach and has led the Steelers to two AFC titles and a Super Bowl XLIII championship.

4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Robert Nuckles

    May 31, 2024 at 10:08 pm

    And WVU has decided that Huggins had nothing left to give; but this video and article seems to prove that Huggins had a lot more to give to new players and the younger coaches.
    Bob Huggins will always be the GOAT of coaches at WVU and Gee can’t do a damn thing to change that, especially since he’s not going to be the president much longer.
    Personally I hope that the board removes Gee, just like he removed millions of dollars that nobody can account for.

  2. Sam

    June 1, 2024 at 1:43 pm

    Bob Huggins and Bob Huggins alone proved that he has nothing left to contribute. That there are still people in denial about that is hard to believe.

    This site needs to put an adult in charge and stop publishing these lame articles pathetically trying to rehabilitate his reputation.

    Huggins earned every bit of the scorn and derision he receives with his idiotic behavior. The only person who can redeem Bob Huggins is Bob Huggins and his reprehensible behavior even after being forced to resign in disgrace shows he has no interest in acting kike a man and earning back any of the respect he forfeited.

  3. Job 1!

    June 4, 2024 at 12:42 pm

    Please stop feeding the cult.

    Bob Huggins is finished forever and no amount of this pointless drivel is goong to change that.

  4. Mike Asti

    June 4, 2024 at 1:22 pm

    It’s relevant and news worthy. Posting news is not feeding anyone. How people act after news is publicized is not our fault.

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