Eric Musselman has a problem. When the 58-year old coaches his men's basketball team to a big win, he can't keep his clothes on. In a celebration that has now gone viral, Musselman jumped up on the scorer's table after his Razorbacks defeated No. 1 seed Kansas. After pumping up the crowd, Musselman ripped off his shirt and twirled it around in the air like a helicopter.
I'll put aside the fact that, as someone who has sat at the scorers table for hundreds of basketball games, I would be pissed if a coach jumped up there with no regard for my what is my current workspace, not to mention my equipment or my own personal space. Jumping on the scorers table to me is akin to a chef standing on the cutting board after a culinary battle.
But Musselman, who likely loves the fact that his last name plays right into this story, has now made it a habit of taking off his shirt. This week's strip show is no less than the third time Musselman has bared his chest in celebration.
Musselman Finds His Go-To Move
Musselman had several stints in the NBA between 1990 and 2007, including two years as the head coach of the Golden State Warriors and one season leading the Sacramento Kings. It's a pretty safe bet that he kept his shirt on in the professional ranks, particularly as he had losing records in all three seasons.
In 2015, Musselman made the move to the college ranks, taking on the head coaching gig at University of Nevada. After leading the Wolf Pack to a CBI Championship in his first season, he made the NCAA Tournament in 2016-17, and won his first March Madness game the next year, where he found his go-to move for celebrating.
When the No. 7 seeded Wolf Pack upset second-seeded Cincinnati in the Round of 32, Musselman was seen celebrating shirtless in the locker room. Nevada had come from 22 points down to shock the Bearcats 75-73 and reach the Sweet Sixteen for just the second time in school history. They were, in turn, upset by No. 11 Loyola Chicago on the Ramblers' fairy tale run to the Final Four.
In the same region of the bracket, UMBC made history by becoming the first ever No. 16 seed to beat a No. 1 seed. Despite being part of the greatest upset in college basketball history, Retrievers head coach Ryan Odom was able to keep his shirt on.
Woo Pig Sooie!: Regular Season Rowdiness
Musselman parlayed his four seasons at Nevada into a Power-5 gig, taking the reins at SEC member Arkansas in 2019-20. That season, he led the Razorbacks to a 20-12 record, though they were just 7-11 in the conference, and the NCAA Tournament was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The next two years, the Hogs reached the Elite Eight, a feat they will look to triplicate when they face No. 4 UConn on Thursday in Las Vegas.
On February 8, 2022, Musselman led the Razorbacks to an 80-76 overtime victory over Auburn, at the time the No. 1 team in the country. It was just the second time ever that Arkansas had beaten a No. 1 ranked team (2-11), and it stopped a 19-game Tigers winning streak.
THAT?S MY COACH!!!! GO HOGS!!!! pic.twitter.com/PABuIDYDVK
— Bailey Buckets (@bailorboo) February 9, 2022
After the game, Musselman went shirtless again, even while his arm was still in a sling from a shoulder surgery that had kept him away from the team for their January 15th win over LSU.
His antics after Arkansas's 72-71 win that knocked out the defending national champions make it at least a three-peat of Musselman stripping down to celebrate a win.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the court, Kansas was without Head Coach Bill Self, who missed the Jayhawks' five games of the Big Twelve and NCAA tournaments.
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