Fort Worth Mourns the Loss of Coach Robert Hughes, a Basketball Icon

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Written By Lori Walker

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Robert Hughes was a big deal in Fort Worth, especially in the world of basketball. People respected him a lot. Even if you didn’t know him personally, you could tell he was someone you didn’t want to mess with.

They called him Coach Hughes, and he was a huge figure in Fort Worth’s basketball history. He coached at two high schools and led them to win five state championships in boys basketball, even when the rules were different for black and white players. He won more games than any other basketball coach in the country. He passed away at the age of 96 in Fort Worth.

Coach Hughes was like a leader in the neighborhood of Stop Six, near Dunbar High School, where he won two of his state championships. He had been sick for a few years and needed a lot of help every day.

Sheldon Tate, who played for Dunbar from 1998 to 2001, said Coach Hughes was like a shining light in the neighborhood. He helped many young men stay out of trouble and become better people. Tate said he wouldn’t be who he is today without Coach Hughes.

Coach Hughes won 1,333 games and only lost 264. He had a winning record almost every season for 47 years. He retired in 2005 and was inducted into many halls of fame, including the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2017.

Mike Byars, who played for Coach Hughes in the 1990s, said Coach Hughes was tough but also kind. He was respected by everyone in the community, not just players and coaches, but also parents, teachers, and even referees. Coach Hughes meant a lot to Fort Worth, and his legacy will live on.

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