Info provided by Eric Zarate of the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram:
Place Of Birth: Bristow, Oklahoma
Current Location: Fort Worth, Texas
1,333 victories an all-time record for a boys high school basketball coach.
5 state titles
University Interscholastic League (UIL) championships in 1993 and 2003
3 Prairie View Interscholastic League (PVIL) titles 1963, 1965 and 1967
38 PLAYOFF TEAMS
Including 32 district titles.
17 state tournament teams
12 in the UIL and 5 in the PVIL.
30 consecutive Paul Laurence Dunbar High School (PLDHS) teams have qualified for the playoffs.
1 losing season and even that PLDHS team made the playoffs.
Robert Hughes’ Records by Year In Fort Worth, Texas:
1958-59 I.M. Terrell High School 25-4
1959-60 I.M. Terrell High School 20-5
1960-61 I.M. Terrell High School 26-4
1961-62 I.M. Terrell High School 25-2
1962-63 I.M. Terrell High School 28-3
1963-64 I.M. Terrell High School 25-2
1964-65 I.M. Terrell High School 29-3
1965-66 I.M. Terrell High School 25-3
1966-67 I.M. Terrell High School 30-2
1967-68 I.M. Terrell High School 28-4
1968-69 I.M. Terrell High School 26-5
1969-70 I.M. Terrell High School 28-4
1970-71 I.M. Terrell High School 22-5
1971-72 I.M. Terrell High School 22-12
1972-73 I.M. Terrell High School 21-11
1973-74 Paul Laurence Dunbar High School 12-12
1974-75 Paul Laurence Dunbar High School 19-12
1975-76 Paul Laurence Dunbar High School 30-4
1976-77 Paul Laurence Dunbar High School 39-2
1977-78 Paul Laurence Dunbar High School 34-3
1978-79 Paul Laurence Dunbar High School 35-4
1979-80 Paul Laurence Dunbar High School 29-9
1980-81 Paul Laurence Dunbar High School 32-5
1981-82 Paul Laurence Dunbar High School 30-9
1982-83 Paul Laurence Dunbar High School 33-3
1983-84 Paul Laurence Dunbar High School 38-1
1984-85 Paul Laurence Dunbar High School 20-13
1985-86 Paul Laurence Dunbar High School 30-5
1986-87 Paul Laurence Dunbar High School 38-1
1987-88 Paul Laurence Dunbar High School 36-4
1988-89 Paul Laurence Dunbar High School 31-5
1989-90 Paul Laurence Dunbar High School 37-3
1990-91 Paul Laurence Dunbar High School 35-3
1991-92 Paul Laurence Dunbar High School 34-3
1992-93 Paul Laurence Dunbar High School 36-4
1993-94 Paul Laurence Dunbar High School 23-11
1994-95 Paul Laurence Dunbar High School 30-6
1995-96 Paul Laurence Dunbar High School 28-5
1996-97 Paul Laurence Dunbar High School 33-5
1997-98 Paul Laurence Dunbar High School 19-15
1998-99 Paul Laurence Dunbar High School 14-17
1999-00 Paul Laurence Dunbar High School 26-7
2000-01 Paul Laurence Dunbar High School 31-4
2001-02 Paul Laurence Dunbar High School 33-3
2002-03 Paul Laurence Dunbar High School 37-1
2003-04 Paul Laurence Dunbar High School 31-3
2004-05 Paul Laurence Dunbar High School 20-13
Robert Hughes Timeline
Notable games drawn from 47 years of coaching:
Feb. 1959 – In Hughes’ first season of coaching, the Panthers lose the District 3A-1 playoff to Dallas Madison.
Feb. 24, 1963 – The Panthers defeat Galveston Central 87-83 in overtime for Hughes’ first state title. Lilliard Harris scores 27 points and Ruben Russell has 25.
Feb. 1965 – Wayne Lewis’ free throw with 1 second remaining gives the Panthers an 81-80 victory against Houston Worthing in the state title game.
