Glory Road" Pop Culture Unit

  • Glory Road

    By Dan Haskins and Dan Wetzel



    Purpose of the chapter is to introduce the main character, Don Haskins to the reader and explain why Haskins is important.


    Why Haskins wrote the book Glory Road

     “Because he wants everyone to know the truth—that he wasn’t a racial pioneer or a civil rights hero, he was just a simple coach seeking victory.”( page 9)


    “I just played my best players,” he’s told anyone who would listen for decades. (page 9)


    “He is really, truly writing a book, honest to goodness, to make sure he gets less credit. (Page 9-10)


    Wetzel describes Don Haskins

    “the John Wayne of basketball, a hustler, a hard guy, a legend, who didn’t want anyone, anywhere to know it.” (Page 4)


    “He was comfortable in El Paso…He wore a clip on tie for games. His truck had guns in it and, occasionally, coyote carcasses in the bed (They’re payin’ seventy-five dollars for a skin, “ he’d explain). (Page 4)


    “Most of his friends were simple blue collar workers, often Mexican immigrants.” (page 6)


    “He freely passes out extra money to honest people who have fallen a bit behind. He never tips less than thirty percent. He uses whatever connections he has with the wealthy to organize major relief efforts to poor villages on the other side of the Rio Grande, a humanitarian project he keeps a secret”  (Page 7)


    “Don Haskins is the real McCoy, a once in a lifetime slice of Americana.” (Page 7)



    “It was his decision to be the first college coach to start five black players that is his claim to fame.” (Page 8)


    “Back then there was a simple coaching axiom. You can play two blacks at home, three on the road, and four if you were losing. But never, ever, five at once. That would get you fired.”  (Page 8)

    “Pat Riley, a player on the opposing UK team would later call it, “the Emancipation Proclamation of 1966.” (Page 9)


    He literally got thousands and thousands of black kids scholarships. And Haskins got death threats and hate mail. “(Page 9)




    ·        Haskins born in Enid, Oklahoma in 1930

    • His early life
    • Childhood Experiences and Influences


    “When it came to a depressed place in a depressed time, Enid Oklahoma, was a gold medal contender.” (Page 15)


    Enid is a small town…surrounded by wheat fields…in the middle of the state’s tornado alley and boy was it flat.” (Page 15)


    “The first paying job I ever had was at a feed store in downtown Enid…. I got paid a dollar a day.” (Page 17)


    Herman Carr


    “I had a coworker, Herman Carr. We were both fifteen. We both loved sports. We were both strong and athletic. We became fast friends, which normally wouldn’t have been a big deal except for one thing—Herman Carr was black.” (Page 17)


    “Some people were saying that I was the best player in all of Oklahoma and the reality was I wasn’t even the best player in Enid. Herman Carr was.” (Page 23)


    “No one named him all state and no colleges came to recruit him because he was black.” (Page 24)


    Racism and Discrimination


    “The blacks stayed on the other side of town. You rarely saw a black person at Sanford’s Drug Store, the main burger and Coke place downtown. Black couldn’t attend Enid High School; they went to Booker T. Washington High..”  (Page 18)


    “I remember being about thirteen and seeing a black soldier from Vance Air Force Base in full uniform have to use the colored fountain and thinking, He’s good enough to get his ass shot for his country, but not to drink out of a fountain? That bothered me and stuck with me.” (Page 18)


    Great Shooter


    “I wound up becoming a great shooter because of my dad. Behind out house he had put up a hoop, but it wasn’t a traditional-sized hoop. It was much smaller, like the kind they have at the carnival to try to con you into playing….. I hated that rim…..By the time I got to high school the regulation-sized hoop was like a big tub. I could just throw it in there.” (Page 19)




    • Haskins went to Oklahoma A&M on a basketball scholarship.
    • He was coached by Mr. Henry Iba.
    • Iba was a major influence on Haskins coaching style.



