Thursday, December 14, 2006


Keegan: Hiring Ole Roy took guts


Those who hired Bill Self as the fifth successor to Phog Allen didn't need a great deal in the way of either imagination or guts to pull the trigger. Self already had coached two schools into the Elite Eight, headed three Div. I programs and won 207 games.

In contrast, hiring Roy Williams took guts and an ability to forecast on the part of Bob Frederick, the man who pulled the trigger.

Frederick was part of the recent postgame ceremony in which Williams was honored for winning his 500th game. He presented "Ole Roy," as Williams has been known to call himself, with a Kansas jersey No. 418, symbolic of his victory total in 15 seasons in Lawrence.

Upon his return from dadgum North Carolina, Frederick was asked one more time to look back on his decision to hire the man who took Kansas to four Final Four appearances and two title games.

When Larry Brown bolted for the San Antonio Spurs after winning the national title at Kansas, Frederick's first call was to Dean Smith, who didn't tell him anything former KU coach Dick Harp hadn't already told him: Williams, Dean's No. 2 assistant, would make a great head coach.

A few months earlier at the Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Springfield, Mass., Frederick had been seated next to Harp, who by then was working as an administrative assistant to Smith.

"All night long, Dick kept talking to me about Roy Williams," Frederick said. "At that time, Larry had said no to UCLA, so I figured we were good for at least another year. I wasn't thinking about the pros. I knew quite a bit about Roy from coach Smith and coach Harp. They talked about his work ethic, his ability to coach because he had been coaching a JV team there, his ability to discern talent and his general knowledge of the X's and O's."

Frederick said Smith wanted to talk only about Williams but knew that Smith would be honest about other candidates too because "he also cared about Kansas basketball in general."

Does he still?

"Absolutely," Frederick said of Smith.

But didn't he steal Williams back from KU?

"I understand how people feel that way, but I think he has a legitimate love for both institutions," said Frederick, who originally had asked Smith if he would be interested in coming back to Kansas and also talked to Gary Williams, then at Ohio State, but learned his goal was eventually to get back to Maryland, his alma mater.

At the end of his one-day visit to KU, Ole Roy had successfully recruited everyone on the search committee, and the decision was made that night to hire him.

More athletic directors should show the guts Frederick showed with that hire. The University of Minnesota, for example, will be in the market for a new coach at season's end. Bobby Knight's name is rumored. If that doesn't happen, why not Jerod Haase, who alternates with C.B. McGrath as the No. 3 assistant to Williams at North Carolina?

"He'd be a good choice," Frederick said. "Both Jerod and C.B. would be good choices."

Minnesota could do much worse than tapping a young branch from the Roy tree. Frederick certainly couldn't have done any better than he did in June of 1988.


Joe Ross 11 years, 5 months ago

Another thought: Larry Brown left for another place too!

I think if Roy won a championship here, you wouldnt hear a peep from the haters about his leaving.

Dale Kroening 11 years, 5 months ago

I only read through a little more than half the posts but I just have to say this: I think the reason there is a lot of bitterness still towards Roy because of how he left for one( 3 days before the Banquet and so on),and the fact that 3 years before he left when NC wanted him and he took everyone into the stadium and announced:Im staying and then went on to say he was glad that this decision making process was over and he would never have to make that decision again giving a lot of KU fans the impression that he wouldnt even consider the job again if asked.If you actually go back and read a lot of his quotes during that time it is very easy to get that impression.Just my 2 cents though.Go KU!!!!!!!!!!

jhawkdpt 11 years, 5 months ago

are we done with roy williams stories yet??? interesting articles about haase and mcgrath would be worth while...but why williams still...give it up!

craigers 11 years, 5 months ago

Maybe we should hire Jerod Haase to show our boys about leaving it all on the court? Couldn't hurt.

kellen813 11 years, 5 months ago

Roy was a great asset to KU, so it's hard to banish his thought when you think about the Jayhawks. He showed such great emotion for the boys and I think Self lacks that a little bit. It would be great to have some old Jayhawks get out there and coach though.

wiltstilt 11 years, 5 months ago

This article was about Bob Frederick... quit being butt-hurt that Roy left. It's OK. If it wasn't for the job he did with out program, people wouldn't be crying in mid December because we have 2 losses.

