Bob Huggins resigned as the coach of the Cincinnati Bearcats this week.
Huggins was 11-1 in the NCAA Tournament for a record 91.7 winning percentage.
He finished his UC tenure with a 399-127 record and .759 winning percentage, won 245 more games than George Smith, who ranks second on UC’s career victories list.
He was a fixture in Cincinnati in his 16 seasons at UC – a stretch during which the Reds had 10 managers, the Bengals had five head coaches and Xavier had four men’s basketball head coaches.
What Huggins accomplished at UC is even more impressive in light of the fact that he took over a program in 1989 that hadn’t been to the NCAA Tournament since 1977 and had been decimated by an NCAA probation.
Huggins led UC to NIT berths in his first two seasons and an NCAA Tournament Final Four in his third – rekindling interest in a program that had seen its fan base shrivel under former coaches Ed Badger and Tony Yates.
That trip to the Final Four began a run of 14 straight NCAA Tournament appearances for the Bearcats – the country’s third-longest current run – and re-established UC as one of the nation’s top programs.
Huggins’ UC teams made two other Elite Eight appearances, won eight conference tournament titles and 10 conference regular-season titles.
But Huggins was more than a successful basketball coach. He became a fixture in the community with a laid-back, everyman personality that made him accessible to fans. And he rarely turned down a charity request.
Bob Huggins will be missed!