    Coach-Mr. Henry Iba


    “Playing for Mr. Iba was four years of hell.” (Page 31)


    “I realize that just about every good thing that ever happened to me in my life is a result of playing for Mr. Iba…the lessons he taught. The way he showed us how to conduct business, treat people, work hard and stay focused was invaluable.” (Page 31-32)


    “I consider him the greatest man I ever met.” (Page 37)


    “Playing for Mr. Iba though; the four worst and four best years of my life.” (Page 45)


    Iba’s influence


    “We practiced all year round. No summer vacation. On nonschool days, we’d go three times a day, nine hours total.” (Page 34)


    “Mr. Iba was big on fundamentals and defense.” (Page 34)


    “He valued each possession like it was his firstborn.” (Page 34)


    “Under Mr. Iba there was no sitting during practice…There was also no water.” (Page 34)


    “It is no different than how the military runs boot camp….The players were best friends because all our hate was directed at Mr. Iba. And he liked it that way.” (Page 35)


    “Nine hours of scrimmaging….I got into the training room and took off my sock. The ball of my foot just fell off. The fat part came completely off. I got a bunch of tape from the trainer, taped it back on, and was ready to go the next day. I may have hated Mr. Iba, but I wasn’t going to let him break me.” (Page 37)




    • Haskins early career
    • Did not earn a college degree
    • Played in the Amateur Athletic Union (basketball)
    • First coaching job-Benjamin High School in Texas



    Getting a college degree


    “Like a lot of college basketball players, after four years on campus, I hadn’t earned a degree. Looking back on it, I was one stupid ole boy. I know that. How could upi be given such an opportunity –a free education—and not take full advantage of it? It’s been over fifty years and I still haven’t thought up a good reason. I’ve spent a lot of time kicking myself for not getting’ it done, trust me. I think this why I used to harp on my players so much about earning that degree.” (Page 48-49)


    “I was twelve credits short of a degree.” (Page 49)


    “I started working on finishing my degree…It took three years… It seemed like every free moment I had was spent getting that degree.” (Page 62)


    How he became a coach


    “Mary suggested I get into coaching. She was probably smart enough to know I was too dumb to do anything else. She had been telling me since college that she wanted me to be a coach. The idea never appealed to me, but at this point in my life I didn’t have any better ideas.” (Page 50)


    First Job


    “It would pay $2,800 per year…I didn’t have a degree and he didn’t care. He said I couldn’t teach without a degree, I could drive the school bus (an extra four hundred dollars) and coach.” (Page 51)


    “I wasn’t ever nervous about coaching. I was shy then (and still am), so about the only thing I ever feared was giving a speech to the Kiwanis Club or something.” (Page 52)


    “I also had to coach six-man football.” (Page 53)


    “My coaching career started with a loss.” (Page 55)


    Coaching Girls


    “I coached both boys’ and girls’ teams and I treated them equal, even though at the time no one else did.” (Page 55)


    “I’ll tell you something interesting: In all my days of coaching girls I never had one quit. Not one. I had boys quit, but never girls.” (Page 56)


    “Jeanie Sanders, fainted right on the court….I was so mad about Jennie Sanders fainting, I started throwing thing around…I was upset and said, “That damn Jeanie Sanders needs to get in shape.’ And I’ll never forget the wife said, ‘Don, she isn’t out of shape, it was just that time of the month. Women get exhausted easily then.” That time of the month? I had never even thought of it. It never entered my mind that girls have times of the month. I didn’t even thank of them as girls, just players.” (Page 61)


    Pushing players


    “A funny thing happened though…I guess I lightened up a little bit. I started going easy on the girls, you know, maybe one sprint when I used to give them ten…one day two of them came to me and complained that was favoring the boys more than the girls…then two mothers came and said they wanted me to treat the girls the same as the boys, that the girls deserved the same demands as the boys…a simple lesson, doesn’t matter if it is a girl or a boy, a great player thrives on being pushed hard.” (Page 61-62)


    Setting the record for technical fouls


    “Once I even set what I believe to be the all-time record in the state of Texas (heck, maybe the world) for most technical fouls in a game. It was a girls’ game too. The game started and right off the bat the ref made this horrible call. I went nuts. Coaches didn’t question many calls then in girls’ games because no one really cared about women’s sports. But I did. I went out on the court screaming and hollering and this ref, he was a real character, he said, “Haskins, you get a technical for every step it takes to get back to that bench.” I figure he was joking but I turn around and start walking back and heard him say, “Twelve, thirteen, fourteen.” I wound up with sixteen technicals. They didn’t throw you out of fames like they do now, which is why I figure I might have the record.” (Pages 60-61)





    Chapter 5-Shootin’Pool


    • Don Haskins isn’t perfect
    • He has flaws
    • Gambler and his gambling problem


