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Wednesday, August 25, 1999

Different difficulties cost Eagles in losses

PECOS, Aug. 25, 1999 -- Pecos Eagles' coach Becky Granado hopes her volleyball team took two different lessons out of two different losses on Tuesday, to the Snyder Tigers and Midland Lee Rebels.

Playing in Midland, the Eagles won the first game of their match with Snyder, 15-9, but lost the second, 15-5, and saw late game errors cost them the deciding game, as the Tigers came away with a 15-12 victory.

In the second game, the Eagles ran into other problems, as they were swept by the host Rebels, 15-7, 15-9, dropping them to 3-4 on the season.

"We had a good match against Snyder," Granado said. "Towards the end of the third game it was 12-12 and we missed three serves back to back to back. We just gave Snyder too many opportunities to beat us."

"Philly (Fobbs) had 39 sets to her and 11 kills, and I think that's the most she's had, and our defense was much better, (than Saturday's games at the Monahans Sandhills tournament)," Granado said. "We were picking up more balls and not giving up as many easy shots as we used to."

However, Granado said the Eagles found out in the second game their defense will have to be even better against good teams to succeed.

"When we got to Midland Lee we were in for a rude awakening. We had a tough time with their little setter (Andrea Fryrear)," Granado said. "She was good and our defense found out how slow we are.

"She would either do a quick set or a back set and Philly was having a tough time getting to blocking position," the Eagles' coach added. "She said she was having a hard time reading her, and I told them we're just going to have to work on it."

"Our outside hitters are not that big. They might get their hands on the ball (when blocking), so if Philly doesn't get over there to handle the block the back defense is going to have to get over there and help."

Pecos led twice in the first game, at 2-1 and 4-2 before the Rebels took control for their second win of the night and third straight win over a Class 4A opponent (Big Spring being the other) after losing to San Angelo Lake View in the semifinals of the Ector County ISD Tournament on Saturday. Lee beat Snyder in three games to open play on Tuesday, 15-8, 16-18, 15-9.

"We have a long way to go, but I think playing Midland Lee was good for them. They realized they have to be much quicker than they have been," Granado said.

Pecos' junior varsity did come away with a split of their games on Tuesday, beating Snyder, 11-15, 15-7, 15-9, before losing to Lee, 16-14, 15-11. Both the JV and varsity will return to play on Friday, with pool round games at the Pecos Cantaloupe Classic Tournament.

The varsity will face El Paso Parkland, Greenwood and Wink in their pool games, while the JV faces Monahans, Fort Stockton and Odessa Permian. Pecos' freshmen purple team will be the only ones entered in their division this year, which starts at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday with pool round games against Alpine, Fort Stockton and Greenwood. The Eagles' freshman gold team will be idle.

UTEP's Haskins ends 38-year career

Associated Press Writer
EL PASO, Aug. 25, 1999 Don Haskins left one indelible mark on college basketball.

The Hall of Fame coach, with 719 victories, took his team to the NCAA tournament 14 times. He brought home seven Western Athletic Conference championships.

But Haskins, who stepped down Tuesday after 38 years in charge of the Texas-El Paso basketball team, will be remembered for a bigger accomplishment.

On March 19, 1966, he led the Miners to the NCAA championship, and he started five black players a first in the title game. Texas Western, as UTEP then was known, upset the all-white, top-ranked Kentucky Wildcats 72-65.

At first, the decision meant a lot of hate mail for Haskins. But over time, he would be revered as the man who broke down the color barrier in college sports.

"When he was able to win that national championship against Adolf Rupp's all-white team, it changed the look of the game forever," said Oklahoma State's Eddie Sutton, who has coached college basketball for 29 years.

Haskins went on to finish with a 719-353 career record, putting him 10th on the victory list of college coaches. He remains the only men's basketball coach to bring a national title home to Texas.

Now, after spending more than half his life coaching the Miners, Haskins says it's time.

The 69-year-old, known affectionately to UTEP fans as "The Bear" for his burly physique, says he's grateful for all his years at UTEP.

"How many people have been somewhere 38 years and been happy? Not many," he said in announcing his retirement at the Don Haskins Center, the arena renamed for him in 1997.

"That's a miracle," added his wife, Mary, seated beside him.

His wife was misty-eyed throughout the announcement, but Haskins retained a sense of humor.

When asked whether he has any regrets, he looked up, smiled and said, "A hell of a lot. We haven't got time."

UTEP athletic director Bob Stull said a search will begin right away for a new coach. "We're going to do a national search and try and find a coach that can replace a legend," Stull said.

Haskins made it clear it was his decision to leave, and he's not being forced out. The university offered to pay his salary for the next year, which he accepted.

In the last few years, he has had to deal with a number of health problems. He had a mild heart attack during a game in 1996, followed by triple-bypass surgery. Earlier this year, he had a pacemaker implanted in his chest.

Haskins' career started as a student at Oklahoma A&M, where he played for coach Henry Iba, another Hall of Famer. He was an unknown Texas high school coach when Texas Western hired him in 1961.

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