Kansas University basketball coach Bill Self, former KU coach Ted Owens and a flock of players past and present were among the hundreds of individuals who packed First Presbyterian Church on Wednesday for a memorial service for former KU basketball assistant coach Sam Miranda.
Miranda — he helped KU to five league titles and two Final Four berths from 1964 to ’76 — died last Thursday in his Lawrence home at the age of 78.
Three of Miranda’s former players — Al Lopes, Roger Morningstar and Bud Stallworth — spoke at the service. Others who played for Miranda on hand included: Cris Barnthouse, Fred Bosilevac, Roger Brown, Dale Greenlee, Delvy Lewis, Dave Robisch, Brad Sanders, Bruce Sloan and Tommy Smith. Bob Frederick, who worked as an assistant with Miranda on Owens’ staff and Bob Flickner, a grad assistant, also attended.
Current KU player Brady Morningstar and Jayhawk assistants Danny Manning and Kurtis Townsend also attended as well as a host of former KU administrators, coaches and athletes in other KU sports.
“Coach was an awesome human being,” said Roger Morningstar, who also used the words, “loyal, organized, competitive, disciplined, respected and detail-oriented,” to describe Miranda.
Owens, who worked with Miranda for 13 years, was a friend of the former Indiana basketball standout for 45 years.
“He was a great friend, a special friend,” Owens said. “He made outstanding contributions to the KU basketball program. He was a committed guy and all the players responded to him in such a good way. He challenged them.”
Lopes, Morningstar and Stallworth shared stories describing the respect players had for Miranda, who served a role as disciplinarian on Owens’ staff. They joked of how they all knew how many steps there were in Allen Fieldhouse after having to run up them numerous times in serving penalties assessed by Miranda.
“Everybody respected him — everybody,” Morningstar said.