    “If there was one thing, other than coaching, I was pretty good at in my life it was shooting pool. The problem is gambling, hustling, and playing nine ball and snooker is a sickness and it almost got me in a lot of trouble a number of times.” (Page 67-68)


    “I’m telling you, a hustler is a terrible thing, I am serious when I say it is worse than bein’ a back robber. At least the bank robber is honest in what he is doing—he walks in and demands the money. A pool hustler doesn’t have that kind of courage. But he is still stealing money. Pool hustling gets glamorized, but it is still about taking people’s money. But I didn’t realize that for years.” (Page 70)


    “When I was in college I was sick. I felt like anytime I needed a little money I could go hustle a little bit. The problem was, I always needed some money.” (Page 70)


    “I would make seventy or eighty dollars and leave.” (Page 71)


    Calling Coyotes


    “If you were a schoolteacher in Texas in those days you didn’t shoot pool and you sure as hell didn’t drink. What I did for fun was call coyotes and hunt them…I was a natural at it… I know that doesn’t sound like much in the way of entertainment, but you had to do something in those towns.” (Page 75)


    Playing Golf


    “When I coached in Dumas, Texas…I took up a new pursuit, golf…I was out there screwing around with golf every day and I was starting to make progress. There was an ole boy who had a ranch and was a wheat farmer. He had a lot of money and was a prominent person around town…you don’t beat a big time guy in town for money. So I kept saying no…I’ve got the job at Texas-Western and I am going to be leaving town. Why not give the old rancher what he’s been begging for? It’s the least I could have done, right?…I just wiped him out. He was so rich he thought it was funny. He kept saying, ‘Damn, coach, for months I couldn’t get you to play for fifty cents and now you’ll play for twelve hundred dollars?’ Yeah, well that how hustlers do it.” (Page 77)



    Chapter 6- Texas Western


    • First College Coaching Job-1961
    • Took a pay cut

    ·        Hired primarily to oversee the football players in the dorm

    ·        College basketball is not popular in Texas


    • Texas Western was integrated in 1955
    • The city is over 89% Hispanic
    • UTEP graduates more Hispanic engineers than any other school in the country


    Nolan Richardson


    “The first player I ever met at Texas Western was Nolan Richardson. He was a sophomore…I pulled up in a U-Haul truck full of family and furniture. He shook my hand and helped us move in…He would go on to be a successful college coach himself, winning the 1994 NCAA title at Arkansas. He’s a legend in El Paso, the town even named a middle school after him.” (Page 82)


    Willie Brown


    “Willie Brown from New York, who would become a great player, a big success in business, and later instrumental in helping me to recruit the core of my 1966 national team…When I got the job I started receiving a letter from Willie every day asking me to give him a scholarship. Every day here came a letter…I figured that if a guy is writing me every day it must mean he couldn’t play dead…My wife, Mary, however, liked him for his hunger. She was impressed with him…she encouraged me to sign Willie.” (Page 86)


    The First Bobby Joe Hill


    “I call him the first because he was not the Bobby Joe Hill who would play on the 1966 championship team. Same name, different player.” (Page 87)


    “The only reason I got him was no one else would take him…Bob Rogers said, “There’s a black kid down her that I can’t take.”..He spent time in a reformatory in Huntsville, Texas. A reformatory? Why the hell would I want a guy out of a reformatory? (Page 88)


    “It turns out Bobby Joe and two of his friends broke into a Laundromat and, this part I will never forget, they stole $3.75—you can’t be a little bit pregnant when it comes to stealing—but I’m not sure a buck and a quarter haul each merited arresting all three of them…The sheriff to his credit, said that day, ‘I’m going to tell you the truth, if them boys weren’t colored they wouldn’t have been arrested.” (Page 88)


    Coaching Black Players


    “When I looked out on the floor I didn’t see white guys and black guys, I saw players.” (Page 90)


    ‘I treated my white guys and my black guys exactly the same. I don’t think it was because I was some enlightened individual, it wasn’t a conscious thing. I think it was that I was obsessed with basketball and I didn’t want to go into that opener against Iowa State and get my ass beat.” (Page 91)


    Chapter 7-Bad News


    • Haskins gives credit to Jim Barnes


    “Jim “Bad News” Barnes. In the history of Texas Western/UTEP basketball there may never have been a more important player that Jim “Bad News” Barnes” (Page 101)


