Originally published April 1, 2012 at 02:04p.m., updated April 1, 2012 at 03:22p.m.

Bill Self named Naismith national coach of the year

Kansas head coach Bill Self raises up the fieldhouse following the Jayhawks' 87-86 overtime win over Missouri on Saturday, Feb. 25, 2012.

Kansas head coach Bill Self raises up the fieldhouse following the Jayhawks' 87-86 overtime win over Missouri on Saturday, Feb. 25, 2012.


Kansas coach Bill Self was named the 2012 Naismith men's basketball coach of the year, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced Sunday.

Self edged out finalists Jim Boeheim (Syracuse), John Calipari (Kentucky) and Frank Haith (Missouri).

“This is a terrific honor. When you think of postseason awards, anything that has (James) Nasmith’s name in front of it is a huge award and certainly I’m very proud of this,” Self said. “It is a reflection of how our team performed all year long. There are so many good coaches out there to choose from, but I am honored they picked me.”

KU is the only university to have three different Naismith coach of the year winners; Larry Brown won in 1988 and Roy Williams won in 1997.

Self was picked by the Atlanta Tipoff Club’s voting academy, comprised of leading basketball journalists, coaches and administrators from around the country. The academy based its criteria on coaching performances this season.

“Bill has done a remarkable coaching job this season and deserves all the accolades that come his way,” said Eric Oberman, executive director of the Atlanta Tipoff Club. “There’s always something special about adding another chapter of Kansas basketball to the Naismith Awards family.”

In his ninth season at Kansas, Self led the Jayhawks to a 32-6 record — including a perfect 16-0 mark at home — and helped them to a record eighth straight regular season Big 12 title.

Entering the 2012 NCAA Tournament as a No. 2 seed in the Midwest region, the Jayhawks defeated No. 1 seed North Carolina and No. 2 seed Ohio State to reach their second NCAA Championship game in four years.

Last year, San Diego State head coach Steve Fisher claimed the Naismith coach of the year award, the first ever for the Mountain West Conference.

• A previous version of this story has been updated.


Dan Pawlowski 2 years ago

Davis was awarded the Naismith POY award tonight. Talk about injustice. I am tired of this BS. The entire team needs to take on the cause and take Kensucky to the woodshed!


JayHawkFanToo 2 years ago

Every single Coach at KU in the last 29 years has now won the award. I know it is only 3 but still, what other schools with more than 2 coaches in the same period can say the same thing?


jaybate 2 years ago

Naming Self COY is like saying the sun is bright.

Naming him coach of the decade is like saying the sun is bright every day.

He is doing it the right way.

He is doing it without Micky Ds.

He is doing it without the hype machine.

He is doing it by getting better himself and by making players get better.


RockCaCO3 2 years ago

Congrats Coach Self, and the entire coaching staff and team! This has been an incredible year! And its going to get even better tomorrow night.

Rock Chalk!


shipat13 2 years ago

"KU is the only university to have three different Naismith coach of the year winners; Larry Brown won in 1988 and Roy Williams won in 1997."

and Naismith coached for KU, so that must count for something!


Make_Ur_Free_Throws 2 years ago

Great honor Coach Self, and well deserved! Am so proud to be a Jayhawk in this "re-building" year, and am proud to see our team playing for yet another National Championship! This is an amazing team, who can play KU basketball with the best!

Let's send Coach Cal and his team back to Lexington empty handed! They need more reasons to riot and burn furniture there, and I can't think of a better reason than hearing the "Rock Chalk" chant in the Superdome at the end of the game to get their party started!


Lenette Hamm 2 years ago

Love Bill Self!! Couldn't have been a better choice. Go 'Hawks! Kick some Kentucky ass tomorrow night!


claycountyjayhawk 2 years ago

Kentucky is a state. Kentucky is a state. everybody there's a dick.Kentucky is a state.


addlime 2 years ago

Congrats, Coach!

I was a little sorry to see that T Rob didn't get one of these player of the year awards. AD is great and deserving and all, but T Rob gets a little more focused attention from other teams. AD is surrounded by NBA draft picks and other teams just can't focus on him the same way.

