Monday
Jul062009

Donald L. "Don" Haskins

Enshrined 1997
Enid, OK
March 14, 1930 - September 7, 2008

Biography

Known as "The Bear" for his robust build and stern manner, Coach 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 (now UTEP) won the NCAA championship from Adolph Rupp's all-white Kentucky team, Haskins changed college basketball forever and put a chink in the color lines for all sports. Haskins coached UTEP for 38 seasons. He compiled a 719-353 record, suffered only losing five seasons, and retired with the fourth best record in history. He won seven Western Athletic Conference championships, four WAC tournament titles, had fourteen NCAA tournament berths and made seven trips to the NIT. Haskins led UTEP to 17 20-plus win seasons and served as an assistant Olympic team coach in 1972.

Career Highlights

NCAA Championship with Texas Western, 1966
Played under Hall of Fame coach Hank Iba at Oklahoma A&M
Coached Hall of Famer Nate Archibald at UTEP, 1967-70
Upon retirement, had the fourth most wins in NCAA history, 1999