    “he set the stage for our success in the years to come.” (Page 101)


    “Jim Barnes showed kids around the country that Texas Western was a place where great players played. Nothing attracts great recruits like great players.” (Page 107)


    “Barnes was so good that my sports information director, Eddie Mullens, in a promotional effort, hung a nickname on him. He was Bad News Barnes because he was bad news for the opposition.” (Page 107)


    “We finished 25-3 Barnes’ senior year (1963-64) and darn near won the national championship. In fact, to this day I still we should have won it. The three games we lost were the games that Barnes fouled out.” (Page 109)


    Free Throw Contest

    “I bet Barnes that I could beat him in a free-throw shooting contest…We’d each shoot twenty-five free throws. If he hit more than I did, I would go back to El Paso and never bother him again. If I hit more, then he would sign with Texas Western right then and there. I told him I wouldn’t even take my sports coat off. He laughed and agreed to the terms of the bet…He went first and hit seventeen of twenty-five. I got up there and hit the first eighteen with no trouble at all, stopped and said, “Sign.” (Page 106)


    Breaking NCAA Rules


    “ I don’t know if the NCAA had a rule against betting a commitment with a player on a shooting game, but I would have to think it violated some rule or another. So, I guess, I cheated to get Jim Barnes, but it was worth it.” (Page 106)





    Chapter 8-Five Black Players


    • Haskins insists playing 5 black players was no bid deal
    • He doesn’t remember when it happened


    “When was the first time you started five black players?’ I asked Haskins.

    “Don’t remember, “ he said. “Never thought about it.” (Page 113)


    “There is no official record of what game (or even what season) the historic event occurred.” (Page 114)


    “I can’t remember the exact moment I decided to start five black players.” (Page 116)


    “Anyone who played for me can tell you I treated everyone the same, that race was not a factor in how I coached the team.” (Page 117)


    “All I had done is exactly what a coach is supposed to do; I started my five best players in an effort to maximize the chances of winning the game. To me they were just kids in white and orange uniforms. Not white guys, not black guys, just Miners. In later years I coached Hispanics, Native Americans, and foreign players. To me, they were all the same. They were my players. I certainly wasn’t trying to make a social statement. I just wanted to win. If my five best players were from Mars, I would have started five Martians.” (Page 120)


    “Girls’ basketball wasn’t much back then, but I didn’t see the difference. A team was a team. Players were players, white, black, male or female. I was in charge of the ream and our goal was to win games. Why would I care about anything else?” (Page 120)


    “Years later people would refer to our national championship game against the University of Kentucky as the Brown v. Board of Education of college athletics, the linchpin that broke the color barrier for good. I always laughed at that. It was only big because we won. What if we had lost?” (Page 120)


    “At the time, the last thing I expected was it would become a big deal. At the time I just wanted to win that game. Although, honestly, I don’t even remember which game it was.” (Page 121)



    Chapter 9-The Pipeline
    • Haskins gives credit Hilton White who helped recruit the championship team
    • Introduces players on the championship team


    Hilton White

    “One of the keys to recruiting our championship team was a man named Hilton White. He coached in the playground leagues in New York City. And was just a class guy…The kids all loved Hilton and if he said, “This is where you are going to school.” Well, that was where they were going to school…Hilton was always in my corner…He would tell them they needed to stay put, listen, and work harder…He wanted what was best for his players, and what was best was getting that education.” (Page 131-132)


    The Second Bobby Joe Hill

    “The second Bobby Joe Hill was the quickest guard I’d ever seen.” (Page 125)


    Over Coaching

    “I made him dribble the ball in front of him…he tried…but he kicked the ball away about half the time…He got frustrated, but he accepted it. He never bitched, never complained…It was my fault he was struggling because I was overcoaching him.” (Page 125)


    David Lattin

    “He was the next “Bad News Barnes” (Page 126)


    “David went to Tennessee State, but after a semester he was miserable…”Coach send me a ticket and I’ll come to Texas Western. I want to come and play for you . Just send me the ticket.”…One plane ticket and I get David Lattin? That didn’t seem like a big deal. But it was illegal…I can’t do it David. You’ll have to find a way here yourself.’…I am here. I came by bus. He had taken a bus straight through, for twenty-four hours….It turns out (as I would find out many years later) that just picking David up in downtown El Paso and driving him a few miles to campus was violating one of the NCAA’s more questionable rules.” (Page 128)


