Originally published April 9, 2012 at 12:14p.m., updated April 10, 2012 at 12:14a.m.

Norm Roberts to join Kansas coaching staff

Norm Roberts, former head coach at St. John's and assistant coach at KU visits with Danny Manning at Bill Self's Basketball Camp in June. Roberts shared some X’s and O’s insight with several hundred high school, junior-college and small-college coaches immediately following KU’s two-hour basketball practice.

Norm Roberts, former head coach at St. John's and assistant coach at KU visits with Danny Manning at Bill Self's Basketball Camp in June. Roberts shared some X’s and O’s insight with several hundred high school, junior-college and small-college coaches immediately following KU’s two-hour basketball practice.


Norm Roberts, who spent one season next to his buddy, Bill Self, on Kansas University’s basketball bench, is back for a second stint in Lawrence.

Roberts, who left KU to run his own program at St. John’s University after the 2003-04 season and worked there six years, on Monday was named Danny Manning’s replacement as assistant coach at KU.

“This is a great opportunity. I loved my time at Kansas. I always thought my time there was too short,” Roberts, assistant coach at the Florida during the 2011-12 season, said in a phone interview. “I was only there one year, but I loved KU, loved Lawrence. The opportunity to go back and be part of that program again is awesome.”

Roberts, the father of KU sophomore guard Niko Roberts, is expected to be in town Wednesday gearing for the start of spring recruiting.

“Working for Coach for nine years (at Oral Roberts, Tulsa, Illinois, KU) has helped my foundation as a coach,” Roberts said. “The opportunity to work with Joe (Dooley) and Kurtis (Townsend) and the rest of the staff will be great as well.

“It’s going to be even more special because my son is there. He’s built his own life at KU. He wanted us to come and be there, and obviously the mom and dad want to be near their son. His brother, Justin (eighth grader who is a point guard), is really excited. The opportunity to reunite our family in a place we love and enjoy is awesome.

“Obviously my wife (Pascale) is close with Cindy (Self), and our families are very close. This is a great opportunity for me and my family. I’m really blessed.”

Self said he’s “thrilled” that Roberts has re-joined his staff. Manning left KU to become head coach at Tulsa.

“We were together for nine years. My family helped raise his kids. His family has helped raise mine. We’re close,” Self said. “Certainly we hate to see Danny go, but Norm coming back will be a big bonus to our program.

“He’s always been a Kansas guy, having worked Kansas basketball camps in the 1980s for coach (Larry) Brown,” Self added of the 46-year-old Roberts. “As good as he was when he left, now he’s got six years of head-coaching experience under his belt in addition to all the recruiting experience. I think he’s going to be a huge asset to our program.”

Roberts said he’ll miss Florida.

“Billy Donovan has been really, really good to me. I would consider him one of the top five coaches in America, and I learned a tremendous amount being here with Billy and his staff. Leaving here, I feel I’m a better coach and a better person to have worked at Florida,” Roberts said

Florida coach Donovan said: “Norm Roberts did a great job on our staff the past year here at Florida. I have a lot of respect for the Kansas program and Bill Self, and I know this is a great opportunity for Norm and his family to all be together.”

Self said he was in no hurry to fill his director of basketball operations opening. Barry Hinson recently left to become coach at Southern Illinois University.


Miguel Colón 6 years ago

This makes me happy, anyone else??

RISEABOVEHATE56 6 years ago

Maybe, He will be in a different type of offense and defense that the Kansas Jayhawks runs...Lets see if he can stand up to the speed and talent of the Kansas Jayhawks

Brendan Connolly 6 years ago

Great to have Norm back. I have been pushing on here for Jacque Vaughn and would have loved to have him here, but can't argue with Norm. If and it is a big if, Larry Brown doesn't get any official position, would love to see him remain involved as he was the last two to three months of the season.

april28 6 years ago

How about Jacque for Hinson's spot? He'd be fantastic in that role! As would Milt, Kevin Pritchard and some others.

Charles Haff 6 years ago

I like your suggestions except for Pritchard. What an ego that guy has! In my opinion, he does not fit-in AT ALL with the humility and quiet confidence that Coach Self has built into this program.

kugrad93 6 years ago

Pritchard and Newton both have NBA front office jobs. The opening created by Hinson's departure would be a step down for both of them.

Mike Bratisax 6 years ago

'humility and quiet confidence'?? Not sure how to take that. This is top level D1, not church. Ask Tyshawn about 'humility and quiet confidence'.

TheGiftedOne 6 years ago

Dude that is such an assumption... Tyshawn talks a little bit, but he is also a very humble player. You have to be to succeed the way he did.

Mike Bratisax 6 years ago

Kevin was the GM at Portland..signed Greg Oden and now is at Indiana as the Director of Player Personnel. The Hornets wanted Kevin as their GM. Don't know what happened.

