University of Kansas Head Basketball Coach Bill Self will be awarded the John R. Wooden Award’s “Legends of Coaching” honor in 2013, Coach Wooden’s daughter, Nan Wooden Muehlhausen, announced today at the annual Los Angeles Athletic Club Wooden Award Tip-off Luncheon. The award recognizes coaches who exemplify Coach Wooden’s high standards of coaching success and personal integrity.
The “Legends of Coaching” award was adopted by the Wooden Award Committee in 1999. The first recipient was Dean Smith of North Carolina. The honorees are selected based on character, success on the court, graduation rates of student-athletes in their basketball program, coaching philosophy, and identification with the goals of the John R. Wooden Award. Self will be recognized, along with the men’s and women’s 2013 John R. Wooden Award winners and the Wooden Award All American teams, at the Los Angeles Athletic Club the weekend of April 11-13, 2013.
Greg Wooden, Coach Wooden’s grandson, stated: “Coach Wooden would have been honored to present this award to Coach Self in recognition not only of his coaching excellence, but also his character and commitments off the court.”
One of the nation’s most successful coaches, Self has won eight-straight Big 12 regular season titles and five league tournament championships in his nine seasons with the Jayhawks. His KU record stands at 269-53 and his 83.5 winning percentage at Kansas is the highest in the legendary program. Overall, Self is in his 19th season as a head coach with a 476-158 (.751 percent) record. Self’s NCAA Tournament success includes a run to the national title game a year ago and an NCAA title in 2008. His Kansas teams have reached at least the Sweet 16 six times in his nine years at KU.
Prior to taking the helm at Kansas, Self served as the head coach at Illinois and Tulsa, where he led both schools to the Elite Eight. Self began his career as an assistant coach for Larry Brown at Kansas and he also served under Leonard Hamilton and Eddie Sutton at Oklahoma State. His first head coaching job was at Oral Roberts, where he took a team that won six games his first year and transformed it into a 20-win team by his third season; Self then rejuvenated the Tulsa program in the same fashion, taking the Hurricane to back-to-back NCAA appearances in 1999 and 2000.
Away from the court, Self devotes substantial time to his “Assists Foundation,” which directs funds to help children in a variety of ways, including scholarships and grants to school-based, private and public agencies. In the classroom, Kansas has achieved an Academic Progress Rate (APR) score of a perfect 1,000 in each of the last six years under Self. In the Bill Self era, Kansas has had 25 Academic All-Big 12 selections, which is best in the conference, and 26 of 27 four-year players at KU have earned their degrees.
Several of Self’s assistant coaches have gone on to head coaching jobs, including Danny Manning (Tulsa) and Barry Hinson (Southern Illinois) in 2012. Other former Self assistants and staff members who have reached the Division I head coaching ranks include Scott Sutton (Oral Roberts), Tim Jankovich, Norm Roberts, Billy Gillispie and John Phillips.
Self is the third Big 12 Conference coach to receive the Wooden Award Legends of Coaching honor, and the second Kansas coach chosen. Roy Williams, now at North Carolina, was the Legends of Coaching winner while at Kansas in 2003. Texas’ Rick Barnes was the winner in 2009. Since he replaced Roy Williams at KU nine years ago, Self has won 269 games. No coach in America has won more in this time span and KU’s 197 wins since the 2006-07 season are the most victories ever in a six-year span in NCAA Division I history.