If you’ve seen the movie “Glory Road”, then you know who Don Haskins is. He was the closest thing to royalty in the city of El Paso (my hometown) and this UTEP alumnus feels like I just lost a beloved uncle (I bleed Miner orange!) Thanks for the memories, Coach Haskins.
Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace. Amen.
EL PASO – Don Haskins, Hall of Fame basketball coach and El Paso’s own legend, died in his sleep late Sunday afternoon at his West Side home.
Dr. Dwayne Aboud, Haskins’ doctor, said the cause of death was congestive heart failure. Haskins, who had been in poor health the past few months, died around 4:30 p.m. His wife, Mary, and his sons Brent and Steve were at the house. Haskins was 78.
Haskins was a legend in this city and in the world of basketball. He coached at UTEP for 38 years, winning 719 games and, of course, winning the 1966 NCAA championship. He was enshrined into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1997. UTEP’s basketball arena was named the Don Haskins Center in his honor at that time. Nevil Shed, a member of that 1966 team, said from his home in San Antonio, "How can you describe a Don Haskins? I’m going to cry a little bit today. Boy did he put a lot of history on this Earth. I love him so much."
Brent Haskins said, “My father was beloved by the city of El Paso and he loved the city of El Paso as well. He was having such a hard time breathing. It was a very sad thing for everyone. But we are relieved that his pain is over. He had a lot of pain, although he never really said anything about it. We all told him we loved him before he passed away. He couldn’t speak, but his eyes were open and we knew he knew what we were saying. My father was the most humble man I knew. He was so modest. He never cared about the attention he received.”