No, not Bryant. I'm talking about Don Haskins, the longtime coach at UTEP (formerly Texas Western), who made history by winning the 1966 NCAA men's basketball championship with an all-black starting lineup. The team they beat was Kentucky, coached by Adolph Rupp. Rupp was, to put it charitably, behind the times on racial matters - it would be three more years before Kentucky featured a black player.
Anyway, Jerry Izenberg wrote this nice tribute to Haskins. It's not true that UTEP has never competed for any other championships - their track and field team is a perennial power - but no matter. Go read and enjoy.
UPDATE: In this entry, about the death of Texas Western guard Bobby Hill, I was going to make a stronger statement about Coach Rupp being a racist, but a Google search on him led me to this page, which argues that he's been unfairly labelled as such. I report, you decide.Posted by Charles Kuffner on February 27, 2002 to Other sports | TrackBack