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University of Texas at El Paso Athletics

Legendary UTEP Coach Don Haskins Passes Away

Sept. 7, 2008

Events Planned to Honor Coach Haskins
Images of Coach Haskins Through the Years (Send Us Your Favorite Coach Haskins Photo)
What People Are Saying About Coach Haskins
Send Your Condolences to the Haskins Family
Bio of Coach Haskins
1966 National Championship Page
NCAA Tournament Teams
The Don Haskins Center

National Media On Haskins
Sam Donaldson, (9/8/08)
Rick Cantu, Austin Statesman (9/9/08)
Alicia Caldwell, AP (9/8/08)
Alicia Caldwell, AP (9/12/08)
David Steele, Baltimore Sun (9/11/08)
Gary Parrish, (9/8/08)
College Basketball HOF (9/8/08)
Alexander Wolff, (9/7/08)
Jacob Osterhout, (9/9/08) (9/9/08)
Kevin Sherrington, Dallas News (9/8/08)
Jean-Jacques Taylor, Dallas News (9/12/08)
Natalie Meisler, Denver Post (9/11/08)
Cass Rains, Enid News (9/9/08)
Andy Katz, (9/7/08)
Randy Hill, Fox Sports (9/8/08)
Gary West, Fort Worth Star Telegram (9/8/08)
Patrick McDonnell, Las Vegas Sun (9/8/08)
Robyn Norwood, Los Angeles Times (9/8/08)
Randy Rosetta, Louisiana Advocate (9/10/08)
Joe Walljasper, The Missourian (9/10/08)
Mark Miller, (9/8/08)
Sharon Cobb, Nashville Is Talking (9/8/08)
National Public Radio (9/8/08)
Dick Weiss, New York Daily News (9/7/08)
Richard Goldstein, New York Times (9/8/08)
Al Iannaazzone, (9/9/08)
Al Hamnik, (9/9/08)
Berry Tramel, Oklahoman (9/8/08)
Frank Fitzpatrick, Philadelphia Inquirer (9/8/08)
Brad Rock, Salt Lake City News (9/10/08)
Gordon Monson, Salt Lake Tribune (9/10/08)
Mike DeCourcy, (9/8/08)
Eric Drennan, Temple Telegram (9/9/09)
Marlen Garcia, USA Today (9/8/08)
Joe Holley, Washington Post (9/8/08)
John Feinstein, Washington Post (9/10/08)
Dan Wetzel, Yahoo! (9/8/08)
El Paso Media Reflects On Haskins
Bill Knight, Times (9/7/08)
Bill Knight, Times (9/8/08)
Erica Molina Johnson & Michael D. Hernandez, Times (09/08/08)
Bret Bloomquist, Times (09/08/08)
Gustavo Acosta, Times (09/09/08)
KVIA Video Tribute (09/10/08)
Bill Knight, Times (9/9/08)
Aaron Martinez, Prospector (9/9/08)
Bill Knight, Times (9/10/08)
Bill Knight, Times (9/10/08)
Jason Rabedeaux/Guest Columnist, Times (9/10/08)
Sam Aselstine /Guest columnist, Times (9/11/08)
Bill Knight, Times (9/11/08)
John Erfort, Times (9/12/08)
Bill Knight, Times (9/12/08)
Bill Knight, Times (9/12/08)
Wayne Thornton, Times (9/12/08)
Bill Knight, Times (9/13/08)
Bill Knight, Times (9/14/08)
Joe Muench, Times (9/14/08)
David Vasquez, Times (9/14/08)
Duke Keith, Times (9/14/08)


EL PASO, TEXAS - Don Haskins, one of the greatest coaches in college basketball history, passed away on Sunday. He was 78.

Haskins died at his home, surrounded by friends and family, at 4:30 p.m. MDT. A public memorial is set for Thursday.

"It is a very sad time for all of us," UTEP Director of Athletics Bob Stull said. "Don is an icon of El Paso. He has had a huge impact on the city and the University of Texas at El Paso. Since his retirement, he has remained very interested in our entire athletic program and supportive of all of our coaches. He has been an invaluable resource to everybody in the athletic department. He remains one of the most revered and honored coaches in basketball history. His decision to start five black players in the 1966 national championship game, as chronicled in the movie Glory Road, changed college basketball and the sports world. He will always be remembered for that."

"My thoughts and prayers go out to Mary and the Haskins family," UTEP coach Tony Barbee said. "We are losing a national treasure. I am very fortunate to have had the opportunity to get to know him over the last two years. The information he shared with me was invaluable to a first-time head coach. He is a Hall of Fame coach and a Hall of Fame person. It's sad to think that we're losing someone so special to this community and this university, and a national hero at the same time."

