Bob Hughes Ends Star-Spangled Career

By Joe Booker, Guest Columnist
Updated: May 15, 2005

HOUSTON, TX.—.—The adage that a great athletic program is but the lengthened shadow of a single man finds one of its best examples in Robert Hughes, who has ended a star-spangled 47-year career as head basketball coach in the Fort Worth (Texas) School District at I.M. Terrell and Dunbar.

Hughes has been the prime mover, the untiring maser and protector of the image and hope of Dunbar High School basketball.


“It’s time to do the Ray Charles,” said the 76-year old Hughes. “I am going to hit the road Jack. I am in great health and I been doing this for 47-years. It is time to take a walk. I always said I didn’t want to stay so long that when I got out I would be homebound. I probably won’t have a problem until that first da of school. Sometime in August or September, that’s when it will dawn on me. Hey guy, you don’t have a job.”


In 47-years as a head basketball coach he has built national respect for his methods of operations while getting wondrous results as his nation’s all-time winningest record of 1,333 wins by a basketball coach on any level, attest.

The essence of Hughe formula has been a combination of discipline and thoroughness. He drilled his teams until they almost became automatic in execution. In a state where football is king, Hughes built a kind of respect for his methods that verges on worship. Detractors ruefully acknowledge that he has few peers in the basketball coaching fraternity.


He did not change his coaching style to adjust to the behavior and attitudes of players to day

“The players have to change to me,” said Hughes who will be succeeded by his son Robert Hughes,Jr. I have been around much longer than they have. I tell players that they must wear the Dunbar hair style and no corn rolls. If they can’t adjust to those rules I tell them to go somewhere else.”

Half of his players quit his first year, because they could not ajust to his demanding discipline.


- Won five state titles and 1,333 games during his 47 years at I.M. Terrell and Dunbar High Schools.

- His Dunbar teams won 30 consecutive playoffs appearances and 32 district titles.

- His I.M. Terrell teams won three Prairie View Interscholastic League state titles in five years.

- His 20 wins his first year at I.M. Terrell was the fewest wins in his 15 years there.

- He posted his national record of 1,275 career victory on February 11, 2003.