Sunday, September 07, 2008

RIP Coach Haskins

RIP Coach Haskins
Originally uploaded by chacal la chaise.
Today, we received sad news. Don Haskins, NCAA Basketball championship coach of the 1966 TWC Miner team, died today. He was 78.

According to an early AP report on the New York Times website, "Haskins was an old-time coach who believed in hard work and was known for his gruff demeanor. That attitude was portrayed in the 2006 movie ''Glory Road,'' the Disney film that chronicled Haskins' improbable rise to national fame in the 1966 championship game against Kentucky. The movie, which was preceded by a book of the same title, also sparked renewed interest in Haskins' career."

The photograph posted here was one I took while at UTEP when I happened to wander into the bookstore, looking for a composition notebook. It was there that I (and many other students) saw Coach Haskins being interviewed by long-time sports journalist Ray Salazar. The interview was taped for television and broadcast live for radio and occurred close to the premier of the film, "Glory Road," a fictionalized account Haskins and his early tenure as coach of the Texas Western College basketball team. According to the AP report, Haskins led the "Miners" to the "1966 NCAA championship game, then making the controversial decision to start five blacks against all-white, heavily favored Kentucky, coached by Adolph Rupp. The Miners won, and shortly after that many schools began recruiting black players."

I know I write for those from and living in El Paso by saying that he will be greatly missed. He loved TWC (UTEP), its athletes, El Paso and its citizens, and in turn, we loved him back.

1 comment:

MMM said...

Just came across your photo blog today-- like it. And, yes, may our beloved coach rest in peace.

Sometimes you need to get away from it all.

And sometimes, it's time to return and be part of the larger world.  Between the first of 2023 and February 14, I painted many watercolo...