Thursday, April 5, 2012

Former Terp “Dinosaur” Hahn Not Giving Up On Coaching

HAHN (Joe Sadlek/All Pro Photography)
The name of fifty-six-year old Billy Hahn should sound familiar to ACC basketball fans.  The now self-described “dinosaur” has been involved in college basketball since the 1970’s when he played at Maryland for Left Driesell.

Hahn was on the team that lost the famous ACC Championship game 103-100 to end the 1973-74 season.  That was back when the only the conference champ went to the NCAA tournament and the Terps voted to refuse an N.I. T. invitation having one that event two seasons prior.

The 1974-75 Maryland team voted Hahn a captain and finished 24-5 after losing to Louisville in the Sweet Sixteen.   Those Maryland teams would send Tom McMillen, Len Elmore, Tom Roy, Owen Brown, Brad Davis, Mo Howard and John Lucas to a then much larger NBA draft. 

Hahn went on to coach, working his way back up the ladder and landing back in College Park as an assistant to Gary Williams from1989 to 2001. Those Terp teams went to the Big Dance a school-record eight straight years, including the 2001 Final Four.

Although Hahn left at the end of the 2001 season to become the head coach at LaSalle, the scrappy former guard is generally credited with having recruited Maryland’s 2002 NCAA Men’s Division 1 National Championship team. 

While Hahn didn’t post a winning season in four years at LaSalle (no doubt the recruiting was a bit tougher), he lost his job after three of his players were charged with rape.  One of the rapes involved another student athlete and school policy required Hahn to file an internal report.  Hahn’s defended himself claiming the alleged victim, who a member of the women’s basketball team, didn’t want to report the incident.

The school subsequently forced both Hahn and the head coach of the women’s team, John Miller, to resign. 

After three years out of coaching, Hahn was “rescued” by Bob Huggins when he was hired by West Virginia in 2007.  This season “Hugs” moved Hahn off the bench and into an office, and while the “dinosaur” loves his current head coach for a plethora of good reasons, he wants to move back to “floor coaching” and is looking for a new gig.

Hahn who clearly loves the game of basketball does not think highly of the new breed of young coaches he says are “just in it for the money.” 

To read more about the life and times of Billy Hahn, click here

HAHN and WILLIAMS BOTH IN CLASSIC POSES (John McDonnell/Washington Post)

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