    “he was a big, tough guy with a cool Fu Manchu. His nickname was Big Daddy D…and had a teal popular radio show called “The Big D Jazz Session…I once asked him if he had any bad habits at all and he smiled and said. “Chasing babes.” (Page 129)


    Don’t Box yourself in

    “The next player who shows up late is kicked off the team. Gone. Cut. No appeals. Well, the guy who shows up late is Jimmy Holmes, who was from El Paso and had never been on my bad side….He even had a good excuse for being late, he was in class. I had boxed myself in and I kicked him off the team anyway…That was over forty years ago and to this day I feel bad about that. It was bad judgment.” (Page 131)


    Willie Cager

    “First off, not only did Willie Cager not play high school basketball, he hadn’t gone to high school. He had worked and gotten his diploma by going to night school…He was helping his family.” (Page 133)


    “I offered Cager a scholarship and never regretted it…Cager had to take two college level English classes. He had no money, so he came to El Paso and found a job working while going to class. He didn’t have money for rent either…Willie got a cot set up in one of the grease pits…when the shop was closed he slept in there.” (Page 134)


    Nevil Shed’s Mother

    “She was a great woman—tough as nails. She wanted Nevil to get a diploma and to call her if he gave me any problems and it would be taken care of. Nevil was rightfully afraid of his mother…She saw the incredible opportunities basketball could give her son—sadly, it was rare that a black kid got to attend college.” (Page 134-135)



    “Texas Westen College wasn’t exactly considered the coolest thing in the neighborhood.” (Page 135)

    “Texas Women’s College”

    “Teeny Weenie College”


    Value of a Basketball Scholarship

    “The players who go on to the NBA ate the ones who make millions and get the media attention, but it’s the education so many of us (myself included) get while playing college sports that’s invaluable.” (Page 136)


    Black Leaders

    “I get a lot attention for being the first to start five black players in a game, but if it weren’t for all of the leaders in the black community who helped send these kids to me it never would have happened. There are countless heroes in this tale and I thank all of them, even if they sent their players to someone else.” (Page 136)


    Helping communities

    “This wasn’t about just winning basket ball games. This was about helping these young men, helping entire communities.” (Page 136)


    Harry Flournoy

    Pie Incident

    “ Harry Flournoy was walking home from school for lunch…I asked if he wanted a ride. He said he didn’t….We drove to his house and waited for him…I met his mother, Amy, a great woman…she offered me the last piece of pie in the house…he sat down for lunch…asked his mother for dessert. Amy said, “Harry, there is none left. I gave the last piece to our guest, Coach Haskins…He was so made at me that he wouldn’t let me drive him back to school…After the pie incident I thought we would never sign him.” (Page 138)


    Mother comes to TWC

    “Amy Flournoy trusted me and told her boy he was going to El Paso…I loved that woman…Harry’s freshman year I caught him ditching class and saw his grades were slipping, so I called her…He walked in, saw his mother, and then we both read him the riot act. He was scared straight. I don’t think Harry ever skipped class again. (Page 138-139)


    Chapter 10-1966 Season


    • Don Haskins is a good coach, but a lousy businessman
    • Other colleges did not want to play TWC
    • Haskins explains that the 1966 team was talented but lazy and he fought with them all year.
    • El Paso fans love TWC




    “West Texas has been good to Haskins except, it seems, when it came to business…he drilled for oil and found nothing but dirt…His friends all call him the smartest man they ever met, someone in possession an uncommon amount of common sense…Haskins sunk $22, 500 into a lettuce field, a good chunk of savings… lost it all…As a businessman, he made a hell of a basketball coach.” (Pages 141-142)


    Fighting the Team


    “I spent half the season worrying about Bobby Joe Hill, fighting with David Lattin to practice hard, and trying to get everyone to play together. This was easily the most talent4ed team I had ever coached, but they were a pain in the ass when it came to practice.” (Page 143)


    “I had to fight this team so hard every single day. WE had five players…who were left-handed. So, maybe that explained it.”  (Page 151)


    David Lattin


    “I was always trying to get Lattin jacked up…Lattin wouldn’t play hard because the center was white. He didn’t think a white guy could play.” (Page 143)