Don't get me wrong... I'm glad we've moved on to a new era, but I can't complain about Keegan reaching for an article during end of semester... there's not exactly a lot happening with KU right now.

jaybate 11 years, 5 months ago

Never say never. If Self doesn't pan out, or if he does so well some other major program that is easier to recruit to offers him bigger dollars and more security, or if he gets Hemenwayed, the way Roy apparently was and decides to jump to protect himself, its good business to leave all your options open. It think Roy turned out to be a bit more of a slick old boy than a good old boy, but if UNC has the best available coaching hire at some point, we ought not let hard feelings about Roy, or Dean, get in the way. Kansas and its players deserve the best no matter what the legacy issues may be. The only things to learn from the Roy saga are these: 1) put in a HUUUUUGE financial penalty in his contract for leaving suddenly; and 2) require the coach to recruit the WHOLE country.

Beyond that, Roy and Fredericks are old news--hardly worth devoting an entire commentary on in the midst of another important season of Kansas basketball.

Someday we're going to beat the snot out of Roy and his heels. And that's really the ONLY way to resolve this bone stuck in alot of people's throats--on the hard wood. When Roy gets beat good and bad by Kansas in a fair game with both teams playing well, then we'll be square.

Everything else is talk, talk, talk.

beebe1 11 years, 5 months ago

Hey guys, leave it alone. Roy was probably the best coach we ever had and may never get another. It was known when he was hired that only NC had a chance, ever, to hire him away. We almost kept him as it was. He was probably subject to criticism in one aspect only -- there were maybe as many as half a dozen coaches in the US that could beat him. Bobby Knight was one of the few. They had talented kids; they knew Roy's plan to pound it in the center; and they coached their guys to stop it. We lost a game in IN (most of you too young to know it happened) when they stopped us from getting into the paint. Roy used half time to give the team heck for not getting it inside -- he wouldn't adjust the tactic. He still may be that way, but with the new kid he's got, it may work now. With Roy, we got a lot more than we bargained for. And maybe if you would take it easier on Self, we'd get more from him, too.

tomike 11 years, 5 months ago

It is just stupid to compare Roy's 15 years with......I really doubt your loyalty to KU (You seem you are more interested in yourself, appreciate your own ideas but not ku)

jhawker137 11 years, 5 months ago

We can never erase the fact the Roy turned colors on us and ran the other way when Dean came calling. But to say that he was the best coach that we ever had, I can contest to that. For 15 years all Roy did was gave us the old blue ball effect. Get us there and could not get it done. Keegan is just like Dicky V., he cannot get away from Roy Williams, Kansas is playing the biggest game so far this season against Florida, and all Dicky V can think to talk about is Roy Williams. it makes me sick. Keegan you are in the same boat, at least once a month, if Roy Williams does not come out of your mouth you suffer from withdrawals. We have a good coach, we have on of the best teams in the NCAA's right now, Bill and the boys have to find their groove. Bill need to let the horses run, but I am not a NCAA basketball coach and my opinion means nothing to him, or to any of you for that matter.
Get over Roy, if it is the championship that helps keep the hurt alive, just relic in the fact that forever Roy will know that when he looks at that trophy, he will say in the back of his mind it's not my trophy, it is Matt D.'s HO HO HO Merry Christmas!!!!!

MarkyDSaad 11 years, 5 months ago

What are you talking about jhawker137. Roy knows it is not his trophy. IT is the UNC basketball programs trophy. He will still be proud of it and earned it no matter who you say recruited the kids. Plus you are not too smart if you think that in the couple of years MD was there he actually had anything to do with who came there to play. Those are still DSmith's recruits and came to play because of the name UNC not RW or MD or anyone else. Your argument is also flawed in that Roy coached those kids from being a losing team to a National Championship in no time at all. There is something to be said about working through a transition, having to change the game plan and still being able to win. I also wish that Roy would have stayed and won a NC for KU, but that is life and now it doesn't matter. I hope that BS will win one for KU and as always Go Hawks!!! Maybe in the future you should just read and learn and do a lot less writing.

hawkfan_too 11 years, 5 months ago

why are we still talking about roy. are we hoping we can lure him back. maybe self as head recruiter and ole roy to coach them. just a thought.

