Somebody asked me if I would rather have John Beilein as coach now, since he’s having such a good year……here was my answer.
WVU owes a debt of gratitude to John Beilein. He put us back on the map in College hoops after some inconsistent years under the curiously fading Gale Catlett. I will never forget when we beat Chris Paul led Wake in 2 OTs to get to Sweet 16.
Unfortunately, he believed he took WVU as far as it could go in Bb. We were in a killer tough league, with some Mt Rushmore level coaches to go against every night (Calhoun, Petinio, Boeheim, ect). This was not a cash grab (like the other guy), even though he too sued the school to lower the exit fee. His was quiet and settled without much fanfare (unlike the other guy). He wasn’t looking but left for what he thought was a better fit for him. Great lakes guy, great school with a huge amount of money to spend on athletics.
Lucky for us, Huggins, after turning down WV 5 years earlier, was itching to get back. Only a few days after returning as NIT champ, Beilein confirmed speculation that he was leaving for Ann Arbor. Huggins phone rang in Manhattan, KS and he accepted the offer.
Whereas Beilein is more cerebral, introverted and self effacing in tone, Huggins portrays a quick wit, brash talker with a seething underbelly of ultra competitiveness. A self proclaimed gym rat that owed every chance he got on the court to hard work and repetition, Huggins fits WV to a tee. He has that chip the size of a small building on his shoulder. He is a native son that chafes anytime some outsider makes a side joke about his school or state. He wants to show people that pound for pound, no state can come close to WV in toughness, pride and loyalty.
WVU fans wear their hearts on their sleeve, which can get them into trouble now and again, but heck, nobody’s perfect, just ask him. Huggs likes to give kids second and sometimes third chances, but don’t dog it on the court or fail to take a charge, or you won’t last long. Five years in, he's still working on some unfinished business. If his health holds out, there is no limit to what we can do with Huggy Bear pacing the sidelines, barking at the ref or his point guard to get their a$ses in gear! Just ask people in Cincinnati if they’d take him back.
So which guy would I rather have…….?
Hope I answered your question.