    “I gave the maintenance man a dollar and told him to tape it up well above the square on the backboard…maybe fourteen feet up…in walked David Lattin, he was always dressed teal nice, always well groomed. He had on them Italian-looking shoes…Lattin just smiled, walked over, and just hopped up there and picked it off the backboard. No warmup, in dress clothes and Italian shoes…Moe starts right in with me, “Lattin plays harder for money than he does for you.” (Page 144)


    Togo Railey


    “Togo was the fan favorite, a local guy who played only when we were up big. Late in the game the crowd would chant, “To-go, To-go,” so I would put him in. He was my human victory cigar.” (Page 145)


    No one wants to play TWC


    “We were still Tiny Weenie College from El Paso. If your are a major school…why would play us?…a no-win situation. If you win the game, everyone says, ‘Well, you are supposed to beat them, that’s TWC.’ But if you lose, and with the team I had the odds were pretty good you weren’t going to just lose you were going to get your ass kicked, the critics would be all over you…it was better just to avoid us completely.” (Page 145)


    El Paso


    “El Paso had no other sports teams then and really no national identity al all…the people of El Paso embraced something of their own and became Texas Western Miner fans. It was great…The fans were unbelievable…their enthusiasm and support was out of control….when we landed at the airport there would be two or three thousand people waiting for us.” (Page 150)


    “Our city doesn’t get much national attention and back then it was even smaller. Which is why the whole city was behind us, a feeling I can’t describe, but am humbled about to this day.” (Page 169)


    Breaking Curfew


    “I was so angry with my team so I set a curfew that night…I didn’t want any crap that night. Well, Bobby Joe apparently knew some girls in Seattle and he and the rest of the team snuck out. Probably the only funny thing about the whole incident was finding Shed in his room…I went crashing into his room and he was under the covers, looking at me with a smile, pretending like he was just trying to get some sleep…He had the covers pulled up to his chin…I yanked the blankets off of him and there he is, fully dressed, shoes and all. I had caught him before he left….Angry doesn’t describe me at that point…guys got back around 3:00 am…we woke them up at 4:30 am claiming we had an early flight…on the plane if anyone even looked like he was about to doze off to go back and wake him up…I was too angry to sleep, then by God I wanted them too angry to sleep.” (Pages 154-155)







    Chapter 11-The NCAA Tournament


    • Haskins and the clip-on tie
    • Bobby Joe Hill becomes a team leader
    • Team doctor gets a technical
    • Nevil Shed gets kicked off the team-His mother’s reaction
    • No racial problems on the team


    “ I don’t think Haskins owns a real tie. He hates dressing up at all, preferring an open collar with some room to breathe…Haskins wore the tie for less than a minute each game, just long enout to take the court with an air of business sensibility. ‘Mr. Iba told me before my first game as a high school coach always to wear a tie…I noted to him the entire building was named after him and, in reality, the clip-on act wasn’t fooling anyone…’Mr. Iba said to wear a tie,’ he said, ending the discussion and straightening the tie.” (Page 159)


    Bobby Joe Hill becomes a Leader


    “I was so mad at Bobby Joe Hill for the Seattle debacle, I benched him..I noticed Bobby Joe wasn’t sitting back on the bench pouting, like a lot of guys would. WE huddled up, and even though he wasn’t playing, Hill was right in the middle, grabbing guys by the shirt, getting in their faces, shouting encouragements, even giving some advice on what he had seen. I loved it, He was, after all, the leader of the team…seven minutes before halftime when I put him in. The benching was over. He was such a smart player. Instead of pouting he had studied the game. So once he got in the game, problems solved, we won easily.” (Pages 163-164)


    Team doctor-Technical Foul


    “my team doctor, Joe Galatzan, was sitting down at the end of the bench hollering at an official something fierce for making a bad call. All of the sudden the official gave my team doctor a technical. I couldn’t believe it. My team doctor…I felt sorry for him…Dr. Joe said, ‘Coach, I’m sorry.’ I said, ‘You didn’t do a damn thing. I was fixin’ to get one myself.’” (Page 163)


