Officially, though he hasn't coached a game or practice this season, Huggins left the employ of the university only two days ago. His contract settlement after president Nancy Zimpher forced his resignation kept Huggins on the payroll another few months — which also kept him out of the media. Now, he is free to talk.
Those people who came by couldn't all squeeze into our booth Friday morning, and neither could you. So the simplest thing is to allow you to directly eavesdrop on the bulk of our conversation.
Mike DeCourcy: You believe you'll coach again.
Bob Huggins: I would think so.
MD: The "image" issue that was the reason you were moved out at Cincinnati — how much do believe that will be an impediment to you getting another job?
BH: I don't know. As you know, the image is unwarranted. If people just take a look, take a look at the statistics, if they take a look at my guys — where they are, what they've done — I've got to believe somebody out there wants to win. Somebody out there has a compassion for youth. Somebody out there is an old coach that understands that pushing guys to be the best they can, there's not anything wrong with that.
MD: Do you think, from the standpoint of the way you coach, do you think you're as harsh now as you were 10 or 12 years ago?
BH: Absolutely not. They all say how much I've mellowed. I think age does that. And the reality is, I don't have to be. Because there's history, and they understand that when I say this is the way it is, then that's the way it better be. Before, everybody wants to test you. For a long time, I haven't gotten tested like you get tested when you're young.
My guys have been so good, so wonderful about coming back and spending time and telling them, "This is the right way to do things ... He's really trying to help you." I think that makes a huge difference. It gives you so much credibility.
MD: What are you looking for in your next job?
BH: I want to work with people who care. I'd just like to work with people who are honest, who care about kids ... who are going to work as hard as myself and my staff at trying to make guys as successful as they possibly can be. That's what it is.
The nation grieved for those hurt, killed and affected by the Boston Marathon bombings. After one of the suspects was caught on Friday — following a day-long lockdown and manhunt — sports returned to Boston over the weekend.
I'm the son of a coach. That's why I wanted to coach. It's never been about being on TV or being famous or making a lot of money. I just like to coach. When you get into this, you want to coach at the highest level, because you want to be challenged. You want to be able to match wits with the guys that are the best. That's what motivates me.
CBT: Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski made it official that he'll be coaching Team USA at the 2016 Rio Olympics, and he'll also be with Duke at least that long, too.
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