Thursday, January 22, 2009


Few KU players coaching


Mark Turgeon’s appearance in Lawrence the other night made me wonder how many former Kansas University men’s basketball players are currently head coaches at the collegiate level.

Answer: Not very many.

After Turgeon, the most visible former KU player on the NCAA Div. I echelon is Rex Walters, now in his first season at San Francisco U. after two seasons at Florida Atlantic.

Walters played two seasons for the Jayhawks (1991-93) after spending his first two years at Northwestern. A left-handed guard, Walters shot 50.7 percent during his two-year stint on Mount Oread, averaging 15.6 points a game.

Like Turgeon a dogged competitor, Walters could hit the three-pointer, but he also had an uncanny knack for squeezing through traffic for layups.

If you’re wondering, Walters’ first USF team is 8-11 at this stage, including an 0-4 record in the West Coast Conference. Meanwhile, off the court, Walters may be the leading progenitor among NCAA head coaches. He and his wife Deanna have five children.

The only other former KU player currently a head coach in NCAA Div. I is Tad Boyle, now in his third season at Northern Colorado after six seasons as associate head coach at Wichita State under, coincidentally, Turgeon.

Boyle spent four years (1981-85) at Kansas, mostly as a reserve guard, and averaged only 3.0 points a game, or about what Turgeon averaged during his four-year stint with the Jayhawks during approximately the same time period.

At UNC in his hometown of Greeley, Boyle has had mixed success. The Bears are 7-12 at this point, 3-3 in the Big Sky Conference. UNC scored only 43 points against Portland State the other night, the school’s lowest output in 51 years.

Two more former Jayhawks — Jeff Guiot and John Douglas — are head coaches at lower echelons. Guiot is in his fifth year at Southwest Baptist in Boliver, Mo., while Douglas is at Lawson State Community College in Alabama.

Both Guiot and Douglas, like Walters, had two-year tours in Allen Fieldhouse. Guiot left after his first two seasons for Pittsburg State while Douglas came to Lawrence from an Alabama junior college.

Douglas, incidentally, is the answer to a trivia question. Most KU fans know Wilt Chamberlain scored 52 points and Bud Stallworth 50, but few know that Douglas owns the third highest single-game output in the tradition-rich school’s history — a 46-point outburst in 1978 at Iowa State.

No former KU players are waiting in the coaching wings, but a former student manager is. Jay Price, who handed out towels on the 1991 NCAA runner-up team, is now in his sixth season as an assistant coach at Illinois. Prior to that, Price was an aide for 10 years at Purdue.

Meanwhile, the student manager of KU’s 1988 NCAA championship team, Bill Pope, is in his fourth year as an assistant coach and advance scout for the NBA Detroit Pistons. Pope was a head coach at Lincoln University in Jefferson City for several years.

Finally, there’s Paul Mokeski. A seven-footer from the Ted Owens era, Mokeski is an assistant coach for the Anaheim entry in the NBA developmental league.


Alex Berger 11 years ago

Jared Haase is one of Roy's assistants.

Mike Young 11 years ago

What about Michael Lee at Gardner Webb?

Lance Hobson 11 years ago

Danny Manning and Jeremy Case are coaching, that may be too obvious, though. I guess the article was more about head coaches, anyway. I think our coaching tree is a big part of our basketball heritage so I hope the number increases in the next decade or so.

5yardfuller 11 years ago

Although I don't think he ever played at KU, Tim Carter, head coach at South Carolina State, got his bachelor's degree in education from Kansas in 1979.

Dyrk Dugan 11 years ago

i mean, is there a main point to the article? does KU have fewer former players that are coaches, when compared to other big time college programs? i don't really get it.....with Turg coming back, it would seem it would be more positive. our players who become coaches should be celebrated. the angle shouldn't be, "not very many."

Toto_the_great 11 years ago

What about all of Brown, Williams, and Self's former assistants? It would be an interesting update.

mtjayhawk 11 years ago

Article brought back a great memory regarding Douglas. My family lived in Iowa at the time and a member of my father's church knew my dad was a KU fan (and grad) and had season tickets in the "high roller" section at Hilton Coliseum. My dad and I went...two Kansas fans stuck in the middle of big time ISU backers...and right before the game tipped off, my dad, to my embarrassment, stood up and yelled "Go HAWKS"!John Douglas looked at my dad and pumped his fist and went on to score 46 that night.I was 14 at the time...and remember it like it was yesterday.

KUPROUD 11 years ago

One of my all-time favorite jayhawks, Steve Woodberry, is an assistant at Missouri State after a successful pro career internationally. I'm guessing there are several assistant coaches not mentioned who are former jayhawks. How about a follow-up article with a little more research?