    Nevil Shed’s mother

    “a big old white boy, knocked the crap out of Jerry Armstrong when Armstrong wasn’t looking, but Nevil Shed saw him. The next time down the court Shed laid Rolfe out with a punch…Shed got booted from the game…I wouldn’t let him sit on the bench. I sent him to the dressing room and told him he was off the team, sholarship revoked and everything. I was that angry…She came up to me crying. He was apologizing and begging and carrying on. He had called his mother…told her he was coming home and had been kicked off the team…his mother wanted to speack to me…Most parents will automatically defend their children…she says, ‘Coach, make that boy walk home. Make him walk back to New York City. Don’t you even give him a ride to the bus station.’…She was angrier at Shed than I was. So I decided then and there to keep him on the team. I figured I was saving him from the whipping of his life. I did bench him for the start of the next game though.” (Pages 166-167)


    Racism on the team


    ‘On our team, as far as I knew then or have ever heard, there were no racial problems, no divisions. Jerry Armstrong was white and when he got hit with a cheap shot, Nevil Shed, who was black, didn’t hesitate to stick up for him. It wasn’t about race with us.” (Page 16
















    Chapter 12-The Final Four


    • Haskins charitable  and humble nature
    • Jerry Armstrong is the white guy who integrated basketball
    • Lattin intimidates Univeristy of Kentucky
    • Bobby Joe steals the ball
    • Final-not a memorable game, fairly easy win
    • Ed Sullivan show and Rasicsm
    • Haskins is loyal to El Paso


    Charitable and Humble

    “A young Mexican family were driving from Van Horn to Los Angeles…their car broke down…out in the desert…Coach was out hunting and he stopped to help. …this family had no money, so he got a two truck to bring the station wagon to El Paso and loaded the whole family into his truck. He then paid for the tow, paid to get the car fixed, and since it took two days for the work to be done, put the family up in a motel and gave them cash for food…he didn’t tell a soul about it. Not one person. He didn’t want anyone to know. He didn’t want any credit.” (Pages 171-172)


    Jerry Armstrong stops Chambers/Utah

    “my black guys would never have gotten the chance to start in that game if it wasn’t for one of their white teammates, Jerry Armstrong…none of my big guys could stop Utah’s Jerry Chambers…Lattin and Harry Flournoy were out. Chambers was just unbelievable…Armstrong had a sprained ankle. Well, he did better than anyone else had and slowed Chambers down at the end of the game. We won 85-78, but only because of Armstrong. Maybe, Jerry Armstrong is the white guy who should get the credit for integrating college basketball. It sure as hell wasn’t me guarding Jerry Chambers.” (Page 177)


    The team

    “My guys were taking naps, daydreaming, looking for girls in the stands. This was the loosest team I ever had.” (Page 181)

    Lattin dunks the ball to intimidate Kentucky

    “I told Lattin…I want yuou to take it to the rim and dunk it on someone. Just knock them over. Just dunk it like they ain’t never seen it dunked. Not in person, not on television. I don’t care if you get called for a charge, for traveling, rip off the backboard, anything. Just dunk the damn thing. Take it at their center and run his ass over…To see the 240 pound David Lattin charging down the land was one scary sight. Only one guy tried to defend the play, Pat Riley. I respected him for that…David dunked it on his head, just slammed it right down on his head. No foul. No travel. Just two points for the Miners.” (Page 183-184)


    Not a memorable game

    “Oddly enough the most memorable thing about the actual game was the lack of memorable moments.” (Page 184)


    “By the end they never really threatened u s. We led by 11 with 3:22 remaining. It didn’t end up a blowout, but we won fairly easily, 72-65.” (Page 186)


    Bobby Joe Hill steals the show

    “Bobby Joe stole it from him (Louis Dampier) and drove it for a layup. Dampier regrouped and started bringing the ball up again, this time more cautiously. But Bobby Joe was just so quick that right at center court he did it again, picking Dampier;s pocket and going in for another layup, 14 to 9 us with 9:56 to go…Everyone in Cole Fieldhouse must have thought that anytime Bobby Joe wanted to steal that ball from Louis Dampier he could. Bobby Joe certainly thought that.” (Page 185)


    The Media-Ed Sullivan Show

    “I know my three New York players (Shed, Worsley, and Cager) were excited because back then the NCAA championship team usually got invited to appear on The Ed Sullivan Show, which was filmed in Manhattans. So they were more excited about a free trip back home to New York than winning the championship. Of course, in a sign of things to come, Ed Sullivan didn’t invite Texas Western on his show.” (Pages 187-188)


    Haskins Loves El Paso

    “In six short seasons I had grown to love the city and the school, so it meant a lot to me to give the people something to be proud of. And it was one of the reasons why, when some bigger, richer schools came a-calling after I had led little Texas Western to the national title, I never left. El Paso was my home now.” (Page 188)