That being said, I'm sure T Rob would trade all the awards for MOP in the Final Four and a ring. Go Take What's Yours, T Rob!


William Blake 2 years ago

Congrats, Coach!

...and congrats to the entire Jayhawk team, assistant coaches, trainers and front office.

Everyone who put effort out played a part in this award!


DRsmith 2 years ago

LOL at all you KU fans that think TRoBle should get NPOY. After the Naismith today, that makes him 0-6. Davis is clearly the better player and will also be the top pick. You will be able to recognize Monday night though.


jmfitz 2 years ago

Remember Jack Harry? I created a petition to get rid of him. Go to and sign the petition if you agree. Once you sign, share with all your facebook friends and family. Pass this around as fast as you can! This guy is disrespectful and deserves what's coming to him! Thanks fellow jayhawkers! love yall!


Steve Jacob 2 years ago

Guessing this award was voted on counting the NCAA Tournament, why Self got the award. Anthony Davis deserves POY. In the Final Four, while Robinson is getting pulled early, Davis plays 39 minutes 18 and 14 with 5 blocks. .


Aloysius Dothedishes 2 years ago

Couldn't an argument be made that we've had 5 Naismith Coaches of the Year? Afterall, the man was our coach. Not to mention he sorta picked his replacement with Phog Allen. Again, this sorta assumes he (Allen) would be his choice for coach of the year. Giving us a grand total of 5?


justinryman 2 years ago

Hey somebody got one right!


Armen Kurdian 2 years ago

Well-deserved! Have to say that in the Purdue game, coach looked really rattled, but he's been so focused since then, and relaxed. He's really enjoying this squad.


cheeseburger 2 years ago

Congrats Coach Self!

Just glad that Loser Lew isn't around anymore to stick his overgrown proboscis into the successes of HCBS's team.


Ken Sedgwick 2 years ago

Coach Self, you make good people happy! You make bad people sad! Congratulations, and carry on.


brooksmd 2 years ago

Hey, a sportswriter who has finally figured out this Kansas thing. Looks like the cat is out of the bag and I can imagine there will be more of this on other campus' next year.


jessejayhawk 2 years ago

I can only imagine the amount of effort it took from coach Self to mold this bunch of characters into the team we saw last night. Job well done Coach, well done indeed.


DDDHawk 2 years ago

Coach Self- Congratulations on this wonderful honor! Well-deserved! Thanks for all of your hard work this year!


ironhead80 2 years ago

Did any hear Jack Harry ask today in the team media interview? When He asked Coach Self about how he felt about some news media type critizing him in the way he has coached this year and this year team had not really deserved to be in the final 4. I don't think Harry was informed just today, Coach Self was named Naismith Coach Of The Year. I heard after that question the other reporters sneakered about That. Congrats! Bill!!


sundancewierdo 2 years ago

Rock Chalk!!! So proud to be a Jayhawk!!!


Orangedog87 2 years ago

Congrats and thanks to Bill and the team...thanks for stretching BB season until the last possible game....that is something I have really appreciated ...awards are a sweet bonus


KUlolly 2 years ago

It's about time Coach Self gets some credit for a job well done this season! I <3 him! His half time adjustments are always spot on and these kids believe what he tells them. He is the best!



jaycon11 2 years ago

so, if coach k got one vote, does that mean that dick vitale gets to vote for this award?


JHAWKNPHX 2 years ago

Great job this year Coach


citizen1 2 years ago

There is only one award yet to be given that has any meaning, and that is the Naismith Player of the Year...the player most deserving is T-Rob. Now that would be something! RCJH :)


DRsmith 2 years ago

Well deserved. When you take a line up like this to the final game, great coaching has to be the key.


Janet Olin 2 years ago

Congratulations, Coach, for a well deserved honor.


jayhawkinATL 2 years ago

Cool...the folks in the ATL got it right!!!


LAJayhawk 2 years ago

Looks like someone just cashed a bonus check. :-)


Jason Keller 2 years ago

Did anyone see Bill's reaction when Tyshawn threw the ball (and maybe the game) away with 2 seconds left? All Tyshawn had to do was hold the ball and it was over. Bill exploded for about .0001 seconds before remembering what must be done next. He had to remain calm so that the kids would remain calm. Bill licked his lips, looked at Tyshawn and pointed to the other side of the court, signaling that now it was time to play defense.