Haskins, who was nicknamed "The Bear," was the head coach at UTEP from 1961-99, leading the Miners to 719 wins, as well as a national title (1966), 14 NCAA Tournament appearances and seven Western Athletic Conference championships.

CBS named him the greatest Division I men's basketball coach of all time in July, 2001. "UTEP -- with no recruiting base, no media attention and substandard budgets -- had no business winning much of anything," said sports columnist Dan Wetzel. "No coach did more with less, maximized his talent and made strange parts fit better than The Bear."

Haskins, who announced his retirement on Aug. 24, 1999, ranks 19th among all-time Division I men's basketball head coaches with 719 victories.

He was born on March 14, 1930 in Enid, Okla. He played his college ball at Oklahoma A&M (now Oklahoma State) from 1949-52, where he was a second team All-Conference selection as a senior. Haskins split time at the guard and forward positions as a collegian, leading Oklahoma A&M to the NCAA semifinals in 1949 and 1951.

Haskins' coaching career began at Benjamin High School in Benjamin, Texas in 1955. He was a teacher and coach of both boys and girls teams at Benjamin High from 1955-56. Haskins also headed the basketball programs at Hedley (Texas) High School from 1956-60 and Dumas (Texas) High School from 1960 -61.

Haskins took over the UTEP program for the 1961-62 season. His first Miner squad notched an 18-6 record. His second UTEP team posted a 19-7 mark during the 1962-63 campaign and made the first of Haskins' 14 NCAA Tournament appearances.

The Miners captured the NCAA title on March 19, 1966, shocking heavily-favored Kentucky, 72-65, for the championship. That year Haskins became the first coach ever to start a lineup of five black players at the major college level. The achievement was documented in the 2006 motion picture Glory Road.

Haskins' teams captured WAC championships in 1970, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987 and 1992, and advanced to the NCAA Tournament in 1963, 1964, 1966, 1967, 1970, 1975, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990 and 1992.

Haskins has tutored numerous players who have gone on to play in the NBA, including Antonio Davis, Tim Hardaway and Jim Barnes, the first pick by New York in the 1964 NBA Draft.

Haskins' last Miner team notched a 16-12 record during the 1998-99 season, his 32nd winning season in 38 years as head coach.

Haskins was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Sept. 29, 1997, and the Jim Thorpe Association Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame on Aug. 9, 1999 in Oklahoma City.

He is survived by his wife, Mary; three sons - Brent, David and Steve; and three grandsons. A fourth son, Mark, passed away in 1994.


Don Haskins Career Coaching Record
Year Overall Conference Conf. Finish Postseason
1961-62 18-6 5-3 2nd None
1962-63 19-7 None None NCAA
1963-64 25-3 None None NCAA
1964-65 16-9 None None NIT
1965-66 28-1 None None NCAA
1966-67 22-6 None None NCAA
1967-68 14-9 None None None
1968-69 16-9 None None None
1969-70 17-8 10-4 1st NCAA
1970-71 16-10 9-5 T2nd None
1971-72 20-7 9-5 T2nd NIT
1972-73 16-10 6-8 5th None
1973-74 18-7 8-6 5th None
1974-75 20-6 10-4 2nd NCAA
1975-76 19-7 9-5 T2nd None
1976-77 11-15 3-11 8th None
1977-78 10-16 2-12 8th None
1978-79 11-15 3-9 T5th None
1979-80 20-8 10-4 T2nd NIT
1980-81 18-12 9-7 4th NIT
1981-82 20-8 11-5 T2nd None
1982-83 19-10 11-5 T1st NIT
1983-84 27-4 13-3 1st NCAA
1984-85 22-10 12-4 1st NCAA
1985-86 27-6 12-4 T1st NCAA
1986-87 25-7 13-3 1st NCAA
1987-88 23-10 10-6 4th NCAA
1988-89 26-7 11-5 T2nd NCAA
1989-90 21-11 10-6 T3rd NCAA
1990-91 16-13 7-9 T5th None
1991-92 27-7 12-4 T1st NCAA
1992-93 21-13 10-8 4th NIT
1993-94 18-12 8-10 T5th None
1994-95 20-10 13-5 T2nd NIT
1995-96 12-16 4-14 9th None
1996-97 13-13 6-10 T6th None
1997-98 12-14 3-13 7th None
1998-99 16-12 8-6 4th None
Totals 719-354 262-200 --- ---



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