September 7, 2008

"Don Haskins was a friend. He was a great coach. He was a mentor. For thousands of us, he was El Paso. His spirit, his pride, his determination lifted us up."

Written by Senator Eliot Shapleigh,

EL PASO –  Today, Senator Eliot Shapleigh (D-El Paso) issued the following statement on the passing of legendary University of Texas at El Paso coach, Don Haskins:

Don Haskins was a friend.  He was a great coach.  He was a mentor.  For thousands of us, he was El Paso.  His spirit, his pride, his determination lifted us up.   

On May 15, 2006, the Texas Senate honored the 1966 Texas Western College Miners basketball team and coach Don Haskins on the 40th anniversary of the team's National Collegiate Athletic Association national championship.  Texas Western College, soon after renamed The University of Texas at El Paso, blazed a trail that many other teams would soon follow when it became the first basketball team to start five African American players in a national championship game.

Led by coach Don Haskins, the Miners defeated an all-white University of Kentucky team by a score of 72-65, shattering once and for all the myth that a multiracial team had no place in collegiate sports; the story of that groundbreaking season has been made into the feature film Glory Road.

The members of this illustrious team were: Jerry Armstrong, Orsten Artis, Louis Baudoin, Willie Cager, Harry Flournoy, Bobby Joe Hill, David Lattin, Dick Myers, David Palacio, Togo Railey, Nevil Shed, and Willie Worsley.

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