Feb. 1967 – In the last year of the segregated Prairie View Interscholastic League, Terrell wins state for the third time in five seasons. The Panthers rout Houston Yates 92-67 as 6-2 center Lee Shaw scores 18 points.
Nov. 1973 – Half the team quits because the new coach works them too hard, but they still win half their games.
Jan. 1977 – Dunbar forward Jefferey Kirven made a 60-foot buzzer beater at the end of the Wildcats’ 72-62 vicrory against Trimble Tech. Dunbar moved to 28-1 with the win that came the same week the “Roots” miniseries debutes on ABC.
Feb. 1982 – The Wildcats win their seventh consecutive district title, then rout Paschal, 91-61, for the city championship.
Dec. 29, 1990 – The Wildcats upset mighty Oak Hill Academy, 84-56, in the final of the West Side Lions tournament. The Virginia school entered the game with a 53-game winning streak and the No. 1-ranking in the nation.
Feb. 16, 1993 – Hughes wins his 1,000th game with a 63-51 defeat of Wyatt.
March 13, 1993 – Dunbar wins its first UIL state title by beating Converse Judson, 74-64.
Feb. 27, 1996 – A crowd of 3,473 at Texas Christian University’s (TCU) Daniel-Meyer Coliseum see Dunbar rout Paschal, 79-59, in the regional quarterfinals.
March 7, 2002 – Hughes guides his 16th team to the state playoffs (11 in the UIL, five in the PVIL). Last-second shots by guard Andre Smith and forward Steven Thomas don’t fall, and Dunbar loses to Beaumont Ozen in a semifinal, 55-53. During pre-game introductions at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin, Hughes receives a standing ovation from the crowd of more than 16,000.
Feb. 11, 2003 – Dunbar defeats Polytechnic, and Hughes becomes the winningest high school boys coach in the country with 1,275 victories.
March 8, 2003 – Dunbar goes on to win the 4A state title, defeating Dallas SOC 79-65 in the semis and Beaumont Ozen 66-54 in the final. Hughes finishes season with 1,282 wins. Hughes, the Sultan of Stop Six, saw his Wildcats end what he called a “wild and wooly” season by erasing an eight-point deficit in the third quarter and defeating Beaumont Ozen 66-54 to win the Class 4A state championship before 16,258 at the Erwin Center.
DUNBAR YEARS (in depth)
1973-74, Dunbar (12-12) – Hughes’ first Dunbar team is his worst Dunbar team. The Wildcats beat Eastern Hills, 61-51, in the final game to avoid a losing season. Hughes calls this perhaps his best coaching job, though. Half the team quits because the new coach works them too hard, but they still win half their games.
1974-75, Dunbar (19-12) – The Wildcats show promise in the first half of district play, going 3-1 and finishing one game behind Wyatt. However, they collapse in the second half, losing three of their four games. The last, a 79-77 overtime defeat against Trimble Tech, keeps them from a 20-win season. It is the second, and last, time Hughes fails to win 20 games.
1975-76, Dunbar (30-4) – The James Griffin era begins and the Wildcats make the playoffs for the first time. Griffin, a 6-7 sophomore, scores 19 points as Dunbar beats Wyatt, 85-53, to win the District 4A-9 title. The Wildcats lose to Dallas South Oak Cliff, 69-68, in the Region II semifinals when Rickey McCain misses two free throws with one second remaining.
1976-77, Dunbar (39-2) – Griffin, Cletis Hubbard, Michael Whatley, Thomas Glenn and Jeffrey Kirvin start on what some consider the best Dunbar team ever. The Wildcats advance to the state tournament with a 68-63 victory against El Paso Eastwood, the No. 1-ranked team in Texas, in the regional final. They knock off Houston Westchester, 74-86, to advance to the state championship game. The title appears to be their’s when they take a 67-62 lead against South Oak Cliff with six minutes left, but Dunbar loses, 78-71. Both loses this season come against South Oak Cliff; the other was an 80-78 overtime defeat in the Dr Pepper tournament.
