Bob Huggins says he never resigned as West Virginia basketball coach after his drunk-driving arrest and wants his job back, according to a letter from his attorney to the university.
Huggins’ Cleveland-based attorney, David A. Campbell, wrote to the university on Friday that Huggins “never signed a resignation letter and never notified anyone at WVU about the resignation,” according to the letter, which was published Saturday by The Associated Press. received by the press. ,
The letter threatens a lawsuit if Huggins is not reinstated.
Huggins’ demands were first reported by West Virginia network Metronews.
Huggins was charged with driving while intoxicated on June 16 in Pittsburgh.
A breath test revealed that Huggins’ blood alcohol content was more than twice the legal limit.
His resignation was announced by the university the following night.
A week later, assistant coach Josh Eilert was promoted to interim head coach for the 2023–24 season.
Campbell’s letter stated that the university announced Huggins’ resignation “based on a text message sent by coach Huggins’ wife to West Virginia deputy athletic director Steve Urias”.
The university responded in a letter Saturday to Campbell, which read in part: “We are frankly confused by the allegations within the letter.”
WVU stated that Huggins met with his players and members of the basketball staff on June 17 and “announced that he would no longer be coaching the team.”
It added that Huggins had “explicitly” communicated his resignation and retirement in writing and that “both parties have appropriately relied upon that resignation and retirement notification in a number of ways since then.”
The university provided the AP a copy of the notice sent by Huggins’ wife, June, the same day.
It read: “Please accept this correspondence as formal notice of my resignation as WVU Head Basketball Coach and notice of my retirement from West Virginia University, effective immediately.”
The notice was sent from an email address associated with June Huggins, with a signature indicating it was sent via iPhone. It was sent to Uriyaz’s email address and did not appear to be a text message, as Campbell had claimed.
West Virginia athletic director Wren Baker responded an hour later by writing,
“We accept your resignation and wish you the best in your retirement. We appreciate your many years of dedication to WVU.
Less than an hour after that, the university released two statements.
One announced the resignation of Huggins.
The second was titled “A Message from Bob Huggins to the WVU Community” and began, “Today, I submitted a letter to President Gordon G. and Wren Baker, Vice President and Director of Athletics, informing them of my resignation and resignation as head of athletics.” Intimation of intention to retire has been given.” Men’s basketball coach at West Virginia University effective immediately.”
The resignation was announced a month after Huggins was given a three-game suspension by the university for using anti-gay slurs as well as defaming Catholics during a radio interview.
Many of Huggins’ players have already entered the transfer portal, and some have found new teams.
Campbell said Huggins’ contract required the coach to send a notice in writing by registered or certified mail to the athletic director and the university’s General Counsel.
Despite the threat of lawsuit, Campbell’s letter stated that Huggins “does not desire litigation.
Rather, he is merely seeking rectification in clear violation of his employment agreement with WVU.
The 69-year-old Huggins was the third-winningest coach ever in Division I with 935 wins, trailing only Duke’s Mike Krazewski (1,202) and Syracuse’s Jim Boehm (1,015), both of whom are retired.
Unlike the others, Huggins did not win a national title.
He took Cincinnati to the Final Four in 1992 and West Virginia in 2010. Huggins entered the Basketball Hall of Fame last September.
In 41 seasons, his teams went to 25 NCAA Tournaments and were ranked in the AP Top 10 seven times.
Under Huggins the Mountaineers appeared in 11 NCAA tournaments.