When he became GM at Portland, I sent an email to the front office to say congratulations and he took the time to send one back thanking me..not a big deal I guess but to me it was.

I would like to get Rex Walters or (I know I will be blasted) Matt Doherty. I know they both have HC jobs so its not likely.

Why Matt Doherty? Great recruiter at one time, has done well at this level (Notre Dame) and I think he could do it again.

Someone mentioned Wayne Simien on a different thread and I think he would do well at KU.

jaybate 6 years ago

Kevin would be a great anything for KU, but he's just too successful in the NBA to come back like Fred did. Remember Fred came back, because ISU was in trouble. KU was/is not in trouble in hoops, which is Kevin's specialty. KU is sideways at a freight train crossing in football, and that's why a football guy got the AD job at KU.

Rex is on his way as a head coach, so unless he tanks, I don't see him as a prospect.

Matt Doherty? I would hire that guy just to sick him onto Roy's recruits. His title could be: Assistant in Charge of Making Roy Miserable in Recruiting."

Seriously, Matt would be a good add, if he does not have some of the personality problems that some of his enemies have tried to smear him with. He was on track at Notre Dame for sure. He definitely should have stayed there, too. Failing at SMU doesn't mean much other than he was trying to do it honestly there and they don't reputedly value the honest approach at SMU, except briefly after death penalties. :-)

Matt probably does not want to come back to KU and coach big men, but he surely could get it done. And being a New Yorker, at least that's what I recall he is, certainly gives him some entre there.

St. John's, had they been wanting to do it the right way still, after Norm, should have hired him away from SMU.

Matt is fighting an image problem right now. Its hard to say as an outsider how much substance there is to his personality issues. He is a New Yorker. New Yorkers often seem brash to folks beyond the island. And he's had the bichromatic hair/eye brow thing going for quite a long while, too. :-)

But I remember his coaching at KU and he seemed astute, and professional.

And he has reason to despise Roy and Dean and UNC.

Hire him. :-)

april28 6 years ago

Pritchard has a house in Lawrence and his kid plays high school ball here. Though it may sound crazy, there are guys who just love it here and will come back, even if it doesn't make complete sense to others. I'm not saying that Pritchard, Milt or Jacque will come back, but I wouldn't assume that an NBA gig will keep them from doing it.

frompekka2sasha 6 years ago

Kool and the Gang! I dig it the most.

FarSideHawk 6 years ago

I had been expecting this announcement. Happy to have him back. He should be able to provide a boost in recruiting.

Bconn73, Vaughn is my favorite all-time Jayhawk and nothing would make me happier than seeing him on the KU bench, but I think he has chosen the NBA coaching path already.

6 years ago

Norm! Welcome home, Mr. Peterson, I mean, Mr. Roberts :-)

actorman 6 years ago

You beat me to it, txrock. I was going to say the same thing.

A great "re-addition" to the KU staff.

Chris Shaw 6 years ago

I could see Vaughn coming into fill Barry Hinson's role, but nothing else at the moment.

Personally, I would rather see somebody like Steve Woodberry, but he just go hired on at Tulsa under D.Manning's staff. Woodberry was at Missouri State for 6 years I believe, so this will be a good stepping stone for him. It at least puts him in closer contact with Self.

As for Roberts, glad to see him back on the sideline! He has ties to a number of recruits so it will be nice to have that network back for the Crimson and Blue. I know he has a close relationship with Chris Walker, so let's hope he can lure him to Lawrence!

Miguel Colón 6 years ago

That 2013 class will be sick if we get Walker and Freeman to go with Greene!

Tony Bandle 6 years ago

For gosh sakes don't forget Conner the Bomber in 2013!!

Mel Clare 6 years ago

Yes Frankamp can hit from anywhere!

Chris Shaw 6 years ago

If everything falls into place with recruits and hopefully the "Timing" of everything works out, I really think Kansas will be cutting down the nets in the next 3 years!

Self has got to get another one!

Mike Bratisax 6 years ago

Steve Woodberry would have been great..damn that Manning guy!

Hail_To_Thee 6 years ago

Awesome get. Hell of a recruiter.

KEITHMILES05 6 years ago

Very few former players make good coaches. Manning was the exception.

Greg Woolen 6 years ago

Bill Self would be an exception too?

kugrad93 6 years ago

And Mark Turgeon. And Larry Brown. And Phog Allen.

dylans 6 years ago

And Dean Smith - played at KU.

Mike Bratisax 6 years ago

You are way off on this one. Almost all the great coaches have played the game.

Vernon Riggs 6 years ago

I think maybe Keith meant, Very few former Superstars make good coaches. Manning was the exception. I played against Mark in pick-up games at his house. He was a gym-rate but not a Superstar. Self was a decent college player but not a superstar. I don't know what kind of player Larry was; he had a decent NBA playing career. I don't know if he was a superstar.

dylans 6 years ago

Yeah, Jordan single handedly makes your point.

