A terrific coach and an even better man passed away on Sunday.
What is the legacy of the legendary former head coach for the men’s basketball program at Texas Western University (known today as the University of Texas-El Paso [UTEP])?
According to the man who’s coached his team to more victories in US college basketball history than anybody else, long-time friend, Bob Knight:
“The word unique does not begin to describe Don Haskins. There is no one who has ever coached that I respected and admired more than Don Haskins. I’ve had no better friend that I enjoyed more than Don Haskins.
The myth that surrounds Don Haskins in the movie Glory Road and what he did for black players is better said that he cared like that for all his players. To me that tells me more about the man than anything. There was never anyone like him before and there will never be one like him again.
He took a school that had no reason to be a basketball giant and made it into one.”
For those of you who haven’t seen it yet …
do yourself a favour and check out the story of Coach Haskins’ 1996 NCAA Men’s Basketball National Championship winning team chronicled in the major motion picture, Glory Road.
“It’s not about talent … it’s about heart. It’s about who can go out there and play the hardest. They’re not going to give US anything. So you’ve got to go out there and you’ve got to take it.” – Don Haskins [as played by Matthew McConaughey]
Thank you Coach Haskins … not for trying to make a social statement with your Texas Western lineup but … for simply starting your BEST PLAYERS.
You changed the game of college basketball, forever.