- Eamonn Brennan, ESPN Staff Writer
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Bob Huggins' windbreaker has become a minor topic of conversation in this year's NCAA tournament. The comments range from "Man, Bob Huggins is awesome, look at that thing," to "How hard is it to put on a tie? Come on, Bob." Huggins seems unaffected by either point of view; for him, the windbreaker exists for reasons far more to do with function than fashion. Because Huggy Bear's a bit of a sweater:
"Actually, I started wearing the one [warm-up suit] I wore at Cincinnati because I had a suit on and I'd sweat through the suit," Huggins said. "I was soaking wet and I took the suit off and put it [the warm-up suit] on for the second half and my athletic director [Goin] said, 'I don't know who ever told coaches to wear suits. You look great like that.' So I wore that at Cincinnati until we got a new president [Nancy Zimpher], who didn't think I was supposed to wear that."
In case you're wondering, Nancy Zimpher is the former Cincinnati president that eventually oversaw Huggins' resignation, giving the famous quote that "character counts" in regards to the Bearcats' various off-court issues (not least of which, of course, was Huggins' DUI). It never hurts to get one final shot at the old boss you hate when you're sitting at the podium at the Final Four, eh?
Anyway, the windbreaker. It makes sense, right? Many of us can sympathize. I don't have to wear a suit often, but when I do, if it's even remotely warm or I'm even remotely active, I'll sweat to the point of discomfort. (For example: a wedding I attended in South Carolina last August. Oh, the sweat. It haunts me to this day.) If I had to coach a college basketball game in a suit, I'd be a soaking mess on par with Maryland's Gary Williams.
Sure, I think most coaches look much better in suits, and I would totally wear one if I was coaching -- basketball is one of the few sports left where coaches dress up for games, and it's a tradition that needs to survive. But you could make the argument that Huggins actually looks better without the suit. Or at least without that mustard-colored monstrosity that he wore in 2008. No, the windbreaker fits Huggins, seamlessly matching garment to personality. And isn't that what fashion's all about?