Bruce Dial 6 years ago

...and Isaiah Thomas cements it.

JayHawkFanToo 6 years ago

Keith, I would venture to guess that essentially all head coaches have played college basketball. I am sure if I think long enough I can find a few that didn't , but of the top of may head I cannot think of any.

JayHawkFanToo 6 years ago

HC Williams play in the Junior Varsity basketball team at North Carolina.

DCLawHawk 6 years ago

As I recall, Gene Keady played football (not basketball) at Kansas State. He was a heckuva coach at Purdue for many years.

JayHawkFanToo 6 years ago

Gene Keady was four-sport athlete at Garden City CC (BBall, FBall, Baseball and track). At KSU he dropped Basketball and played the other three. He was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers.

southwindjay 6 years ago

Great! Nothing but upside having him back.

Stan Unruh 6 years ago

Great news on Norm. Let's get Scott Pollard to help with the big men.

Jim Jackson 6 years ago

Pollard would be a great addtion to the staff. Let's get em!!

Bruce Dial 6 years ago

Let's not get carried away, here. Pollard is one of my all-time favorite KU players, and a heck of a personality. But, I think his personality may be too big for coaching. Plus, as talented a player as he was, and the fact he had a successful NBA career, he doesn't strike me as a "student" of the game. All that being said, especially about his personality, maybe he could take that charisma on the recruiting trail and connect with young people. I just hope he wouldn't advise them to do drugs, like he did on national television, while on the bench of an NBA game.

Sam Finocchiaro 6 years ago

thebrused, i absolutely agree. he'd be a distraction almost. and self doesn't want a distraction coming in, especially because our bench will be deep next year, and we'll be one of the top 5 teams coming into the year. we need to keep our guys calm and collective. and let them play ball. i like the thought of bringing in a guy that can develope players as well as manning.

wrwlumpy 6 years ago

Welcome back Norm. Go get them east coast Jimmy Chitwoods.

Tom Pritchard 6 years ago

Coffee can do crazy things to your posting finger huh.....

wrwlumpy 6 years ago

Welcome back Norm. Go get them east coast Jimmy Chitwoods.

jaybate 6 years ago


Define a Jimmy Chitwood, so that I can stop imagining you trying to use Norm as your pimp in Weehawken. :-)

DCLawHawk 6 years ago

Chitwood was the star player for Hickory High in the movie Hoosiers. The real-life counterpart was Bobby Plump of Milan High School.

jaybate 6 years ago

Thx 4 the assist DC.

Loved Hoosiers.

If only Dodge City boy Dennis Hopper hadn't kicked, then we could bring in Hops as a drunk, but sharp assistant! :-)

wrwlumpy 6 years ago

Be nice. To be more precise, I was thinking more of Hackensack.

Spencer Goff 6 years ago

Yeah saw that earlier. I think most people saw this coming, what shocks me is that is ALL they found so far.

hawkhoops 6 years ago

Not suprised at all. The NCAA should hit them harder since they didn't clean it up after being caught on the recruitment of Griner.

Dyrk Dugan 6 years ago

Great hire....Norm was on Bill's staff all of those earlier's a great fit. and the man can recruit, recruit and recruit. :)

Welcome back Mr. Roberts!

master16 6 years ago

glad to see Norm is back with HCBS.

also a positive: apparently Norm and 2013 recruit Chris Walker have a good relationship, which cant hurt our chances at all.

Sam Constance 6 years ago

If I had been asked prior to filling the spot vacated by Danny, I think this would have been my ideal outcome.

Obviously, he brings knowledge of the program, a nice recruiting network and a great assistant coach track record. Certainly, he doesn't replace Danny's personal knowledge and big-man instruction ability, but as far as the role of assistant coach, Norm Roberts is a GREAT solution.

But the thing that really makes me like this hire is how Coach Roberts will be able to also fill the personal relationship void (for Self) that was created by Barry Hinson taking the SIU position. I can't remember where I read it, but I've seen in multiple places how close a personal friend Hinson was to Self, and even though Hinson has a good basketball mind, the truth is that he was the Director of Basketball Ops, not an assistant coach. His value to the KU staff was, imho, primarily due to he and Self's repoire and the fact that it gave Self someone to bounce his thoughts, ideas, concerns, worries off of in a less formal setting than a coach's meeting.

I think Roberts will be able to come in and fill that void, given he and Self's long (and close) personal history with each other. And by filling the assistant coach role with a guy who can fill multiple voids, it really takes the pressure off of the new Director of Basketball Ops hire.

