Originally published May 15, 2011 at 01:51p.m., updated May 16, 2011 at 12:42a.m.

Roy Williams, Randy Towner defeat Bill Self, Notah Begay in charity skins game

Roy Williams, left, and Bill Self, right front, watch as Notah Begay tees off on hole 14 at the celebrity skins game at Firekeeper Golf Course in Mayetta on Sunday, May 15, 2011.

Roy Williams, left, and Bill Self, right front, watch as Notah Begay tees off on hole 14 at the celebrity skins game at Firekeeper Golf Course in Mayetta on Sunday, May 15, 2011.


Roy Williams: 'Time does heal a lot of things'

Former Kansas coach Roy Williams talks about still cheering for KU, Allen Fieldhouse, his golf game, how much longer he'd like to coach and the possibility of facing KU in a non-conference basketball game. Williams talked before and after participating in a charity golf tournament on Sunday at Firekeeper Golf Course in Mayetta.

Bill Self golf highlights: KU coach keeps things light during charity event

Kansas coach Bill Self keeps things light during a charity golf event on Sunday, May 15 at Firekeeper Golf Course in Mayetta.

— Bill Self, who crushed a drive about 300 yards early in Sunday’s Celebrity Skins Game, heard no oohs and aahs from a gallery of about 250 fans at Firekeeper Golf Course.

“Silence!” Self, Kansas University’s basketball coach, said with a big smile, thrusting his arms, palms up, over his head.

That brought a bunch of laughs from several fans who took awhile to wake up on an unseasonably cold morning, as well as one of Self’s opponents.

That’d be former KU coach Roy Williams, who along with former Alvamar pro Randy Towner defeated Self and PGA golfer Notah Begay 4-to-2, with three holes tied in the nine-hole competition.

“It’s never silent in the fieldhouse. That’s why it’s the best,” North Carolina coach Williams said to Self.

That was not the only compliment Williams — who coached in KU’s Allen Fieldhouse for 15 years before heading to the Dean Dome in Chapel Hill, N.C., where he has worked the last eight seasons — tossed KU’s way.

“People say time heals a lot of things. There were some hard feelings when I left,” Williams said. “I said the day I left, I say now and I’ll say 30 years from now, my two favorite schools are North Carolina and Kansas.

“I didn’t want ’em to beat us by 3,000 points, which is what it felt like in San Antonio,” Williams cracked of the Jayhawks’ 84-66 victory over UNC in a 2008 Final Four semifinal, “but I was really pulling for them to win (in final against Memphis). I do it all the time. When somebody mentions my time at the University of Kansas, it brings a smile to my face. That’s the way I always want to feel. It’s still a great, great place, and you can’t beat Allen Fieldhouse.”

Williams, who signed a batch of autographs on a day he was treated warmly by the fans, was in a great mood after sinking a 30-foot birdie putt on No. 16, rolling a 60-footer within a couple inches on No. 10 and blasting a booming drive on No. 18. The golfers played the back nine of the Firekeeper course, which had its grand opening Sunday.

“You see how much better a golfer Randy is now that I’m coaching him,” Williams cracked of Firekeeper general manager Towner, who dazzled with birdie putts of 10, 8 and 8 feet on holes 10 through 12 and a 10-footer on No. 17.

“Randy played great. He was probably 2 or 3 under on his own ball,” Self marveled.

Self had plenty of his own highlights. He was long off the tee, drew a 40-foot putt within an inch on No. 13 and sank a six-foot birdie putt on No. 16.

“I kept the ball in play. I didn't putt great, but for me, a 12-handicap, I probably played OK. I think I only had a couple of bad miss-hits,” Self said.

He was asked about his coaching counterpart, who admittedly takes Skins competitions seriously.

“Roy loves golf. I like it OK,” Self said. “His passion for it is a little different than mine. That’s what golfers do. They take it seriously. If I practiced more, maybe I’d take it a little more seriously. It’s good Roy is here. I think he did such a great job when he was at KU for 15 years. He deserves the pat on the back the fans give him when he is around. It was a good day.”