1977-78, Dunbar (34-3) – Griffin, now up to 6-10, and Hubbard return for their senior seasons. The Wildcats are ranked No. 1 for most of the year, but they don’t make it back to state. They lose to Abilene, 76-74, in the regional final when little-used guard Ross Sparks hits a jumper from the corner with five seconds remaining.
1978-79, Dunbar (35-4) – Possibly Dunbar’s most heart-breaking season. Gilbert Collier, Darrell Browder and Andre Allen form the nucleus of another talented team that finishes the regular season 32-3 and ranked No. 2 in the state. The Wildcats advance to the state championship game against Lufkin, and appear to have the title in hand when they have a 74-73 lead and the ball with less than 20 seconds remaining. However, sophomore Willie Ashley throws the ball away with :12 on the clock, and Lufkin guard Ronnie Blake makes the game-winning basket in the final five seconds.
1979-80, Dunbar (29-9) – Gilbert Collier (6-8), Andre Allen (6-6) and Willie Ashley (6-5) form an awesome front line, but the Wildcats aren’t even considered the best team in their district. Paschal is ranked No. 3 in the state with a 29-4 record. However, Dunbar wins the second half title and defeats the Panthers, 40-37, in the first half-second half playoff. The Wildcats again make it to the state tournament, but lose to Plano, 46-39, in the semifinals.
1980-81, Dunbar (32-5) – Ashley and Robert Hughes Jr. are the stars as Dunbar makes it to Austin for the third consective time. The season ends with another heart-breaking semifinal loss, though. The Wildcats are tied with Port Arthur Lincoln, 59-59, at the end of regulation. The Bumblebees win the tip to begin the overtime period, and go into a stall. They make a move to the basket with less than 10 seconds remaining, and Michael Jones is fouled by Zol Singleton. He misses the first, but makes the second with three seconds remaining for a 60-59 victory. Ashley scores 25 points and grabs 15 rebounds in his final game as a Wildcat.
1981-82, Dunbar (30-9) – John Johnson, Ricky Speed, Elliott Allen, Lawrence Hudson and Wayne Mathis move into the starting lineup and lead the Wildcats to their seventh consecutive district championship. They blow out Paschal, 91-61, in the city championship game, and trounce Richland, 82-58, in bi-district, but lose to El Paso, 37-34, in the regional semifinals.
1982-83, Dunbar (33-3) – Two teams make the playoffs for the first time, and it costs the Wildcats a berth in the state tournament. They go 14-0 in district, including two victories against Paschal, but the Panthers make the playoffs as the second-place team. Paschal goes to state with a 55-54 victory in the regional final on a half-court shot at the buzzer.
1983-84, Dunbar (38-1) – Rodney Washington, Tim Howard, Roderick Ford, Linzie Bogan, Fred Hamilton and James Montgomery form what might be the most talented Dunbar team ever. The Wildcats go 34-0 in the regular season and are ranked No. 1 in the state and No. 8 in the nation. They defeat Southwest, 57-55, in the regional final to improve to 38-0 and go back to Austin. However, they lose to Bryan, 47-46, in the semifinals when Montgomery misses a layup in the final seconds.
1984-85, Dunbar (20-13) – Howard is the only returning starter, and the Wildcats have their worst year since Hughes’ second season at the school. They suffer through a 3-8 stretch at one point. They finish second in district, and lose to Denton, 57-55, in bi-district. However, there is hope for the future in the form of a freshman point guard named Derrick Daniels.
1985-86, Dunbar (30-5) – Daniels, Coyle Allen, Mark Chambers, Lionel Hamilton and Myran Wilson lead Dunbar back to the district title and a 30-win season. The Wildcats, the No. 3-ranked team in the state, advance to the regional final where they lose, 72-63, to Amarillo.