Who knows, maybe that's the best way to get Coach Brown back in the fold at KU. That way, he takes on a job where his primary responsibilities are administrative in nature, but are pretty light (relative to a full-on assistant coach) in terms of stress level and time-consumption. Hinson was a former head coach who took the role, so the precedent is there. Obviously, Larry Brown's head coaching track record is a little different than Barry Hinson's but the point is that it's a role where a person can be close to the team and program and provide input like a coach, but without the traditional rigors and demands of being an actual coach.

To me, that seems like it's a perfect fit for Brown, who just wants to get back into basketball, but is probably a little too old to do it as a full-time head coach.

Brian Skelly 6 years ago

Agreed. Very spot on analysis. Not sure if I agree about stuff with Coach Brown, but having a friend like Roberts back in the fold will help Self both personally and professionally.

addlime 6 years ago

Hard to measure the importance of someone like Hinson. All I know is that he showed a lot of class in the way he apparently dropped everything to help T Rob and his family last season when disaster struck.

John Randall 6 years ago

I don't think 'everything' or even anything was 'dropped.' Thomas' situation required the assistance Barry Hinson was best qualified to give, so that was his assignment for the time it took. His normal responsibilities were covered by others in his office as they would have been during an illness or recovery from an accident.

Hinson did a terrific job of shepherding TRob through funeral arrangements, locating legal support, dealing with press – the things a 19 year old needed help with, and did it in a low-key manner that never complicated or detracted from the essential issues being dealt with.

JayHawkFanToo 6 years ago

The first part of your post is spot on; however the part about Larry Brown is not. The Director of Basketball Operations is a real, full time job that requires full time effort.. It basically coordinates all the logistic for the basketball team. The DOBO is not allowed to coach or recruit and the the position is not a high paying one.

Barry Hinson took the job as a way of staying in the "business" while waiting for a head coaching position; it was never meant to be a long term situation. There is no way that Larry Brown, a 71 year old man with a replaced hip and a Hall of Fame coach, would take an administrative position that would actually prevent him from any involvement in coaching or recruiting.

I can see Larry Brown taking a position as an outside consultant, but Director or Basketball Operations? No way.

Sam Constance 6 years ago

Just a few items of note:

I never said that Director of Basketball Operations isn't a full-time job, or that it wouldn't require effort. I said that it is less stressful and demanding position than being an assistant coach.

I'm fully aware that Hinson took the job to stay in the business while he awaited a head coaching opportunity and wasn't intended as a long-term solution. Having Larry Brown in that role would also not be a long-term situation, but for different reasons, as I seriously doubt that he's looking to find another coaching position at his age.

Even though the role is not a "coach" position, I think it's naive to think that the coaching staff wasn't utilizing Barry Hinson's wealth of basketball knowledge, and the same would be true for Brown.

Maybe Brown does stay involved as an outside consultant--I'm not saying he won't--I still don't think it's absurd to suggest that either Brown or KU might want something a little more concrete in place and that the Director position is the most logical, since Self/KU probably don't want to use up one of their limited official coaching positions on someone who is Brown's age.

It's not like Hinson was appropriately qualified for the position either. I know he's not a HOF coach, but given what Brown has accomplished in life, it would seem to me that he's above getting an ego about his title--he just wants to be involved in coaching.

But again, maybe he'll just stay on as an outside consultant. It's just speculation anyway.

JayHawkFanToo 6 years ago

"Even though the role is not a "coach" position, I think it's naive to think that the coaching staff wasn't utilizing Barry Hinson's wealth of basketball knowledge, and the same would be true for Brown."

And if KU does that , it would be an NCAA violation. Do you honestly think that KU, or more specifically HC Self would do that?

Can you imagine Larry Brown making arrangement to have the bus on time. the meals ready and the laundry done? This is what the DOBO does.

By the way, Larry Brown has expressed his desire to be a head coach again and indicated he would be interested in the SMU job.

Sam Constance 6 years ago

Calm down. Nothing I'm suggesting is an NCAA violation. I've not said that Hinson was working directly with players or running practice (or drills within practice) or performing any coaching duties.

But he's still someone with a wealth of basketball knowledge who is in close contact with and sees the ongoings of the team and watches every game from the bench. He can share his perspective with the coaching staff in a consultative manner and not break any NCAA rules.

And yes, I agree that Larry Brown performing the Director of Basketball Operations is a long shot. With all the reasons it doesn't make sense for him to take that position, the only really good reason for him to do it would be a love for or desire to be around the KU program, and as neat as that idea is, it's admittedly not practical. I should note that, even though the DBO is essentially an administrative position, it is also a management position. It's not like Hinson has been performing all those roles himself. He makes the calls and talks to the people that will get the work done. The way you talk about the role makes it sound like a glorified team manager, and that's simply not the case.

It's all just speculation anyway. I thought it was a cool idea. Whatever.

