Men's Basketball, Sports, WVU Sports

Former WVU assistant basketball coach Billy Hahn dies

Longtime college basketball coach and former WVU men’s assistant Billy Hahn died Friday at Ruby Memorial Hospital. He was 69. 

Hahn, who coached with the Mountaineers from 2008-2017, was pulled off life support after being admitted earlier this week after suffering a heart attack. 

He retired from coaching in the summer of 2017, and while he was a native of Indiana, Hahn and his family remained in Morgantown.  

“The people here, you can’t get away from them,” Hahn once said about staying in the state. “You’ll never find as genuine and as nice a people as you will here in West Virginia.” 

During Hahn’s 11 seasons at WVU, the Mountaineers advanced to the 2010 Final Four and won the 2010 Big East tournament. WVU also advanced to nine NCAA tournaments with Hahn on the sidelines. 

Known for his fun-loving spirit and his black turtlenecks, Hahn was also a head coach at Ohio University and La Salle, while also serving as a longtime assistant at Maryland. 

He had also served as director of The Hoop Group, a New Jersey-based recruiting service and AAU-tournament organizer. 

“Billy was a players’ coach and a very good communicator,” said WVU head coach Bob Huggins, whose relationship with Hahn went back to their college days when Hahn hosted Huggins during a recruiting visit at Maryland. “He had a great rapport with the players, and they all really enjoyed being around him. 

“All of Mountaineer basketball and Mountaineer Nation is saddened by Billy’s passing. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife, Kathi, his son, Matty, his daughter, Ashley, his grandchildren, their families and everyone that knew and loved Billy.” 

Since retiring, Hahn traveled the country as a motivational speaker, speaking to several college and high schools teams. 

He also hosted a podcast sponsored by The Dominion Post. In recent years, he also hosted live sessions at The Purple Cow during WVU games, where he interacted with fans and would discuss strategy and lent his insight. 

“After 41 years, you know what I don’t miss?” Hahn asked back in 2018. “I don’t miss going out on a recruiting trip or traveling back late from a game. I don’t miss getting home at 5 in the morning.” 

What he did miss was the experiences and the camaraderie that came with the day-to-day life with coaching. 

“If you don’t miss those,” Hahn said. “You didn’t love coaching.” 

Hahn is survived by his wife, Kathi, son, Matthew and his wife Christie, a daughter, Ashley and her husband Brian Calvery and two grandchildren. 

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