Dapper Dan and Haberdashery Huggs.
Once upon a time, Marshall University basketball coach Danny DAntoni and West Virginia University basketball coach Bob Huggins wore these trending titles.
This is because they dressed to be successful.
They dress for comfort. Huggins sits on his wooden bar stool, typically wearing a long-sleeved T-shirt under a short-sleeved top, warm-up pants, and sneakers. Meanwhile, DAntoni is roaming the sideline with her line of black, white and green Marshall long sleeve t-shirts, casual pants and comfy shoes.
Both coaches have been wearing variations of this outfit for years.
Although they dress for comfort in a varsity sport dominated by coaches dressed in suits and ties, DAntoni and Huggins have actually become fashion pioneers during this COVID-saturated 2020-21 basketball season. .
That is true. Look around. All college basketball coaches now dress like DAntoni and Huggins.
Well, I’ve always been a pioneer, Huggins says funnyly. Of course you got a job … I got a job at the University of Cincinnati and thought, man, I got a big job, I got to dress like these other guys. So, I wore a suit and sweated through the suit. I mean, my costume was soaking wet when the game was over.
I entered a day after the game … no, it was half-time. And I’m soaked. I’m soaked. And my [athletic director] said, you don’t seem very comfortable. And I said, I’m not very comfortable. And he said: Well, you know, coaches should really dress comfortably.
It was all Huggins needed to hear.
It was the green light for me, he said. I haven’t put on a tie since. But I’m glad the coaches have [started to dress like Huggins]. I mean, I remember going to Rutgers and the guys just drill me, say, why don’t you wear a suit? Or what’s your philosophy about not wearing a suit? Or are people offended that you dress the way you dress?
I’m not a banker, Huggins replied. I am a ball coach. And that’s how ball coaches dress. And that’s how ball coaches are supposed to dress. It was in the news for a little while.
DAntoni has also created comments with her wardrobe of Hillbilly Ball and 304 and Thundering Herd long sleeve T-shirts.
Oh, no question, he said with a chuckle. I watch movies and watch TV guys and there will always be a little cue or blurb on how I’m dressed.
The last was when we were in Florida [playing FIU] and he said I dressed like Don Johnson on Miami Vice. I was wearing a black V-neck T-shirt with black jeans and shoes. He said I was ready to hit the clubs. In the younger days he was absolutely right. Today is the easiest way to get home.
The casual sideways dress has indeed become a trend for college coaches.
Yeah, I hope it doesn’t come back, said DAntoni. I’m not. I don’t care if it comes back or not because I’m not. I will stay where I am. I could put on a sports coat over it, but I’m not going anywhere other than where I am. I could and I could not. I haven’t decided. It depends on the temperature it is.
Will this coaching trend stay that way or not? It might just depend on well-dressed University of Kentucky coach John Calipari.
Calipari is now laid back, DAntoni said. He doesn’t have a tie, but he wears a suit and an open-necked shirt. He got totally laid back, but ended up getting his butt whipped and returned to the costume. I think he is superstitious.
Huggins thinks Calipari is the ultimate litmus test for this fashion trend.
If Calipari doesn’t come back [to the suits and ties], said Huggins, no one is coming back.
Either way, Huggins and DAntoni aren’t going to change their wardrobes.
Who would have guessed that two West Virginians born in the country would end up becoming pioneers?