Sam Finocchiaro 6 years ago

He is retired. Why are we talking about him? He's done enough for our program. He is in the Hall of Fame, he finds enough grace in sitting at half-court in the front row. It would be stupid, he's retired and has a family, so let him be.

Jonathan Allison 6 years ago

it makes too much sense to not happen.

Bill Self has been instrumental in molding Norm's career and getting him the HC position at St John's. Unfortunately St John's didn't work out for Norm. Self has a record of being loyal to his friends and former assistant coaches, etc. Plus the Stewart family clearly loves Bill Self and KU, with Niko here with 2 years of eligibility remaining.

Welcome back Norm.

Put your shoes on and get ready to hit the recruiting trail!

KCRvrRnnr 6 years ago

LOL! Don't you mean the Norm ROBERTS family?

Although he has since admitted much was for show, Norm STEWART doesn't clearly love HCBS and KU.

JayHawkFanToo 6 years ago

Wrong does not begin to describe it. LOL.

Jonathan Allison 6 years ago

I'll take the heat on this one, but I got his name right in my comment under the report posted this morning suggesting that TRob would announce for the NBA in his press conference this morning!

AsadZ 6 years ago

How about Simien coming in to replace Hinson. He would be a great role model and can also help Bigs.

KEITHMILES05 6 years ago

WS is very involved with his ministry work and that is his calling. He is the de factor team minister for mens BB and FB programs.

Dirk Medema 6 years ago

The coaching positions are filled, so there is no room for more people working with Bigs, Littles, or aywhere in between. That was the same when Danny was in Hinson's position before taking the coaching position. He could be around the program, but couldn't coach, work with the players.

april28 6 years ago

Don't mean to sound mean - I live Sim - but we've had a recent bad experience with a god-squadder and I don't think that we need another.

Priest Fontaine 6 years ago

he wouldn't be allowed to coach. But ya, he could be a good role model.

RockChalk26 6 years ago

So I didn't get the job? I guess its back to the drawing board.

jayhawkinATL 6 years ago

Let me be the first to cry "nepotism"!!!! First his kid comes as a player and now he comes as a coach??? Weird way to work a "package" deal. Gotta be a first. (OK, please don't take the above seriously...LOL)

Spencer Goff 6 years ago

Worked out pretty well with the Chalmers family. : )

Dean Huggins 6 years ago

It also worked out for the Mannings. I dig the satire, ATL.

Jason Brinker 6 years ago

What about Raef LaFrentz to replace Hinson? Two-time All-American. Had a great college career and decent pro career. Wasn't his dad a high school coach? He seemed to have a pretty good basketball IQ when he was here. Doesn't mean he'd make a good coach, but it would be an opportunity for recruits to learn from a great college BIG who made it to the NBA...similar to Manning.

Brian Skelly 6 years ago

If anyone remembers Steve Robinson sorta has/had the same route and report with Roy. If im correct coached for quite awhile and then went back with Roy at UNC. I think he's still there.

It's who you know. There are worse places to be an assistant coach than KU and UNC.

kugrad93 6 years ago

Robinson was an assistant to Roy at KU, then head coach at Tulsa and Florida State. He rejoined Roy at KU for a year before they left for UNC.

5to6 6 years ago

SAM: "What'll you have Normie?" NORM: "Well, I'm in a gambling mood Sammy. I'll take a glass of whatever comes out of that tap."

6 years ago

SAM: "Looks like beer, Norm." NORM: "Call me Mister Lucky."

REHawk 6 years ago

Sounds like a superb comfortzone fit for Bill Self and Co. As for Director of Operations, perhaps there is another Ronnie Chalmers or Ed Manning out there somewhere, with a son waiting in the wings for an opportunity to play near his parent and become our next championship gunner.

IgnorantYokel 6 years ago

This. Wonder if Chris Walker's or Julius Randle's old man is an aspiring coach?

Vernon Riggs 6 years ago

NCAA rules closed that loophole forf DOBO. You can hire a parent to be a Asst. Coach (Roberts, Manning) but cannot have a parent in the DOBO or other Athletic Department role. Hard to believe that I live in Waco and know NCAA rules.

wrwlumpy 6 years ago

Yeah, but we are finding our that Baylor doesn't play by the rules. Sampson lost his job at OU for the same infractions. What will they do to both men and women's team?

Vernon Riggs 6 years ago

My Baylor friends are sure that they have weathered the storm and no more punishment than what they have already given themselves. I think there will be more for the Men's Program. Some of this happened while they were on the 5-Year Probation from 2005-2010. The Baylor Compliance Director is no longer employed at the school. It might have taken some of the glow from Saint Scott's halo.

Tony Bandle 6 years ago

Things as shocking as Norm returning to Kansas is a great idea:

1] The sun rose this morning. 2] Pizza has the toppings on one side. 3] The Kardashians sisters did, are or will do something stupid. 4] Missouri sucks. 5] Beer and a hot dog taste good. 6] It isn't easy being the President. 7] Gravity. 8] Calipari cheated. 9] Jayhawk Nation bleeds Crimson and Blue.

