Bob Huggins Resigns From West Virginia After Drunken Driving Charges

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Bob Huggins, the men’s basketball coach at West Virginia, resigned late Saturday, a day after he was arrested in Pittsburgh and charged with driving under the influence.

In a statement, Huggins said his resignation was “effective immediately.”

“While I have always tried to represent our university with honor, I have let all of you — and myself — down,” he said. “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.”

Bob Huggins was previously suspended in May after he used a homophobic slur in a radio interview.Credit…Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press

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According to a post on the police department’s public safety site, officers in Pittsburgh found Huggins blocking traffic in a black S.U.V. on Friday just before 8:30 p.m. Huggins’s door was open, and the car had “a flat and shredded tire.”

The police instructed Huggins to move his vehicle off the road, which he struggled to do. He failed field sobriety tests and was arrested.

According to the criminal complaint, the police found a white bag full of empty beer cans on the floor of Huggins’s car. Another white bag full of cans was found in the trunk. When the police asked Huggins where he was, he replied “Columbus,” which the officers took to mean that he thought he was in Ohio. Huggins registered a 0.210 on the breathalyzer, nearly three times the legal blood-alcohol limit of 0.08 in Pennsylvania.

Huggins has since been released from custody.

The Background: Huggins was suspended in May.

Last month, Huggins was disciplined after he used a homophobic slur twice and mocked Catholics on a local Cincinnati radio program.

His contract was reworked, docking $1 million from his salary of $4.15 million a year. Huggins was also required to undergo sensitivity training and suspended for the first three games of the 2023-24 season.

In a statement on May 10, the university president and the athletic director said Huggins’s actions “unfairly and inappropriately hurt many people and has tarnished West Virginia University.”

The statement added that any future instances of derogatory or offensive language would result in the “immediate termination” of Huggins.

“I have no excuse for the language I used, and I take full responsibility,” Huggins said in a statement at the time. “I will abide with the actions outlined by the university and athletics leadership to learn from this incident. I have had several conversations with colleagues and friends that I deeply respect and admire over the last 24 hours, and I am keenly aware of the pain that I have caused.”

The arrest on Friday was not Huggins’s first run-in with the law. Huggins, who coached at the University of Cincinnati from 1989 to 2005, was charged with drunken driving in Ohio in 2004 and pleaded no contest. The school suspended him indefinitely before allowing him to coach the 2004-5 season. Huggins took a $3 million buyout from Cincinnati in August 2005.

Why It Matters: Huggins is a pre-eminent figure in the sport.

Huggins, 69, had the most wins of any active men’s Division I basketball coach, with 863. In 38 seasons as the head coach at Akron, Cincinnati, Kansas State and West Virginia, he led his teams to 26 N.C.A.A. tournament appearances, including two Final Fours, and won five conference coach of the year awards.

He ranks eighth on the career win list, leaving him 14 wins short of eclipsing Kentucky’s Adolph Rupp and tying Connecticut’s Jim Calhoun. But a national title has eluded Huggins, who has the most wins of any coach to never cut down the championship nets.

The university released a statement on Saturday night thanking Huggins for his service.

“Coach Huggins devoted himself to his players, to our student body, to our fans and alumni and to all West Virginians,” the statement read. “His contributions will always be a part of our history.”

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