Donald Lee Haskins was born on March 14, 1930 in Enid, Okla. A farm town with dirt roads. Don grew up a great basketball player with childhood friend Herman Carr. While Don got a lot of attention to play college basketball, Herman went on to join the military. Haskins saw that Herman, an African American, didn't get the same attention. This would turn out to have a heavy influence on Don's career and life. Don went on to the college ranks playing college basketball at Oklahoma A&M (now Oklahoma State) from 1949-52 under Henry Iba. There was no money in the NBA like there is today so he began his coaching career at small Texas high schools until taking the job at Texas Western College (now the University at Texas El Paso) in 1961.
Don Haskins inherited a team with three African Americans arriving at Texas Western College. Texas Western had been recruiting African American players in a time it wasn't popular. Continuing to recruit and play the best players was main strategy. Don simply wanted to win. Starting five African Americans against the all-white Kentucky team in the NCAA Championship game of 1966 was historical. This was the inspiration for the Disney movie Glory Road.
Don Haskins "The Bear" went on to have 17 twenty-plus win seasons with UTEP. He was an assistant coach for the 1972 Summer Olympic Basketball team in Munich. He coached many NBA players and NBA all-stars Nate Archibald, Tim Hardaway, and Antonio Davis. Coach finished his career with a 719 - 353 record and is a double inductee in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
“It's not about talent, it's about heart. It's about who can go out there and play the hardest. They're not going to give us anything, so you've got to go out there and you've got to take it.” - Don Haskins
A Special Thanks to The Haskins Family.
71 Camille Drive | El Paso, Texas 79912 | 915-581-9807
Copyright © 2022 donhaskins.com - All Rights Reserved.