Welcome back, Norm....... welcome home!!!

JayHawkFanToo 6 years ago

  1. The Kardashians sisters did, are or will do something stupid...and and they made or will make a ton of money in the process.

jaybate 6 years ago

"On Norm"

~Looks like no more party time for Niko. :-)

~Norm is a proven assistant coach, who can teach the game.

~Norm and Self are tight. With Hinson gone, Self needs that tightness.

~I do wonder how much he can add as a recruiter.

When Norm arrived at KU on Self's staff, he was portrayed as Self's top recruiter, so it never really occurred to me to wonder about his recruiting bonafides. Self and he had been successful at Tulsa and Illinois.

Recently, in a post, I mentioned some searching for possible candidates and came up one name that I cannot now recalll (and am too lazy to search for at this moment). He was a guy who specialized in recruiting Illinois, especially Chicago. He had been an Illinois high school coach. What I read suggested that that guy recruited Frank Williams, Brian Cook, and maybe Luther, Dee, etc. The guy was apparently on the staff with Kruger and carried over with Self, but did not come with Self to KU. Again, I forget his name now. Grrrrrr.

If that fellow recruited most of the talent to Illinois, then my question is what substantial players exactly has Norm been responsible for recruiting?

If you look back to the BRush class, Chalmers and his dad appeared to come as a package and go as package, so its not clear that Self, or Norm, were responsible for landing Chalmers in the conventional sense of recruiting. They were willing to hire poppa.

My guess is Roberts pulled Russell Robinson out of New York, since Roberts grew up and got his start in New York. But who else did Norm clearly bring to KU of a high ranking nature?

BRush was a complicated deal. Roy had recruited the older Rush brothers at times. BRush, if I recall was going elsewhere, maybe to the pros, then got caught up in the recent OAD changes, had some transcript complexities, and at the last minute, reversed field and switched to KU. do we assign Brandon to Norm, or Bill? If Norm pulled Brandon in, then that was decisive coup. But I've never been able to really understand who landed Brandon, except that he seemed to be one of the rabbits Self had pulled out of his hat from time to time.

Jack Rivers 6 years ago

Right, cuz it is only one guy on the staff who recruits each player. And either an assistant or the HC gets the credit for recruiting each player, but never both. Norm basically had a hand in recruiting the championship team. Russ Rob, Kaun, DJ. And correct me if I am wrong but Bill Self brought his entire staff with him to KU, down to, I believe, the video coordinator who was a recently graduated player at Illinois. But you're probably right, I bet Norm has never recruited anyone. Self probably hired him away from his high paying assistant job at Florida out of pity.

jaybate 6 years ago

I'm sorry.

Did you get a chunk of alum caught in your rectum while you were typing? :-)

Toto_the_great 6 years ago

Any word on whether Jerrence Howard joining the staff? Rumors circulating around Chicago that he is. He can recruit Chicago and "business" that is the public league.

jaybate 6 years ago

Part Two

Darnell Jackson? He was a long time Roy recruit closely tied to the KU alum that got him in trouble for giving him $5K.

Didn't Darrell Arthur sign after Norm left...because of a dream? :-)

I was always under the impression that Self largely landed Sasha and Sherron, but I could be wrong on that, too.

Add in Norm's reported black listing at St. Johns by certain AAU and juco coaches for not playing grease the wheels, and it gets hard to find much big time talent that Norm has landed.

Self has characterized his and Norm's recruits at Tulsa as being more like Braeden Anderson, Kevin Young, Merv, and Jamari, than 4 and 5 star recruits.

Norm has only been at Florida for a season and that's not a very long time to get to know kids in the southeast.

Here's to hoping board rats here can recall some big time talent beyond just Russell Robinson that Norm has landed, so we have reason to be excited about his return as a top flight recruiter that can lock up some 4-5 stars for us, while also coaching big men.

~Illini big men played very well during Self and Norm's years in Champaign-Urbana, so there's reason to think we can keep this big man think tank steaming forward.

~Donovan hired Norm, when Norm was radioactive. That hire turned the corner for me on Donovan, whom I had been suspicious of over the years because of his connections to Slick Rick. It took some real huevos to hire Norm, when Donovan hired him. Donovan no doubt felt he could benefit from Norm's recruiting contacts in New York, having been recruiting for a number of years in the Big Apple and east coast. Did Norm deliver any players to Florida in the brief time he was at Florida? Maybe someone here knows.

jaybate 6 years ago

Part Three

~Because Donovan seemed such a stand-up guy about Norm, it seems like Self and Norm owe it to Donovan not to strip Florida recruits from Donovan. Heck, because Donovan seems to have been part of the coaching group that has tried to stand up to the rogue elements in the talent conveyor belt, Self and Norm may be need to send one Billy's way sometime, the same way Self appeared to send Michael Snaer to Leonard and that big to Billy Gillispie at Kentucky.