Bill Self is 1 win away from securing his spot in the hall of fame. It's not often a coach has the opportunity to do this in their 40s but, Bill certainly does.


master16 2 years ago

Wow congrats to HCBS. What an honor, and he deserves it as much as any other coach. I wonder if now Robinson will land Naismith POY, since the voters obviously have their attention on Kansas. I mean, if Davis wins the RUPP POY why can't Robinson win the NAISMITH POY?


Alohahawk 2 years ago

When Coach Bill Self first signed on as head coach at KU, little could he have known (with certainty, although he must have dreamed of such a scenario) that he would achieve so much in so little time. Nine years of unbelievable success, all well earned. One could say that this award, named in honor of the father of basketball, is the high point of his career. Although a coach deserves respect from his peers and basketball fans everywhere for winning a National Championship, that is still an award won by and given to the team. But "Naismith National Coach of the Year", that is an individual award. And the fact it is attached to the name,'Naismith', makes it that much more special. My highest congratulations to Coach Bill Self. What an honor it is having you coach the Jayhawks. You make the Jayhawk Nation proud.


prusso25 2 years ago

Two possible outcomes to this game tomorrow:

1) KU wins a championship

2) No championship in 2012 due to UK cheating.

So basically, either KU wins, or nobody wins. Sweet!


illuminatironin 2 years ago

I have been to the Fieldhouse a few times but I cant remember. Do they hang banners for coaches in the rafters?


jayhawkintexas 2 years ago

Congratulations, Coach Self. You are definitely deserving of this honor.


Eddie_Haskell 2 years ago

Way to go, Coach! Much deserved!


MrPilot 2 years ago

Congratulations Coach Self! A well-deserved award!


Janet Scott 2 years ago

A terrific honor; very well deserved. There is no better coach in America in college basketball. Bill's loyalty to KU and the manner he represents the university is unparalleled for any head coach who's worked on Mt. Oread, in any sport.

Now, let's sent UK and Calipari home tomorrow night with the 2nd place trophy, after once again confounding the 'experts'.


kumax 2 years ago

Congratulations to HCBS!

There is no one more deserving, more humble and kick-a** funny. He has such an amazing way with people and is a born leader. Proud to call him part of the tradition of Kansas Basketball.

Thank you coach Self for continuing to honor and carry the legacy of Naismith and college hoops!


Tony Bandle 2 years ago

TOP Ten Reasons KU wins tomorrow:

10] Bill Self coaches Kansas. 9] HCBS has mind AND brain controil!! 8] 2012 is a leap year. 7] KU's biggest fan is a porn star..UK's is a washed up old actress. 8] We have a coach of the year...they don't!! 6] Unibrows are so 60's. 5] KU fans are intelligent...UK fans are unintelligible. 4] There are Wildcats everywhere...but only one Jayhawk. 3] KU checks its ego at the door...UK checks it's ego every 30 seconds. 2] UK players will wake up and realize that they are Freshmen and Sophomores.

and the number one reason Kansas will win tomorrow.....

John Calipari coaches Kentucky!!!!!!!!!!


Jackalope7 2 years ago

If you ever find youself in a situation where you need to prove that you are smarter than the associated press, just say these words: "Bill Self is the best coach in college basketball."


theend 2 years ago

Awesome!! Well-deserved.

Will the court at AFH be named after him someday?


rockchalkxii 2 years ago

Saw this on twitter today...

"With last night's win, Kansas now has more wins in a six-year period than any program in the history of college basketball.”


nuleafjhawk 2 years ago

Bill Self was a great coach before he ever got to Kansas.

Now he has Hall of Fame, nay, "Legend" coaching status.

With the talent that he's had and the insane (almost obscene) statistics and records that he's put together, very soon he will be universally recognized as one of the greatest college basketball coaches.



Yolanda Gay 2 years ago

So deserving. Look what he had to work with this year and look where we are now. Playing for a national championship. He's the best!


Foster Coburn 2 years ago

I would think the Journal World of all papers would print the correct record. It says 31-7 when the team is 32-6 entering the championship game.


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