1986-87, Dunbar (38-1) – Another candidate for the best-ever team at Dunbar. All of the key players from ’85-86 return, and they are joined by junior guard Randy Williams. The Wildcats go 34-0 in the regular season and are ranked No. 1 in the state and No. 3 in the nation. However, disaster strikes in the final regular-season game when Chambers, the leading scorer and rebounder, breaks his foot. Even without Chambers the Wildcats advance to state, but they lose to San Antonio Holmes, 73-65, in the semifinals.
1987-88, Dunbar (36-4) – Daniels is the only returning starter, but again Dunbar flirts with the state championship. Quinstin Boozer, Gary Collier and Darren Howard join Daniels and Williams in the starting lineup, and make it to the state title game against Houston Sam Houston. The elusive championship is within reach when they have a 64-56 lead with 5:25 remaining, but they commit four turnovers and miss four layups in the final five minutes and lose, 73-68. Daniels finishes his career with a mind-boggling 1,379 assists.
1988-89, Dunbar (31-5) – Collier emerges as a star, averaging 18.5 points and 8.2 rebounds, and the Wildcats again win 30 games. However, they finish second in district behind Southwest. They advance to the regional semifinals where they lose to Amarillo Tascosa, 67-66.
1989-90, Dunbar (37-3) – The Wildcats make it to the state tournament for the eighth time, thanks to junior guard Otis Evans. Evans hits a 3-pointer just before the buzzer to defeat Plainview, 77-76, in the regional finals. The season ends with an 85-83 loss to Clear Lake in the state semifinals.
1990-91, Dunbar (35-3) – The Wildcats shock the nation when they defeat mighty Oak Hill Academy, 84-56, in the final of the West Side Lions tournament. Oak Hill entered the game with a 53-game winning streak and the No. 1-ranking in the nation. The Wildcats make their ninth trip to state, but again lose in the semifinals, 64-57 against San Antonio Jay. Guards Evans and Reuben Means make just seven of their 39 shots.
1991-92, Dunbar (34-3) – Dayo Holloway is the only returning starter, but the Wildcats keep on winning. Charles Smith and Anthony Burks join the starting lineup, and Dunbar advances to the regional final. They miss a 10th trip to Austin, though, when they lose to district-rival Wyatt, 74-67.
1992-93, Dunbar (36-4) – Smith and Burks are joined by Sam Varner, Kevin Lawrence, Odell Jones and T.Q. Earl, and the beat goes on. They are Hughes’ 35th team, and they have the privilege of winning his 1,000th game. They went on to win their first state title as well, defeating Houston Milby in the semifinals and Converse Judson in the final.
1993-94, Dunbar (23-11) – Only one starter returned in Varner and the Wildcats stumbled to an uncustomary 8-5 start. They made it to Midland again, but bowed to Midland High, 67-63, in the regional semifinals.
1994-95, Dunbar (30-6) – Hughes is with his team in spirit only for the final game, a 74-73 loss to El Paso Riverside in the regional semifinals. The UIL suspends Hughes for one game, saying Dunbar played too many games during the season. Hughes’ career-long assistant, Leondas Rambo, replaces him on the bench. Riverside’s Mike Ulloa hits an NBA-range 3-pointer at the buzzer to win it. Dunbar’s lone graduating starter, Swarn Lacy (18.2 ppg, 8 rpg), scores 23.
1995-96, Dunbar (28-5) – Inside, one of Hughes’ best teams ever. Burly forwards Ian Rogge (15.4 ppg, 9 rpg) and James Johnson return, along with frenetic guards Daniell Tate (13 ppg), Mike Byars (14 ppg) and Donnell Evans. But Dunbar falls short in the regional tournament for a third consecutive year. Rogge and Byars score 16 apiece in an 81-72 regional semis loss to El Paso Irvin, which shoots 57 percent. In the regional quarters, Dunbar routs city rival Paschal, 79-59, before 3,473 at TCU’s Daniel-Meyer Coliseum.