~I read a Florida article on Norm's departure and Billy Donovan sounds very gracious and cool with Roberts coming to KU. Donovan seems more and more among the good guys. And dang he's got two rings!

~Here is hoping Norm Roberts can still coach and relate to the players as well as he has in the past, and that he can drag some hot prospects out of NYC and the boroughs there. Russell Robinson and Tyshawn Taylor have proven to me that there are not just talents in New York, but talents with great character that bring honor to The Legacy.

~Final note: as I re-read this post it sounds more critical and doubting than I mean it to sound. I think Norm Roberts is a good add. I just can't tell how much of a recruiter he is. I suspect others will be able to set me straight on all the exceptional talent he is responsible for bringing to Illinois, and KU, and players at St. Johns I do not know about.

John Boyle 6 years ago

We perceive him to be a great recruiter therefore he is. -Rene Descartes

6 years ago

JB ~ Norm was only at KU one year after following HCBS from Illinois to KU. He landed us RussRob, but had little time here to do much more than that. He recruited Charlie Villanueva to Illinois, though Charlie switched his commitment to UConn when we hired HCBS & company away.

John Boyle 6 years ago

Here is an official sounding description of the position of Director of Basketball Operations:

Job Description The director of basketball operations is responsible for the daily assistance of the program (basketball team) for which they work. The description is vague in nature because of the various responsibilities that can and do fall under the director of basketball operations authority. Most listings for the job will include assisting in scheduling, equipment ordering, camp planning and programing, marketing and sponsor finding and community service.

The job requires night, weekend and holiday work as well as travel. Ultimately the position also serves as a catch all for the coaching staff to have assistance in whatever area they may need it except on the court. On the college level, the NCAA strictly prohibits the director of basketball operations from coaching, assisting in coaching or recruiting.

jaybate 6 years ago

Thx for the Charlie V reminder. I had forgotten him.

jaybate 6 years ago

Thx for the Charlie V reminder. I had forgotten him.

baldwinjhawk 6 years ago

Damn Jay you are a downer today. Come on bro lighten up! WELCOME HOME NORM! rcjh

Sally Presson 6 years ago

Welcome back Norm, it's great you are coming back.

litlmikeyb 6 years ago

I think the key for Bill is getting someone who he is comfortable with and clearly there's a personal relationship there, but also Bill must treasure Norm as either a recruiter or a coach or both. Considering the other assistants that he's had over the years, I fully trust that there's significant value for the program overall in this hire and not just the personal one for Bill.

By the way, I'm going to the Bill Self Fantasy Camp this upcoming weekend! Beyond excited about this.

DCLawHawk 6 years ago

Several posters have mentioned the Self-Roberts rapport point, and it really can't be overstated. I hope you'll tell the rest of us about fantasy camp. Sounds like a total blast.

Kye Clark 6 years ago

To those throwing out names for Hinson's replacement, let me remind you that there are no more assistant coaching positions available. We will hire someone to take Hinson's place, but it's my understanding that the position is not allowed to coach or recruit. UK was slapped with a secondary violation or something a couple of years ago because their assistant director of basketball operations was simply rebounding for the guys taking shots in practice.

Only coaches can can instruct players and recruit. So any desire to replace Hinson with Raef, Pollard, Simien, etc. should know that person is not going to be helping with the bigs. If you want to hire someone like that and let them get comfortable in the program and possibly use that as a stepping stone to full-on assistant, as Danny did as director of player development I believe, then that's fine. But right now we're set on actual coaches.

John Boyle 6 years ago

Sorry, I posted this in the wrong place earlier. You are correct icthawkfan316.

Here is an official sounding description of the position of Director of Basketball Operations:

Job Description The director of basketball operations is responsible for the daily assistance of the program (basketball team) for which they work. The description is vague in nature because of the various responsibilities that can and do fall under the director of basketball operations authority. Most listings for the job will include assisting in scheduling, equipment ordering, camp planning and programing, marketing and sponsor finding and community service.

The job requires night, weekend and holiday work as well as travel. Ultimately the position also serves as a catch all for the coaching staff to have assistance in whatever area they may need it except on the court. On the college level, the NCAA strictly prohibits the director of basketball operations from coaching, assisting in coaching or recruiting.

JayHawkFanToo 6 years ago

You are right. Here is link to an article (in this site of all places) about the hiring of Hinson and how he is not allowed to coach.

