Basketball fanbases are set to be disappointed every year the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announces its induction class finalists — but West Virginia fans are starting to get restless.
The Hall of Fame announced its finalists for the 2021 class on Tuesday, consisting of nine players and five coaches. For the fourth straight year, however, the name of the 13th-winningest college basketball coach in history was left off that list.
Mountaineer fans immediately called foul on the snub of their coach, who has been on the Hall of Fame Ballot since 2017. One fan, Brittaney Welch, even set up a Change.org petition to publicly make her voice heard (it has over 1,300 signatures).
The fans’ collective voice was even louder on social media.
Even some members of the media were displeased with the announcement.
Along with his 899 wins in Division I basketball, Huggins has an all-time win percentage of 70.4 percent — ranking 32nd among all coaches in history with more than 600 victories.
In his 39 seasons as a head coach, Huggins has reached two Final Fours and won 10 conference tournaments, along with 11 regular season titles (spread between the BIG EAST, C-USA, OVC and Great Midwest). In 2005, he was named the C-USA Coach of the Decade after revitalizing the Cincinnati Bearcats program and becoming the school’s winningest coach.
Huggins most recently coached a team to the Final Four at West Virginia in 2010. He has put together 309 wins with the Mountaineers and picked up a Big 12 Coach of the Year nod in 2015.