Up Close and Personal with Coach Robert Hughes, Sr.

Black History Sports


I grew up chanting, “Yeah!! We going to Midland!”

As the boys crushed another team to advance in the playoffs

I know the agony of defeat

I was there in 93 when they scored 70+pts

And became the State Champs.

I remember the names, familiar faces

Of life long fans you only see during the season

I’ve caravanned with family members to Midland and Austin

No city in Texas was too far

I followed the Flying Wildcats faithfully

I’m not the oldest nor the youngest fan

But I rep them boys proudly!

Fred Jones had a sweet shot!

My generation brought names like Lance, Jeremis, Steven, Jeff,

Dumbo and Lonnie to the mix

But remember Marcus Fields in the Whataburger Tournament?

Taking off from the free throw line for a slam dunk.

Dayo Holloway, Otis Evans, Anthony Burkes

The combo of Byars and Shaw?

Those brothers was cold!

I’ve cheered so hard these guys!

Sorry but I was too young to remember Derek Daniels

We’ve had some great teams, amazing talent

That worked hard for Coach Hughes and made the

“Flying Wildcats” and Stop Six, Texas known throughout the WORLD!

-Olivia D. Sanders-




In 2005 I interviewed Coach Robert Hughes for the first time writing an anthropology paper about the Stop Six community. It was a joy then and a delight now, to be in his presence. Coach Hughes has coached high school basketball since 1958. He spent the first 15 years of his coaching career at I.M. Terrell High School. When Terrell closed in 1973, Hughes took his skills to Dunbar High School and continued his winning ways. Hughes then coached at Dunbar for 32 years.

With the national attention on the Dunbar boys basketball program, Stop Six also emerged. The school’s storied basketball team has attracted fans from all over the state. Coach Hughes stated, “Stop Six has been there for years and years before the high school was at it’s present location. When I left I.M.Terrell, and came to Dunbar we started wining and in every interview I did I pushed Stop Six, Texas. We pushed Stop Six so much, people thought this was the place to be. Just like we were a regular city. They go hand and glove and everybody just pushes Stop Six, they rely on each other.”

“In the mid 70’s when I came from Terrell, we were winning, we were known as the Firehouse Five, I told me guys there (Terrell) when the game starts I want you to move quick. When I moved to Dunbar, I told the guys there we don’t want to be running down the court, I want to you to be flying. Flying is much quicker than running. That is how the Wildcats of Dunbar became the Flying Wildcats of Dunbar.” Said Coach Hughes.

In 2003, Hughes became the winningest Coach in the United States with 1,273. This 2003 teams was also special because it was Hughes 36th team to advance to the post season and eventually became the Class 4A State Champions that season.

Of the 2003 teams Hughes remarked, “We knew we could play, we had a team that could win state. We had to work. That is what we did. It was a great season. Everybody knew what to do. I didn’t discuss the impeding national record with the players. Our main aim was to win a state championship. I knew that the first day of classes.”

Hughes has been named to the Texas Sports Hall of Fame, the Southwestern Athletic Conference Hall of Fame, and FWISD Coach of the Year for 19 years. He was honored in 2001 as an ESPN Coach of the Month and has received many other awards and honors. He was also selected to coach numerous Texas and National High School All-Star games, including the 2001 McDonald’s All American High School Basketball Game. But the greatest honor came this year with his selection to the Class of 2017 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Hughes, 89 years-young, retired as the nation’s all-time winningest coach with 1,333 victories and a winning percentage of .840. In his 47-year coaching career Hughes won five state titles overall – in 1993 and 2003 at Dunbar High and in 1963, 1965 and 1967 at Fort Worth Terrell High during segregation in the Prairie View Interscholastic League.

Enjoy and tweet these awesome quotes from Coach Hughes! Enlighten yourself about the man, the legend, THE Coach Robert L. Hughes, Sr.