ralsterKUMed95 11 years, 5 months ago

Tired about reading about Roy. I liked Roy when he was here, his timing of announcing leaving BEFORE the senior bball banquet was bad and disrespectful of his players (ask Simien & co.). I have kinda liked UNC as a far-distant second only because of MJ, the Dean-style, and Roy, but that feeling is tainted because UNC has it too easy in recruiting because most wannabe players would love to wear that carolina blue, and I thought their win was greatly helped by officiating. If you watched the UNC championship game, everyone I have ever talked to about that game say the officiating was amazingly lop-sided in UNC's favor. Basically gave the game to Roy, and it was still close. Another thought since we are on that old, boring subject: So Roy got a big W with UNC players he did not recruit, in a close game against a team with players that Bill Self recruited and had playing as a team at a Top 5 level. Who were the Illini anyway 3 yrs prior? I have always thought that for both Roy that year and the Illini coach that year who stepped in after Self, that it must-a-been-nice to strap in to a coaching position already fully loaded with talent (UNC, and Illini), that are ALSO already playing good team ball, whatever their style of play. Now look at KU this year--all this talent JUST coming together. Get them playing consistently is the phase Bill is at right now, this week, in practice at this moment. So yeah, I think Bill will get us to the finals, and that is just analysis of his coaching career--it was almost a no-brainer to hire someone with his record, and yeah, he had playing and coaching experience in the Big 8/12, too. I still have no clue as to how he is able to recruit like he does. Be thankful that we in the KU family HAVE the expectations we do--90% of other Div1 fans realistically cannot be justified in thinking they have such a program as we do, eventhough they all scream "were #1!" whenever the camera pans on them in close-ups--so, so funny. But I quietly believe in our program, if not a particular flat game, but DO expect we will get it together soon. Lets enjoy seeing it happen!

tomike 11 years, 5 months ago

you could not run as fast as an adult when you were four years old. So I concluded that you could only run as fast as a four years old even though you might have a great potential.

Obviously, you have not watched those elite 8 games.

RonBurgandy 11 years, 5 months ago

We've shed that UNC-KU connection. Let's keep it that way.

ralsterKUMed95 11 years, 5 months ago

I wonder what would happen if Roy's Boys played Bills Boys this season. I think we would kill em because of defense. And for the first time in a long time, one could legitimately suggest that KU has MORE talent than UNC does. Bet on blue (uh, royal blue, that is).

William James 11 years, 5 months ago

It is very dissapointing to hear so many KU fans knocking Roy Williams. If you guys have a problem hearing about Roy then maybe KU isnt the place for you because he will always be a part of Kansas Basketball whether you like it or not. I will never critcize anyone for returning to thier home and alma matter. I think a bunch of the attitudes on here are childish and selfish. Grow up.

William James 11 years, 5 months ago

Frederick did make a good hire in Roy but there is this other sport called football. Even if we arent one of the best teams in the nation yet in football, Perkins has at least begun to change the culture here and KU fans are hungry for success now in football. That is something that Frederick never accomplished. In fact, he seemed content with were our football program was. On a grading scale I would give him a D+.

KUGreenMachine 11 years, 5 months ago

i don't think anyone is really "knocking" coach roy. he was a great/legendary coach while at KU as well as now. AND i understand having a story about him after he wins his 500th game has a lot to do about KU. HOWEVER, to have an article on him about once a week is a little too much. especially one which talks about how great it was when KU hired him!!! it just proves that people can't just let him go. i feel that most people would rather us talk about the present and future of KU basketball, and not so much of the past, and what we coulda/woulda had....he's gone, get over it, end of story...KU basketball lives on...we will win a national championship in the near future...ROCK CHALK JAYHAWK!!! love, a devoted KU student and fan

tomike 11 years, 5 months ago

......It is very dissapointing to hear so many KU fans knocking Roy Williams. If you guys have a problem hearing about Roy then maybe KU isnt the place for ,you because he will always be a part of Kansas Basketball whether you like it or not. I will never critcize anyone for returning to thier home and alma matter. I think a bunch of the attitudes on here are childish and selfish. Grow up....

We are knocking Keegan and all other so-called KU fans who have no respect for current KU coaches-----they are KU's choice. Don't say you are a KU fan if you don't respect KU and its Choice.

The standard is simple and direct: are you doing things good to KU or not?

ralsterKUMed95 11 years, 5 months ago

Just to clarify, I liked Roy the whole time he was at KU, and I wish he and his team well EXCEPT when UNC ever plays KU--that simple. But I am behind Bill now. Just as KU people rallied around Roy in 1990, I am sure people lamented Larry Brown's departure. Out of respect to our recent past players, I for one really was touched by the torn emotions of Simien and his teammates that year. Just trying to live in the present and enjoy this team and this season, and hopefully it unfolds positively. Being mindful of the richest basketball tradition in the country here at KU, we DO have lofty expectations. All the greatness of past coaches, teams, and success have only served to pique our expectations of such a talent laden bunch of kids.

kufan1986 11 years, 5 months ago

If Bill was doing a good job, nobody would be talking about Roy.

ralsterKUMed95 11 years, 5 months ago

Were only talking about Roy because some sportswriter publishes a story about Roy (UNC coach) in the middle of this season...explain that one. Writers block? Dust off an old story? Nothing to do with Bill, for me anyway. Yes as KU fans and many years with Roy, we will all have our opinions--thus the discussion, because sentiments will vary, as they quite obviously do.