Four-time PGA champ Begay, who designed the course, made a 40-foot birdie putt on No. 13 and four-footer for birdie on 14.

“You can be a golf fan or a basketball fan and enjoy today. At least I brought in some guys I know I can beat. That’s the luxury of being the designer,” Begay said with a smile. “I appreciate coach Self and coach Williams being here. They have demands on their time. They are out there trying to get the best recruits they can for next season. For them taking a day to do this is special for me.”

It was a morning with a lot of laughs to go with great golf shots.

“I haven’t felt this much pressure since we were down 18-6 to VCU (in Elite Eight loss),” Self said.

“If I practice hard the next year-and-a-half, I’ll have a shot at the Senior Tour,” added the 48-year-old KU coach. “It may take three years. I have no shot at doing anything other than hacking it around with some guys on the weekends.”

Noted Williams to tourney organizers: “You probably appreciated me last night more at the casino (Prairie Band, next to golf course) than today, because I left so much money at the casino last night. I’m trying to do my part to help the economy around here.”


• Williams addressed his coaching future Sunday.

“As long as my health holds, I’d like to go another six to 10 years at least, but I am enjoying the dickens out of it,” he said.

“I am 60 years old now. Coach (Dean) Smith stopped at 66. He told me he didn’t want me to stop that early, so that’s the reason I picked the number six. I picked 10 ... no reason, round numbers. I don’t want to be out there at 71 or 72 if I don’t have my health.”

• Self and Begay earned $3,500 for Self’s Assists Foundation. Williams and Towner won $6,500 for Boys and Girls Club of Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation. The casino provided the prize money.


JakeBarnes 7 years ago

Regarding Williams, Who cares. The only memorable thing is when he left we got a better coach.

phoggydrive 7 years ago


"Roy was the greatest of all time".

I'm not going to get into a fight about whether Bill or Roy is better as that won't get anyone anywhere, but I can't get past your statement of Roy being the greatest of all time. Guess I need a little more clarification of that, because it just doesn't make any sense.

addlime 7 years ago

What the hell is wrong with you people? Get over it! 4 Final Fours are very memorable for me, I went to 2 of them. That '97 team is certainly memorable. A winning percentage for my favorite team of over .800 is extremely memorable. Uggh.... Why am I even responding? You're not worth the effort.

KULHSLIONSfan 7 years ago

Thanks to Randy Towner for coordinating an event to help out some youth in need. Coach Self and Coach Williams were very generous to donate their time to help the charity's. It was also great hear a professional golfer, such as Notah Begay, took the time to help with the fundraiser.

Some people just need to find a way to grow up and move on with their lives and see what is important in life. Life must be pretty miserable to always spew so much negativity. Instead of pulling Lew's name into your comments, why not think about the great young kids who are going to benefit from this golf game.

ahpersecoachingexperience 7 years ago

I'm sure they got appearance fees for showing up and Notah designed the course.

ahpersecoachingexperience 7 years ago

Coach, using your stomach for a shelf means it's time to see hudy

Janet Olin 7 years ago

C'mon, people. This is a great fundraising opportunity featuring several people with close ties to Lawrence. Why can't we give credit for donating time to make a difference in others' lives? Thank you, Coaches Self and Williams for backing this worthy cause.

Day Shepherd 7 years ago

Well he may not "give a sht about North Carolina" but I don't give a sht about him. As for needing to grow up, everytime he says "ive got the best kids in the country" it makes me sick. I guess all the folks who hated KU during his time here, saw through him a long time before the rest of us. That country boy golly gee stuff is over and I'd rather sever ties.

hometownhawk 7 years ago

You say "one" about every other word. Is that in reference to your IQ or the number of your remaining brain cells?