    Chapter 13-The Fallout


    • Haskins gives the NCAA hell
    • Positive effects of the championship-scholarships/opportunities for black athletes
    • Negative effects of the championship
      • Hate mail
      • Death threats
      • Recruiting Problems
    • Bad Press/Media
    • Accomplishments of the 1966 Team


    Giving the NCAA hell

    “Haskins arrived looking sharp by his standards—which meant his plaid button down shirt had no barbeque stains…sitting in the front row…this was the media and NCAA power base that had made life miserable for him, his players and his program…the old cowboy had neither forgotten nor forgiven…getting some shots in…noted his decision was unpopular at the time. He named some names in the media. He went on to criticize the NCAA…he got after them for the confusing and corrupt way it enforces its myriad rules since, he noted it is generally the big schools that are cheating their asses off, but the small ones that get punished.” (Pages 191-192)


    Positive Effects

    “Chuck Foreman, the great NFL running back, …stopped me and he said, ‘I’ve always wanted to thank you for giving black guys like myself a chance to go to school.’ He just said all the right things, and it made me feel real good.” (Page 193)


    “Nolan Richardson would declare I was responsible for “thousands of scholarships for blacks in the South.” (Page 193)


    “The positive impact of the fame through the increased opportunity for black players. Before we beat Kentucky there was not a single black basketball or football player in the Southeastern, Southwest, or Atlantic Conference. Not one. A couple months after we won, Vanderbilt of the SEC recruited the first black basketball player and the floodgates opened.” (Page 194)


    Hate Mail

    “I thought winning the national championship was the worst thing ever to happen to me. I wished for a long time that we had never won that game with Kentucky because life would have been a heck of a lot easier for me, my school and my players.” (Page 192)


    “Within a week of winning the national championship the hate mail flowed in by the garbage bucket…There were bags and bags of nasty, racist, ignorant letters. Most of them came for the South and a lot of them form Kentucky.” (Page 193)


    New Version of Hate Mail

    “Black ministers calling me an exploiter. All of the sudden I was the racist. Supposedly, I was just using black kids to win games and I didn’t care at all about them…Nolan Richardson said, “Coach, we’ve got them on both sides.” (Page 198)


    Biased Media

    “Adolph Rupp (coach of Kentucky) said some thing to anger me…He told the Courier-Journal of Louisville that I had recruited David Lattin out of Tennessee State Prison, when in fact David had been a student at Tennessee State University.” (Page 195)


    Sports Illustrated  came to town…said I exploited black players, that our kids weren’t real students and El Paso was a community that was unfriendly to minorities…that El Paso was so racist that none of my players’ wives could get jobs there. Wives? None of my players were even married.” (Page 196)


    Haskins Biggest Regret

    File a lawsuit again Sports Illustrated…I deeply, deeply regret that I didn’t file one myself…This was a mistake and perhaps the biggest regret of my life. I have never forgiven the magazine. Not to this very day. That magazine hurt my players and their parents. And it was wrong.” (Page 196-197)


    “1976 James Michener released a book called Sports in America…Michener referred to our championship team as ‘one of the most wretched episodes in the history of American sport.’ Can you believe that? We were just college kids playing basketball. How can that be wretched? He claimed my players were criminals and nonstudents…suing Michener—not for the money though. I just wanted to get him into an El Paso courtroom so I might get close enough to get my hands around his neck, haul his ass outside, and drag him through the weeds for a while. A good ass-kicking might have been satisfaction enough for me…I deeply, deeply regret this to this day I didn’t.” (Page 197)


    1966 Team Students or Exploited??


    David Lattin-public relations executive

    Bobby Joe Hill-executive El Paso Natural Gas

    Harry Flournoy-Sales Rep

    Dick Myers-vice president , Coach Leather, Inc.

    Nevil Shed-coordinator of student programs, University of Texas

    Willie Worsley-dean of students, Boys Choir of Harlem

    Orsten Artis-Lead Detective, Gary, Indiana

    Willie Cager-teacher and coach

    Jerry Armstrong-teacher and coach

    Togo Railey-2 master’s degrees, coach and assistant principal

    Louis Baudoin-master’s in educations, teacher, coach

    David Palacio-Executive VP/CFO Univision Music