Carter Patterson 11 years ago

Also don't forget CB McGrath, also with Coach Roy and Jerod at UNC.

tennesseest 11 years ago

What is the point of this article Chuck? How about at the end wrapping it up into a, oh I don't know, conclusion. How many coaches are there from other elite schools i.e. UCLA, UK, DUKE, UNC.......Missouri? haha, jk Chuck, I forgot I said Elite schools.

jayhawkinATL 11 years ago

Yeah, I can't give much cred to this article...especially since he overlooks one of the more obvious (i.e., Lee at Gardner-Webb). Pointless article!!!

jaybate 11 years ago

Chuck has accidentally created a new interactive story form here.Pose a question to readers--how many former KU players are head coaches?--then pose a second question--how many are assisting?--and do no leg work on the second question.Let readers write the second half of the story with their posted answers.Chuck, you've done a lot of lazy writing over the years, but this was a new nadir.This is interactive journalism at its unintended worst.Persons paid nothing at all for their writing have come up with many more assistants than you did.I have to wonder how you can show your face around the office after a story like this one.Don't the owners of The World Corporation expect work for pay?Now here would be an interesting follow up story: discuss with readers why you didn't feel it was worth doing leg work on the story above.Keegs, tell Chuck to man-up on the keyboard.

dreadpirate82 11 years ago

Lazy journalism, Chuck. Why not bring up the success of former Jayhawks in NBA front offices? Kevin Pritchard has turned around a franchise in turmoil in Portland. Milt Newton has been considered for a couple of GM jobs. RC Buford, while a former KU coach instead of a player, has been the GM for the Spurs for about 6 years now. Why did the sports editor decide this article was good enough for this paper?

Eliott Reeder 11 years ago

Awwww, you guys are such bullies...

Eliott Reeder 11 years ago

The question was: How many former Kansas University men’s basketball players are currently HEAD COACHES at the collegiate level?

zissou 11 years ago

While you're at it, why not also make this a story of how many former players are successful junior college coaches? And lawyers. And salesmen. And how many former players/coaches/assistants have gone on to be all-around nice guys? It's called a focus, people. A story should have one. This one does. Get over yourselves.

jaybate 11 years ago

KoolKeithFreeze,You da man, and I agree: the main question was KU players coaching college ball. Woody shouldn't have migrated to assistants, thus raising the question by implication and answering inadequately, but he did. I can't help it. I am annoyed that people playing for fun get more right answers than a person being paid to do work.

jaybate 11 years ago

zissou,You are half right. It is about focus.But you are half wrong. This story lacks one and that is why it is a mess. When Chuck migrates to assistants, the story loses focus, because Chuck obviously didn't want to do the leg work to document his own drift in focus.Having tried to get over myself at your request, I am now going to have to ask you to get under yourself. :-)

goshenjhawk 11 years ago

KoolKeith, agreed that was his original question. But when he goes on to say "No former KU players are waiting in the coaching wings" and then is immediately proven wrong by all the posts about the assistant coaches -- that's just laughable journalism.

zissou 11 years ago

Touché, Jaybate. I've proceeded to laugh at your comment and now at myself.

Alex Berger 11 years ago

As for former KU assistants, John Calipari was an assistant under Brown at KU in the 80's. I heard he's done well for himself.

Jordan Brown 11 years ago

Isn't Jeff Boschee coaching somewhere?

jaybate 11 years ago

zissou,Finally, I win a small point from you. You are always more perceptive about the important stuff--basketball--than I am.You are a gentleperson and a scholar and a Jayhawk through and through. These are the highest respects one can be paid. I pay them to you.

jaybate 11 years ago

burntpuma,I don't envy many handles, but yours is some kind of poesy. Last I heard, Bosch was a highschool coach at Barstow, or somewhere in KC.

JayhawkPhil64 11 years ago

Yes Boschee is coaching at Barstow, an expensive private HS in KC. Lee is at Gardner Webb where he has an 8-10 record in his first season.

KUPROUD 11 years ago

jaybate, please stop throwing words like "poesy" around. I have to stop reading and go look it up.There is no end to the paths this can take. In the former assistant category, there are many. How about the job Jank is doing at Illinois State?

Godisajayhawk 11 years ago

Also, I know that the article is about current coaches so perhaps I'm out of line, but wouldn't it make sense for Dean Smith to mentioned somewhere in this article?

jaybate 11 years ago

KUPROUD,For your bookmarks...:-) you are so right about Janks. He is IMHO the greatest coaching talent in line for an elite program. God, I hope KSU doesn't wake up and hire him. It is so much more fun to have them use marginal coaches. :-)Janks is a great coach in need of a great opp.I have this wicked dream about Janks. I dream Roy steps down to spend more time with Wanda and Dean hires Janks, because he finally realizes that his brand of ball is dead.The dream jumpshifts to Stillwater where this idiot Ford circles the drain and disappears to be followed by Scott Sutton.In this dream, KU, UK, UNC and Okie State compose the Final Four. It is the triumph of Okie Ball.KU wins it all of course.

BigGuyDon 11 years ago

jaybate- I like your dream. It might be nice if you could also include "Norm Roberts resurects the St. Johns program to get it back to national prominence, as belies it's listing in the top 7 of all-time NCAA wins". Frankly, I don't feel much tie to "Okie Ball" as you put it, but I do feel the tie to Self. Having Self's staff at Illinois comprised of the future coaches of 4 of the top 7 programs in NCAA history would certainly be a credit to HCBS.

rasta_meta 11 years ago

KUPROUD -- Steve Woodberry and Richard Scott are my all time favorite basketball players at KU. So, kudos for bringing up Woodberry as I feel he is one of the most underappreciated players to ever play at KU.

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