West Virginia University basketball coach Bob Huggins, who has won 616 career games and led the Mountaineers to an NCAA tournament Sweet 16 appearance this past season, has agreed to a contract extension until he is 65 years old, WVU announced today.
Terms of the contract will be announced next week.
"This is a very exciting day for WVU and the state of West Virginia," says President Mike Garrison. "Coach Huggins is proud to be an alumni and proud to be a West Virginian. We are very lucky to have him leading our student athletes."
Huggins, 54, led the Mountaineers to 26 victories in 2007-08, winning more games than any other first-year coach in school history. He also became the first Mountaineer coach to take a WVU team to the NCAA Sweet 16 in his first season. Huggins became the 29th Division I coach to reach 600 victories when his WVU squad defeated Canisius on Dec. 22, 2007.
After being predicted to finish 10th in the BIG EAST preseason coaches' poll, Huggins led the Mountaineers to a fifth-place regular season finish and a semifinal appearance in the BIG EAST championship. Huggins was recently named 2007-08 College Coach of the Year by the West Virginia Sports Writers Association.
"This is a good marriage," says athletic director Ed Pastilong. "He's returned home to his state and his alma mater. He took us to the Sweet 16 in his first year and he's having a great recruiting year. Bobby is committed to winning a national championship here at his alma mater."
Huggins, who was introduced as West Virginia University's 21st men's basketball coach on April 6, 2007, has compiled a 616-222 (.736) record in his 26 seasons as a head coach, which includes stints at Walsh College (1980-83), Akron (1984-1989), Cincinnati (1989-2005), Kansas State (2006-07) and West Virginia (2007-). He ranks fifth in total victories and eighth in winning percentage among active Division I head coaches. Huggins' teams have participated in postseason play in 23 of his 26 seasons, including 16 NCAA tournament appearances. His squads have won 20 or more games in all but four of his 26 campaigns, including 30 or more twice, and he has averaged 23.6 victories a season.
"I've been confident in Ed Pastilong and Mike Garrison since the day I got here," says Huggins. "They have been great to work for and I thank them for allowing me to continue to work for them."
A two-time Academic All-American, Huggins graduated from West Virginia magna cum laude in 1977 and received his master's in health administration from WVU in 1978. Huggins was a three-year letterman for the Mountaineers from 1975-77.
Huggins was born in Morgantown on Sept. 21, 1953. He and his wife June have two daughters, Jenna Leigh and Jacqueline.