Donald L. "Don" Haskins
Known as “The Bear” for his robust build and stern manner, Don Haskins always put the best five players on the floor regardless of race, creed, or color. But in 1966, when his all-black starting five Texas Western team won the NCAA national championship against Adolph Rupp’s all-white Kentucky team, Haskins changed college basketball forever. The color barrier in college basketball was to be no more and the credit goes largely to the man who only wanted to win. Haskins coached UTEP for 38 seasons, compiling a 719-353 record, suffering only five losing seasons, and retiring with the fourth best record in history. He managed all this at a small school in the middle of nowhere, molding his teams into contenders. He won seven Western Athletic Conference championships, four WAC tournament titles, had 14 NCAA tournament berths, and made seven trips to the NIT. Haskins led UTEP to seventeen 20-plus win seasons and served as an assistant Olympic team coach in 1972.
TEXAS WESTERN, 1966