Tough But True — Don Haskins Treated All His Players the Same — Like Crap

By Rex Miller
Athletic trainer, Texas Western & UTEP historian

My associations with Hall of Fame basketball coach Don Haskins consisted mostly of watching his practice sessions. At Memorial Gym on campus where the Miners practiced, I once sat with (Western Athletic Conference basketball official) Moose Stubing.

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Hall of Famer Don Haskins, meaner than an ex-wife, a Miner forever.

“There’s Stubing up there,” Haskins rumbled, pointing to the stands at the time-honored campus facility. “He’s the only one I know who combs his hair with a towel.”

Just then The Bear unleashed a tirade, yelling at his players that they were so messed up the looked like a “Chinese fire drill.”

(Editor’s note: It should be noted here that the better the player, the more likely to draw the wrath of Don Haskins. Those close to the program knew that only Haskins’ bark was larger than his bite. Not even the likes of Tim Hardaway and Nate “Tiny” Archibald, two UTEP legends on the way to NFL stardom, were immune. While privately hugging his players in love, The Bear would castigate them all as “playing like a sack of cats.”

The contributing writer is true orange, loyal to the University and to many friends in West Texas. Watch this space for Rex Miller’s original illustrations, found nowhere else by “Miners Are Forever.” Next: An insider’s view of UTEP legend James Forbes, who played on the U.S. Olympic basketball team and still coaches kids in El Paso today.

And while I have your attention, be sure and check out our brand-new Facebook page here.)

One thought on “Tough But True — Don Haskins Treated All His Players the Same — Like Crap

  1. When Coach Haskins arrived at TWC he was the “dorm Daddy of Miners Hall” meaning he and his family live in and managed the athletes of Miners Hall. Having live through this my Junior Year, I can report that we were all convinced he was recently released from Federal Prison. His only saving grace was his wife who we all thought was an angel sent to our dorm to attempt to reign in Haskins.

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