Worked as an assistant coach at Heights from 2003 to 2007

By Kevin Posival

Harker Heights Herald

It was the only job that could entice Reggie Huggins out of his assistant principal's office at Killeen High School.

Huggins, a 1995 graduate of Killeen, walked the halls every day and watched over students that reminded him of himself at their age.

There was only one position that could take that away from him, and that one job opened up last month in the boys basketball office.

"If it had been at any other place, we wouldn't even be talking about this at the moment. It's only for KHS," said Huggins, who was announced as the new Killeen boys head basketball coach Thursday.

"This is the only place where I would want to be at as the head basketball coach because the history is long and I want to be a part of that. I was part of that back in the day, I'm a part of it now moving on and, hopefully, I can keep doing it the future."

A product of the great Bo Burgess-coached Killeen teams of the 1980s and '90s, Huggins replaces Jason Fossett, who accepted the same position at Flower Mound High School on May 15 after seven years as the Runnin' Roos coach.

Killeen ISD only received 10 internal applications for the vacancy and opted not to open the position to the public.

The district posted the opening on May 25 to current KISD employees and originally planned to publicly post it after June 8 "for (a) reasonable (amount) of time according to the number and quality of external applicants," KISD Public Information Officer Leslie Gilmore said in a May 30 release.

"The decision was made to advertise in-house first to give our folks an opportunity. We were able to find the head coach within that pool of applicants," Gilmore said Thursday.

KISD Director of Athletics Tom Rogers was impressed with Huggins' passion for the students of Killeen High as well as the five other candidates interviewed for the job.

"We didn't feel like we needed to go outside," Rogers said. "One thing I will say was I was very, very proud of all of our internal applicants. ... We felt like we had what we wanted right there. I feel like we could've hired two or three of our different applicants."

Huggins played at Schreiner University and was a graduate assistant with the Mountaineers for three years, including one spent assisting both the men's and women's basketball programs.

He was a substitute teacher in Northwest ISD in San Antonio for a year before KISD hired him in 2003. He was an assistant basketball coach at Harker Heights from 2003 to 2007 before being hired at Killeen as an assistant principal.

"I guarantee you this, Killeen High will definitely be one of the hardest gyms to play in from this point on because everybody in Killeen that knows basketball is going to be going out there in support," said Harker Heights coach Celneque Bobbitt, also a former Killeen player.

"If I wasn't a coach, I'd be out there at every game, but I've got to go coach my team. Just for the history of the program, that's what we're all about."

Fossett led the Roos to six straight shared or outright district championships from 2006 to 2011, but finished 17-17 overall in 2012 after suffering a third-straight first-round playoff loss.

In seven years at Killeen, Fossett was 193-51 overall but just 3-7 in the playoffs. The Roos made back-to-back regional quarterfinal appearances in 2008 and 2009 but haven't won a playoff game since.

"I've been given the job; it's my job to move it forward and hopefully I can take it past that first round and hopefully get to that regional tournament final that has so eluded us from back in the day," Huggins said. "There's only two teams that have been there — to the regional tournament — I was on the last one that made it that far. I be would happy and honored to take us past that point.

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