Joe Ross 11 years, 5 months ago

There are only four figures in the history of KU basketball that have done more for the program than Roy Williams: Dr. Naismith, Phog Allen, Danny Manning, and Larry Brown. Now will someone tell me PLEASE why we are still on Williams' back when he gave so much to this school? It's time to be over the bitterness people. Roy did more for KU hoops than any of us here who are now criticizing or defending him. Give this man his due. He earned it.

PS. I bet you a million dollars he still holds Kansas special in his heart and soul.

Leave him alone.

KUGreenMachine 11 years, 5 months ago

i think the antiroyhaters are missing the point as to why people are even upset about this article...see, people aren't bitter over roy, they're bitter over stupid weekly articles having something to do with roy...they would much rather hear some stories about the present or future jayhawks...if they're going to do articles on the past, at least switch it up, do some updates on ex jayhawk players or something....having roy stories on a somewhat weekly basis, no matter how good he was, just gets old!!!!

Joe Ross 11 years, 5 months ago

Do posts about Danny Manning get old? How about Phog Allen? Do you ever get tired of hearing about Jo Jo White? Clyde Lovellate? The '88 Championship? I wonder if Dr. Naismith gets old too. I have an idea GreenMachine: Let's just forget about KU's tradition altogether.

Look, Roy Williams is a part of that tradition at KU basketball. People love Roy Williams for a reason. His name keeps coming up for a reason. He means a lot as a part of the tradition here at the finest college in NCAA basketball history.


KUGreenMachine 11 years, 5 months ago

...i'm sure a lot would argue that the roy situation is a little different, being that he's currently a coach for another NCAA team, not KU...yes, he's part of KU's history/tradition...but until he retires, he's the coach of North Carolina...and yes, Larry Brown left KU, for the NBA, not another NCAA school, just as a lot of the KU players have...anyway, my point is that people are tired of hearing stories about roy in particular, mainly because he's with another team currently...the argument is not that roy is horrible, or he's a horrible coach-he is a great coach, obviously!! and yes, he coached at KU...blah blah, id have to say yes, people would rather hear stories of danny manning, phog allen, jo jo white, dr. naismith......not as much roy....

Joe Ross 11 years, 5 months ago


My response to you is that Roys leaving for UNC is MORE justifiable and not less than Browns departure for the NBA. Roy has TIES to UNC. That is his HOME. Thats where he was from! Larry Brown had no stake in the National Basketball Association. None whatsoever. This makes Williams' departure mitigated when compared to Brown's.

As to the reason why youre hearing about Roy NOW, Ill give you several reasons.

  1. He's still involved with the game. I'll save my words on this because you did a fine job describing his current status in my estimation.
  2. He's done more for KU basketball save a handful of people. Can you name anyone who's made a more significant contribution to KU BB (other than those four I pointed out in one of my earlier posts)? And please be reasonable in your response!
  3. Roy is one of the greatest coaches in the game...EVER!
  4. Roy still loves KU...present tense. Do you remember all that fire-breathing at courtside Williams displayed. He ACHED for Kansas to win. He was passionate about KU. You dont just lose that.
  5. Roy's contributions are rightly celebrated.
  6. William's dilemma is an understandable one. Not only was it his home, but UNC is where his mentor beckoned him. The fact that he left for UNC should therefore underscore his loyalty, and not be hastily offered as evidence against it. The fact is, he didn't WANT to leave Kansas in his heart. He proved that, remember? But because of his loyalty, he reluctantly left.

I could go on, but do I really have to?

KUGreenMachine 11 years, 5 months ago

i'm done with this subject after one is attempting to discredit what he's done...people are just tired of the roy articles... : )

William James 11 years, 5 months ago

I could not of said it better myself jross. Any KU fan that speaks that name should have nothing but kind words. I wasnt aware that when basketball season started we cant talk about the history of the program. That its blasphamy to speak of Larry Brown, Roy, or Bob Frederick. Its disrespectful to Bob Davis and Bill Self? Yea, right.

Kent Kossoy 11 years, 5 months ago

He is gone. End of story. Besides he couldn't win the big one least not until he went back to UNC. If you want to speak of loyalty, then why didn't the Dean return to KU in 1982?? Self recruited these PreemoDonnas so it is his class that is under performing. This is getting hard to watch. It is also getting boring to read about. Y'all are going to get me rooting for Texas if this crap continues!!!!!!

William James 11 years, 5 months ago

Unbelievable, now weve got clowns going after Dean Smith. If you want to be a Longhorns fan nobody is stopping you. I think you guys have the #1 recruiting class in the nation in football. They looked okay against LSU the other night too. Good luck!

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