jayhawk15 7 years ago

Yeah, but self has been here what 8 years, and has one national championship and pretty much owned the big 12. Roy williams in 8 years had 2 final fours and no national championships and also owned in the big 8/big 12. Really the only difference is that roy had 2 final fours to bill's 1 but bill also won the national title. Lets not forget that Roy went from 1993 to 2002 without a final four, that is pretty terrible. Plus we had a ton of tourney chokes under him, how do you not make a final four or win a title with a team that had 4 nba players including pierce who is a future nba hall of famer! Give Self another 8 years like Roy had and I guarantee he will have as many final fours as roy during his span here at ku. Lets also not forget the 2 years were ku was an 8 seed and a 6th seed in the tourney under roy.

addlime 7 years ago

Huh... Tourney chokes? Bucknell, Bradley, Northern Iowa? I don't think Roy has the market cornered on tourney chokes. I hope you're right, but I doubt you are. You are guaranteeing that KU goes to 3 final fours in the next 8 years! You, my friend, are an idiot!
Why can't you people accept the fact that Williams was/is a great college coach, as is Bill Self? Let it go and be thankful that this team has had great coaching and great teams for almost 3 decades now.

Ben Simonett 7 years ago

So apparently, Roy beats him both on the recruiting trail and the golf course.

Tony Bandle 7 years ago

Check out the picture...looks like Roy could use a little fashion consultation. It appears he's ready to go sledding, not play golf.

Maybe a fairer comparision is to look at both careers:

Williams[60]: 643-163 [.801], 2 N.C.'s, 7 Final Fours, 2 C.of YR, 7 Conf. Champs Self.......[49]: 444-151 [.746], 1 N.C..., 1 Final Four.., 1 C.of YR,11 Conf. Champs

Coach Roy is ahead but Coach Bill has a lot of years to possibly catch up.

phoggydrive 7 years ago

I don't really consider that a fair comparison just based on the fact that Roy has coached for 24 years at KU and UNC (basketball powers). Bill has coached for 18 years in which 7 of those years were at Oral Roberts (where he had to build a program)and Tulsa (not exactly a basketball power).

Maybe a more fair (not completely fair because Bill took over a program in better shape than when Roy did) would be their first 8 years of coaching at the same school.

Williams: 213-56 (.792), 81-31 (.723) conf record, 0 NC's, 2 FF, 5 Conf. Champ, Self: 237-46 (.838), 110-21 (.840) conf record, 1 NC's, 1 FF, 7 Conf. Champ.

Personally, I'm happy we had them both.

Ben Simonett 7 years ago

your post indirectly concedes UNC is a better program than KU, otherwise you could compare each coach's first 8 years at there respective programs.

such comparison does not bode well for out guy.

kufankam 7 years ago

I think they are both AWESOME coaches and glad that they are a part of the legacy of KU! Arguing over which one is better is like arguing between a Lexus or a Mercedes - again, I would gladly have either one of em.

Tony Bandle 7 years ago

You'd pick a Lexus over a Mercedes!!!!!??? Oh, the horror!! :}

kufankam 7 years ago

haha! no, no sir, i said OR. i drive a beat up ol honda accord so i would take either of those :) although, i do love my honda! gets me where i need to go.

Seth Peattie 7 years ago

MaxHawk can ... SUCK IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

lionhawkward 7 years ago

Roy great coach no doubt ....Dean Smith however is a strange Kansan when it comes to Kansas pride and loyalty to say the least ........We have the greatest program on the planet. With history and pride something Dean missed in his years here, those characteristics from Phog laid the groundwork for his career and Reputation. The word Narcissist (sp) comes to mind.

Mangino_Maniac 7 years ago

Roy can kiss my grits!!! ;-)

Hey, I loved the man while he was here, but he left us for another woman... and time never heals all wounds after you love someone that much and they go and do that!! ;-)

Mangino_Maniac 7 years ago

...but having a hot new babe like Coach Self has sure eased the pain. ;-)

Paul Rupp 7 years ago

I know exactly what you're saying....still, with a hot babe now, one might think both would like you...of course....

Good Lord, folks, we've had two of the best BBall coaches that have existed. If the first didn't leave, after 15 years, we wouldn't have had the second.

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