Former University of Cincinnati basketball coach Bob Huggins (above) went public in a national forum Thursday about his messy departure from UC, saying his 2004 DUI arrest sealed his fate and that he wishes former athletic director Bob Goin had warned him he was on the way out.
In a nationally televised interview with ESPN’s Andy Katz, Huggins was asked why he thought he lost his job.
“Perception,” Huggins responded. “I mean, come on … I made a terrible mistake. And I admitted to that.”
“I would think after 16 years (as UC coach) … that somebody from the university – the athletic director, maybe – ought to pick up the phone and say, ‘Huggs, this is going down,'” he said. “No – I heard it from the media.”
Goin retired Thursday and was replaced by Mike Thomas, former athletic director at the University of Akron.
Asked by Katz if he was “done coaching,” Huggins replied, “No, absolutely not.”
Rumors swirl daily about Huggins’ next stop. Often, they have him going to a mid-level Division I school and taking North College Hill stars O.J. Mayo (above) and Bill Walker with him when they graduate in 2007.
As for his legacy at UC, Huggins said, “They can say what- ever they want to say about me, (but) they can’t say I didn’t care about my kids, and they can’t say I didn’t care about the university. Because I did.
“I stayed. It wasn’t because I couldn’t go somewhere else. … I stayed because I cared.”
If drunk driving was Huggins’ only fault, he’d still be coaching the Bearcats.