1996-97, Dunbar (33-5) – Not one of Hughes’ deeper teams, but an acrobatic group led by one of Hughes’ best players ever, Mike Byars gets Dunbar to a 12th consecutive regional tournament and 15th overall regional championship game. Despite Byars’ 22 points and Demetric Shaw’s 19, taller Duncanville beats Dunbar, 78-65, behind Chris Owens’ 27 points and 14 boards. It’s only the fifth time Dunbar made the regional final and didn’t advance to state.
1997-98, Dunbar (19-15) – The Wildcats’ final record is adjusted from 23-11 after Dunbar forfeits four district wins for using an ineligible reserve player. For unknowingly violating UIL rules, Hughes receives a public reprimand, one year’s probation and a five-game suspension to start the 1998-99 season. Long before the UIL ruling, Dunbar falls in area to Duncanville, 68-59. The Panthers avenge a loss to the Wildcats in the West Side Lions Tournament championship. Crowley wins district, and Southwest ends Dunbar’s 67-game district winning streak. Led by center Nelson Williams and guards Willie Sanders and Oranta Gibson, Dunbar goes an uncustomary 10-4 in district. Tied with Mansfield and Southwest for second, Dunbar wins a coin flip to make the playoffs and a second coin flip with Southwest to determine playoff seeding.
1998-99, Dunbar(14-17) – James Dixon, Timmie Whitley, Antha Smiley, Jason Ross. Hughes serves the five-game banishment and returns in time for Dunbar’s worst start ever at 0-6. Injuries, two starters lost for 12 games due to grades and another suspended three games for fighting plague the Wildcats, who finish in third in District 9-4A to barely make the playoffs. Their victory against Southwest in the last regular-season game prevents the Raiders from running through the district undefeated. Dunbar loses, however, to Cedar Hill in bi-district 67-49 to give Hughes his first losing record in 40 years.
1999-00, Dunbar (26-7) – Lance Jackson, Timmie Whitley, James Dixon, Lonnie Cooks, Dario Henderson, Sheldon Tate, Syneca Puryear. Though only a freshman, Jackson is the stud in Dunbar’s rebounding from a subpar 1998-99 to win district. Dunbar defeats a sub .500 Colleyville Heritage team in the area round — in double OT — before a methodical, and stronger, Coppell team led by Hunter Wall defeats the Wildcats, 47-42, in the regional quarterfinals in Denton.
2000-01, Dunbar (31-4) – Lance Jackson, Jeremis Smith, Lonnie Cooks, Dario Henderson, Sheldon Tate, Steven Thomas, Chris Jerry. A loaded team with sophomore Jackson and freshman Smith (who was hurt for most of the season with an injured chipped bone under his right knee cap) led Dunbar. The Wildcats were a missed layup away from winning the Class 5A Whataburger Tournament, they drew a crowd of 4,786 in a 66-53 defeat of Polytechnic in a Jan. 30 game at Wilkerson-Greines, but lose to Canyon Randall, 71-64, in the regional semifinal.
2001-02, Dunbar (33-3) – Last-second shots by guard Andre Smith and forward Steven Thomas don’t fall, and Dunbar loses to Beaumont Ozen in a packed-house state semifinal, 55-53. The Wildcats, led by Thomas, Smith, guard Dario Henderson and sophomore post Jeremis Smith, fall short in their first trip to state since 1993, and 11th overall in the UIL. All season, explosive forward Lance Jackson is slowed by injuries and has just four points against Ozen and heralded junior center Kendrick Perkins.
2002-03, Dunbar (37-1) – Smith and Jackson are the stars of a team that give Hughes his national-record 1,275th career victory on Feb. 11, 2003, before more than 7,200 fans at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum. The Wildcats beat Poly 71-62 for the record and win a 23rd district title under Hughes. Dunbar goes on to win the 4A state title, defeating Dallas SOC 79-65 in the semis and Beaumont Ozen 66-54 in the final. Hughes finishes season with 1,282 wins.