ParisHawk 6 years ago

Danny did play on the scout team. Just being able to watch a guy with moves, or have a coach say "look what he's doing there" adds something within the rules.

jaybate 6 years ago

Yup, the bigs are going to be looking down at their coach next season, regardless of which staff member maybe coaching them.

jhox 6 years ago

I was hoping Self might bring in a young guy with a lot of stud players tied to him, kind of like K State did. Imagine the guys we could bring in with KU's reputation, especially when you consider what those guys did bringing in players to Manhattan freakin' Kansas. Dooley is pretty far removed from his days of having great contacts in the Northeast. Young blood can be a good thing when it comes to recruiting.

I'm sure Norm is a great coach and all, and a good fit, and perhaps having been the head coach at St. Johns will give him some added credibility recruiting NY, so by no means am I suggesting this is a bad hire or anything. I'm sure it's a very good re-hire. I was just personally hoping they'd bring in a young enthusiastic guy to replace Danny (or Larry Brown would have been awesome, even if not exactly fitting the young description.)

Vernon Riggs 6 years ago

Doc Sadler, Mike Davis or Matt Doherty for DOBO. All all over qualified but all are unemployed. They know basketball. They all want a second chance (or third, fourth, fifth).

april28 6 years ago

Sadler makes a lot of sense based on relationship with Bill. If you get fired from Nebraska, your options are suddenly pretty limited. This would be a good job for him.

fancy80 6 years ago

Norm Roberts is an excellent recruiter. I think this a great hire. can't say that I am surprised though. I too, like many of you like the idea of Jacque Vaughn. he is a basketball genius and probably has a ton of NBA contacts. he is one though that we don't see coming back to Lawrence very often. I also like the idea of Nick Collison someday, when he is ready to hang up the shoes, he would be an excellent big man coach. Future looks bright...but then again, it usually does. Its great being a Jayhawk!

6 years ago

Chris Walker was asking for questions on twitter yesterday, here is his reply to my question,

@cwalkertime23 Chris Walker Relationship with coach RT @AlantheHawk: @cwalkertime23 when choosing a school what's your #1 priority? Here's hoping - RCJH

6 years ago

Chris Walker was asking for questions on twitter yesterday, here is his reply to my question,

@cwalkertime23 Chris Walker Relationship with coach RT @AlantheHawk: @cwalkertime23 when choosing a school what's your #1 priority? Here's hoping - RCJH

6 years ago

Dang why does that happen!!!!!

Darin Bradley 6 years ago

Would love to see someone w/ proven history of developing bigs. With the style that Self plays we gotta have it. I believe Bill will find his guy but I'd rest easier knowing sooner rather than later.... of course HCBS is concerned w/ how well I'm sleeping ;)

monkeehawkSL8 6 years ago

Larry Brown, great coach,basketball legend. I love seeing him appear at games, being photographed in everything K.U. Stability and Larry don't often collide in the same sentence together. Does anyone REALY think he is going to have a positive influence as coach in any capacity that defers from any other one and done? If coach Brown made a statement tomorrow that he were going to join the staff at Kansas and remain until he retired you would believe it? Larry Brown is not going to join the mens b-ball staff. I have really enjoyed and been entertained by Scot Pollard both in college and the pro's, he would not make a good coach for developing players @ KU. Scot is a wing-nut. Believe me I know wing-nuts. Gee maybe Dennis Rodman is available.

Andy Hess 6 years ago

It sure isn't a bad deal that Norm Roberts was the head recruiter at Florida for one Chris Walker. That can't hurt.

Glenn Moore Jr 6 years ago

If i remember correctly wasnt it roberts who was given most of the credit for bring Rus robertson?

HAWKTOPIA 6 years ago

Bring back Scott Pollard, doesn't he live in Larryville?

John Boyle 6 years ago

Pollard is a fruitcake!! The guy is certifiably nuts!! I loved him as a player but I don't see him as coaching material.

Jeff Kilgore 6 years ago

Way too critical, JJ. Pollard is one of the most individualistic players who has attended KU, and he speaks his mind with a great sense of humor. I think he'd make a great coach.

John Boyle 6 years ago

I'm not being critical just my observation of the individual. I love his outspoken approach. I'm just not convinced it translates well into coaching. Maybe it wouldn't matter as a assistant coach because he could coach the bigs and not have a lot of other duties. I would love for him to prove me wrong. My son thinks he is great and would love to see him coach and he has attended camps that Pollard has worked.

april28 6 years ago

He does live in Lawrence. He said on a radio interview that he was going to speak with Self about whether coaching would be a good fit for him. I don't think the Basketball Operations would be the best fit for him, but I'm guessing that he can find a place at KU sometime in the future if he decides to commit to the profession.

baldwinjhawk 6 years ago

Matt Doherty would be a great DOBO. He has already run two or three D1 programs. Just don't let him near any coaching positions.. But I"m sure he is organized. He was an honors grad from UNC.

Catski1 6 years ago

Welcome Back Norm. We're happy to see you returning to the Jayhawk Family.

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