Coach Huggins Quotes

Here are the Quotes from New Head Basketball Coach Bob Huggins as he was announced yesterday in Manhattan.

MANHATTAN, Kan. – Bob Huggins, one of the most successful coaches in the country with over 500 career wins and 15 NCAA Tournament appearances to his credit, has been named the 21st head men's basketball coach at Kansas State, Athletics Director Tim Weiser announced Thursday.

Kansas State Head Coach Bob Huggins

Opening statement...
"I want to thank everybody. I am really excited about this. I am excited about this opportunity. I do not know that I have ever been around nicer people, people more committed to doing things the right way, more committed to student-athletes and their welfare. Eddie (Fogler) called and asked me if I would be interested in Kansas State and honestly I did not know. The more we talked, the more excited I got because I had not seen Eddie that excited since I think he beat us on a buzzer beater in Columbia. The people here, and when I had the opportunity to meet the people here I saw why Eddie was so excited and so committed to the people here because they are wonderful people and people who care. I am excited about coming here and continuing to build this basketball program, playing in the NCAA tournament, and doing those things that you are supposed to do. We will work hard and be committed. Tim (Weiser) and I are excited about the opportunity."

On his critics...
"I would venture to say that the people who are my critics have never met me, they have never met my players, and they haven't spent 10 seconds on the campus with our guys, because I think what you will find is that everyone who meets my players or spends time with my players or me sees how we really do things, not how it is perceived, are no longer critics, they are supporters."

On his year off...
"I grew up in a coal-mining town of 500 people, and I was around people who went to work every day. That is kind of all I know. A year off was great. I got to spend time with my family, which in this profession you do not get to do enough of. I had a great time with my family. We enjoyed the time we spent together. We actually had Christmas together for the first time in awhile without players over. My oldest daughter is 23 years old and it was the first time she could ever remember having Thanksgiving dinner when we did not have the players at our house. It is kind of funny because you are sitting around and you think it would be pretty nice and both of my kids, at almost the same time, said ‘Dad, we really missed the guys.' It has been nice to be able to spend time with family. I feel a little bit more normal."

On his knowledge of the basketball tradition at Kansas State...
"I am a son of a coach, so I know about the rich tradition. In fact, I was telling somebody today, virtually every time I talk to Oscar Robertson he brought up Kansas State. He talks about Bob Boozer all the time and how he competed against him in college and was a teammate with him at the Cincinnati Royals. I know a good bit about Kansas State basketball."

On offers from other schools...
"Kansas State is, history-wise, a lot like it was when I went into Cincinnati. Cincinnati had a great basketball tradition. They won national championships, they had great players and great coaches, and they had struggled a little bit for awhile. We were sitting last night, looking through the press guide; we actually got a Cincinnati press guide and a Kansas State press guide, and went through them. There were a lot of similarities in the history. You have great athletics here. You have great leadership here. So there is not any reason why you cannot have great basketball here."

On his initial thoughts of Manhattan...
"The first thing I saw when we flew in today was that big lake and I was wondering what the fishing was like over there. I am, and always have been, a people guy. I enjoy being around good people. I have a great affinity for student-athletes and it is fun. I really don't know anything else. My father was a coach. He was a high school coach and tried to have kids move on and go to college and better themselves. I became a college coach rather than a high school coach, but the goal is still the same to be able to help kids move on and go on and do what it is what they want to do with their life for the rest of their lives. I see an opportunity here and I see people who feel the same way, who care about student-athletes and care about kids and what to see them better themselves. To me that's exciting and that's fun. It's fun to work as a team. That's why team sports are so popular in this country. That's why the people who are successful in athletics and virtually any walks of life are people who function as a team. I look forward to being on this team."

On his past and what remains a focus...
"You can call anybody at the NCAA and they feel as good about me as they do about anybody in college basketball. We do things the right way, and have always done things the right way. When I walk into the arena they put a camera on me. They don't do that to everybody. So when I have one outburst, the other guy may have six and they may not catch any of his, but they are going to get mine. That's okay. What is important to me is that I love my kids and my kids love me. We had a great relationship and I continue to have a great relationship with them long after they are done. I care about them long after they are done and they know that. So, consequently, they care about us and not just me, but June and my kids and everybody else. I think you'll find, if you care too and you want to spend some time around the guys that we'll have here, that they are wonderful guys who are trying to do like everybody else does – go to college and use that as a vehicle to pursue whatever career it is they want to pursue. We have done that. Our guys have done that."

On getting a lot of his players...
"I think there are a lot of guys in this league that get a lot out of their players. I don't think because it says coach on the office door that you automatically have respect. Respect is something that you earn. If I expect my guys to give everything they possibly can give everyday that they're out there to me, then I have to reciprocate that and I have to give everything I can possibly give to them everyday – be that academically trying to help them as much as I can possibly help them, socially as much as I can possibly help them, try to prepare them in those areas, and also try to prepare them on the basketball floor and not be unprepared and not ever be surprised about anything. It will enable them to do and be whatever it is they want to do and be."

On his reputation...
"I don't think I'm a bad guy. If you go and talk to people who know me, you won't find anybody who says bad things. Have I made mistakes? Sure. I would venture to say that most of you have. I make mistakes. I am sincerely sorry about those mistakes, and I try to fix them. I try to do the best job I can possibly do to fix them. I'm going to make some mistakes. We all do. I'm going to try to make as few mistakes as I possibly can, and the ones that I do I am going to try to fix. That's life. The people who say things have never talked to me and they've never talked to any of my players. They've never been around us."

On his expectations for the team...
"You know what John F. Kennedy said when they asked him to run for vice president because he was young, aristocratic and Catholic? He said ‘why settle for second when first is available?' You're not trying to lead and teach people the right thing is you say ‘we're playing for second.' We've never played for second; we've always played for first. As long as I continue to be in this wonderful profession, we are going to play for first."

On his scheduling philosophy...
"My philosophy in scheduling is to give your kids the best opportunity you can possibly give them to go where they want to go. I think if you look over the last 10 or 12 years in Cincinnati, we have never been out of the top-15 schedules in the country. The schedule they played this past year was my schedule and it was the third-toughest schedule in the country. I think you have to play people. We got to the point in Cincinnati that we didn't play home-and-home games that weren't national games. We didn't go on the road and schedule games that weren't going to be some sort of national game. I think because of the way we played and how hard we played, we were attractive to television. I don't expect any of that to change. We are going to play a very competitive schedule and try to give our guys an opportunity to not have to sit there on (Selection) Sunday and worry about whether you are going to get in or not."


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