Morgantown, West Virginia – After 916 wins in 40 seasons as a Hall of Fame head coach, you would think that Bob Huggins has accomplished everything he could have ever hoped for in college basketball.
Huggins, 68, should be slowly winding down a remarkable career and should not feel as if he has anything to prove.
But make no mistake, there is a fire burning within Bob Huggins. When he’s won for as long as he has, and in such an impressive way, losing is no longer a viable, reasonable option for him.
Last year’s 16-17 record and a last place finish in the Big 12 Conference could not have been easy for him. Losses are painful for any coach, but Bob Huggins suffers when his team loses because this isn’t just a job to him. Coaching the Mountaineers is about far more than money or respect as a coach, Huggins is trying to win for an entire state of people that he loves.
Bob Huggins is a man obsessed with winning. To say that someone is “obsessed with winning” is almost a bad thing in our culture. Yet, we admire those who show genius in what they do, and most often that takes an obsessive personality. The most dangerous kind of winner is one that fails and longs for the sweet, sweet taste of victory again.
Believe it or not, Bob Huggins is now more dangerous of a coach than ever. Since the Mountaineers were defeated soundly in the Big 12 Championship by the eventually national championship-winning Kansas Jayhawks, Huggins has been on a mission.
Instead of relaxing in the offseason, Huggins has had a laser-like focus on improving his team. Huggins has hit the road and has been on a quest to fix it. Although he lost the entire core of his team from last season, he has scoured the transfer portal to find the very best replacements possible to rebuild his program.
Erik Stevenson, a veteran guard who will immediately become the team’s leader on the floor, was the first to sign with the Mountaineers. Stevenson was a four star transfer prospect and is just the type of tough, gritty player that Huggins has won so many games with.
Today, Huggins landed Joe Toussaint, a five star transfer guard from Iowa. Toussaint, a Bronx, New York native, was ranked as the 10th best overall player in the transfer portal by Evan Miyakawa. Again, Toussaint is a tough, experienced New York guard who can step in tomorrow and fit perfectly into Huggins’ system.
In addition, Mohamed Wague, the leading rebounder in junior college, committed to the Mountaineers earlier today. Wague, a 6’10 power forward, averaged a double-double (15.1 points and 12.1 rebounds per game) and was one of the top junior college players in the nation last season.
Huggins has also been in touch with Norchad Omier, a 6’7 forward from Arkansas State, who is currently the #2 ranked player in the transfer portal. He averaged 17.9 pints and 12.2 rebounds while being named the Sun Belt Player of the Year last season. He’s visiting West Virginia soon and could be another huge piece for the Mountaineers.
Huggins also met with Dontaie Allen, a 6’6 guard who played for the Kentucky Wildcats last season. Allen, a former four star player, is an exceptionally talented scorer, but had a hard time finding playing time on the talent-rich Wildcats last season.
Bob Huggins is a basketball genius. Behind a genius there is often incredible pain and suffering. Likely tortured by his own thoughts and obsession, this past season almost certainly affected his health and was very painful emotionally for him.
Bob Huggins is the ultimate competitor. The fire within him will burn until his ultimate goal is accomplished. He will win a national championship for the great state of West Virginia, or Bob Huggins will die trying.