Coach Don Haskins, 78, died at home peacefully in his sleep on Sunday, September 7, 2008. At his side, during his final hours was his loving wife, Mary, his sons, Brent, Steve and David, his grandsons, Dominick, John Paul and Cameron, and friend Jim Paul. He enjoyed outdoor activities; such as golf, hunting, and fishing. Coach Don Haskins will be remembered for a lot of things to many people. Perhaps the accomplishment most remembered by many occurred 42 years ago when his Texas Western Basketball Team beat Kentucky for the NCAA championship in 1966. For the first time in an NCAA national championship game, he used a lineup of African-Americans, tearing down the so-called color barrier of college athletics. Many people saw the competitive, scowling, gruff side of "The Bear," more saw one of the most generous, warm-hearted men they could possibly know. After coaching at Texas Western-UTEP he retired with 719 victories. He was inducted to many Halls of Fame, including the UTEP Athletic Hall of Fame, the El Paso Athletic Hall of Fame, the Texas Sports Hall of Fame, the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame, and the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame. Although Coach Don Haskins appreciated each one of these honors, they were really not as important to him as the love of the people of El Paso - a love which he returned. A Memorial Service will be held on Thursday, September 11, 2008 at 6:30 PM at Don Haskins Center. Expressions of condolences to Mary and the family may be sent to Martin Funeral Home West, 128 N. Resler Dr., El Paso, TX 79912. Contributions may be made in memory of Coach Don Haskins Endowment established by the family in his memory at the University of Texas at El Paso, 500 W. University Ave, El Paso, TX 79902, to The Mark Haskins Memorial Endowed Fund at the University of Texas at El Paso, 500 W. University Ave., El Paso, TX 79902 and the Don Haskins Sports Fund established by Steve and Carmen also administered by the El Paso Community Foundation, 310 N. Mesa, Suite 1000, El Paso, TX 79901. The family would like to thank Jim Paul for his help in this difficult time. Services entrusted to Martin Funeral Home West.
Published in El Paso Times from Sept. 10 to Sept. 13, 2008