With all the accolades and honors Hughes has received there still are some ugly moments of his career, that fans especially would like to forget. It has often been said that racism is what kept Hughes from winning more during his career at Dunbar. Or that referees called more fouls on your players during the playoffs than during the season. Hughes responds to this statement, “There were teams we had in Austin, that were best team ever to come out of Dunbar, but didn’t get out of Abilene (regionals) because of cheating.“There were teams we had in Austin, that were best team ever to come out of Dunbar, but didn’t get out of Abilene (regionals) because of cheating. Click To Tweet In 1977 we were ranked #1 in the nation, we had James Griffith, he was 6’10. We were playing Abilene High in Abilene. The cheating was so bad during that game.”

“About 5 years later, Southern Association that evaluates schools and programs were at Dunbar. One of the persons evaluating Dunbar used to teach at Abilene High. He came to my room, he apologized for what they did to our team in 1977. They beat us by 1 point. The game was close because of the referees.”

If you have been a long time fan of Dunbar then you remember the racism of the 80’s that always plagued the team. The racism that troubled Dunbar in the State Tournament was at times deliberate. The racism that troubled Dunbar in the State Tournament was at times deliberate. Click To Tweet

Hughes expressed his thoughts. “The officials were wrong for cheating. These are kids the officials do this too. The officials are supposed to be upstanding people of our society, they are professionals and are cheating 16 year old kids. They would talk about it in Austin. They were blatant about their dislike for me and how Dunbar will never win a championship. I would tell them when they were cheating. They resented a vocal African American man.”

He went onto say, “I wouldn’t let them, the officials who called bad games against us, call any more of my games. If you are an official and you call a game that Dunbar is not involved in your get 45.00. There is a rule, a UIL rule, that states after X amount of people come to an game, the officials get an increment depending on how many more people come to the game. You get paid more if you referee a Dunbar game, because many people come to our games. I’m not going to let you make that money and I know you call bad games against me. Referee’s resented that I did that.”

Coach Hughes made my childhood great! It was a dream growing up in the 90’s watching his winning teams. Interviewing this legend has been one of the many highlights of starting www.ogirlmedia.com Thanks for reading and watching his story below! Please share this amazing story of a great man who inspired an entire community! The city of Fort Worth owes this man so much! Stop Six represent!  #StopSix Represent! Click To Tweet



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  1. Pingback: What’s Your Plan B? – O Girl Media

  2. LINDA JACKSON August 9, 2017 2:52 pm

    I really enjoyed that. He has always seem like a movie star to us stop6 and Dunbar Alumnis. So enjoyed listening to two of my favorite people, Coach Hughes and our famous reporter in the family Olivia Sanders. Have followed Coach for years now I feel like I know him personal. Great interview.

    • oliviadsanders August 9, 2017 3:01 pm

      Thanks for reading and watching my story cousin! I felt like I got to know him better this second time interviewing him.

  3. Jeuelle August 8, 2017 11:29 am

    I love reading about famous people and hearing about their personal side of stories that have made history or the news… I’d never heard of this gentleman before but I was intrigued by his story. Thanks for sharing.

  4. shelly August 8, 2017 2:59 am

    What a remarkable journey for Mr. Hughes and the Stop Six community. It was nice to see that a Black Coach lead the country in wins int he 90’s.

  5. Tomika B August 7, 2017 10:48 pm

    Great coaches make all the difference in how the game is played. It’s great to read about man who truly cared. Kudos to him!

  6. Toni August 7, 2017 10:03 pm

    Great piece! I grew up watching basketball, but I am not familiar with this gentleman. Now I have to do some research to familiarize myself with him.

  7. Nicole August 7, 2017 9:59 pm

    I feel that we can learn from those who are before us and their experiences and this interview is very valuable. I think we all need to accept the fact that racism is real and it isn’t going anywhere. This interview i definitely an eye opener for all of us. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Chrystal, ChryssVI August 7, 2017 11:48 am

    “I’m not going to let you make that money and I know you call bad games against me.” I know that’s right

  9. Briana August 7, 2017 9:41 am

    I grew up in the 90s too but I wasn’t a sports fan so I never heard about Coach Robert Hughes until today. Definitely an interesting read for sure.

  10. Dominique August 2, 2017 9:47 pm

    Wow – what a read! I also shared this with my husband who is a huge basketball fan.

    • oliviadsanders August 3, 2017 3:43 pm

      Thanks for your comment and sharing!

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