Huggins Should Receive Lifetime Contract

Morgantown, West Virginia – When Bob Huggins gets into his black Cadillac Escalade and heads to one of the most spectacular practice basketball facilities in the country less than a mile away from his home, he lives the life college coaches could only dream of.

Bob Huggins is quite literally “The King of Morgantown.”  Not many people have a 100% approval rating, but Bob Huggins very well might in the state of West Virginia.

As West Virginia basketball fans, it’s not something we want to consider, but Bob Huggins will not always be the coach of the Mountaineers.  Huggins is an institution, a coaching legend, one of the winningest and brighest coaches in the history of college basketball.

We’re now at the point in his career, however, when we have to consider how much longer he can coach.  Huggins, 67, has coached college basketball for 40 years since his debut at Walsh College in 1980.

Huggins’ health has always been a question.  Although he has lost weight during the offseason, he doesn’t particularly like to exercise and he has lived hard throughout his life.  He had a heart attack at 49 years old and has frankly put on a lot of weight since then.  His family has a history of heart issues and he hasn’t done his any favors.  Last season, he casually admitted that he has been dead and shocked back to life “a couple of times.”

Huggins has the support and admiration of an entire state.  He’s among the highest paid state employees (the highest paid?) in the state of West Virginia.  This season – the final on his current contract – he will make $4,150,000.  Making $4 million a year in West Virginia is like making $10 million in other places.

He has a million dollar home situated near the Coliseum, a multi-million dollar home on Cheat Lake and a condo on the beach in Florida during the offseason.  He has an ideal situation in the place that he loves and West Virginia University will allow him to coach there as long as he wishes.

With a near perfect situation at WVU, Huggins may decide to coach much longer than even he expected.  In 2017, Huggins signed a 4 year contract extension that runs through the 2021-2022 season.  After that, he has the option to continue coaching or take a position within the athletic department in public relations and development.  It’s established that West Virginia University will pay Huggins as much as they can for as long as he wants.

With that said, what exactly is taking so long for the negotiations between West Virginia Director of Athletics and Huggins’ people to iron out a deal?  Huggins should simply be offered a lifetime contract and given a salary commensurate with his accomplishments.

Based on what other top coaches are making (John Calipari – $8.095 million, Coach K – $7.04 million, Tom Izzo – $3.984 million), Huggins’ approximately $4 million salary seems appropriate and fair.

Although Huggins will be allowed to stay as long as he wants, it’s time to lock him down as the head coach of the West Virginia Mountaineers with a lifetime contract.