Originally published March 6, 2012 at 11:03a.m., updated March 7, 2012 at 12:00a.m.

Bill Self named Sporting News national coach of the year

Kansas forward Thomas Robinson is hugged by head coach Bill Self as he is recognized before the fieldhouse during the senior speeches.

Kansas forward Thomas Robinson is hugged by head coach Bill Self as he is recognized before the fieldhouse during the senior speeches.


For the second time in four seasons, Kansas University’s Bill Self has been named the Sporting News College Basketball Coach of the Year.

Self, who is in his ninth season at KU, also won the award in 2009, when the Jayhawks went 27-8, won the Big 12 and reached the NCAA Tourney Sweet 16, and in 2000, when he directed Tulsa to a 32-5 record and a spot in the Elite Eight.

“I think this team has been fun to coach. This team has been pretty easy to coach,” said Self. His 2011-12 Jayhawks finished the regular season 26-5 overall and 16-2 in the Big 12.

“We are not as deep as what we have been. Our bench got a little bit better through the course of the season. We’ve been consistent and lucky in — knock on wood — starting the same guys all season. I do believe this is a team operating as close to its ceiling consistently as just about any team we’ve had.”

Self likes the mental make-up of a KU team that opens Big 12 tournament play against either Oklahoma or Texas A&M; at 2 p.m., Thursday, in Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo.

“It’s a good thing when you believe that every time you step on the court you will find a way to figure it out,” Self said.

Senior guard Tyshawn Taylor said his coach was mighty deserving of the national honor.

“He didn’t give up on us. He was hard on us. He made us come to work every day,” Taylor told Sporting News. “Without saying, but in the back of our heads, we were unsure of what we could do,” he added.

Self and Iowa State’s Fred Hoiberg on Sunday were named co-Big 12 Coaches of the Year. On Monday, Missouri’s Frank Haith won the AP Coach of the Year award.

“I voted for Bill. To win the league by two games after all they lost (off last year’s Elite Eight team) .... hands down he’s coach of the year,” Kansas State’s Frank Martin said Monday on 610 radio.

Kentucky’s Anthony Davis was named Sporting News’ player of the year. KU junior forward Thomas Robinson was named first-team All-American by the outlet. Senior guard Tyshawn Taylor was third-team All-American.

Wooden list: KU’s Robinson is one of 15 finalists for the John R. Wooden Award, the Los Angeles Athletic Club announced Tuesday. Others: Isaiah Canaan, Murray State; Jae Crowder, Marquette; Anthony Davis, Kentucky; Marcus Denmon, Missouri; Draymond Green, Michigan State; Kevin Jones, West Virginia; Kris Joseph, Syracuse; Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Kentucky; Damian Lillard, Weber State; Scott Machado, Iona; Doug McDermott, Creighton; Austin Rivers, Duke; Jared Sullinger, Ohio State; Tyler Zeller, North Carolina.

District honors: KU’s Robinson on Tuesday was named District VI Player of the Year by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association. He joins teammate Taylor on the All-District Team. District VI consists of the states of Kansas, Iowa, Missouri, Oklahoma, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota.

CBE field: KU will be joined by Saint Louis, Texas A&M; and Washington State as participants in the 2012 CBE Classic, it was announced Tuesday. Pairings for the Nov. 19 semifinal match-ups in KC’s Sprint Center will be announced at a later date. The finals and consolation game will be Nov. 20. KU will also play two home games against small to mid-major type schools in the Classic.

In 2013-14, KU will compete in the Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament in the Bahamas. There’s talk that USC, Villanova, Maryland and Michigan also will be in the eight-team field. KU will have one home game in that tournament, then three in the Bahamas.

KU has not yet chosen a tourney for 2014-15. In 2015-16, KU will play in the Maui Invitational. KU also will play Michigan State next preseason in Atlanta as part of the Champions Classic. KU will play Duke in Chicago the following season, also in the Classic.

Lewis dies at age 68: Former KU player Delvy Lewis died on Monday after a nine-year battle with cancer. He was 68. Topeka native Lewis, who attended Washburn Rural High School, was a three-year starter at point guard at KU from 1964-66. During his senior season (1965-66) he directed KU to the Big Eight regular-season title. He was a starting guard on the team that lost to Texas Western in the 1966 NCAA Midwest Regional Final in Lubbock, Texas.

“Delvy was a great leader and a great competitor,” said former KU coach Ted Owens, “By sheer force of hard work he made himself an all-league player. His courage and his faith are what I’ll remember about him. I’m so glad he was able to come to our (1965-66 team) reunion at Allen Fieldhouse in December.”

Recruiting: Shabazz Muhammad, a 6-6 senior from Bishop Gorman High in Las Vegas, visited Duke last weekend.

“Coach K (Mike Krzyzewski) has invested three years recruiting me, and I feel extremely comfortable with him,” Muhammad told

Muhammad will visit UCLA then make his college choice. He’s also considering KU, Kentucky and UNLV.

“I have one more visit and after that my family and I can figure this out and come to a decision within the next month,” he told


ParisHawk 9 years, 10 months ago

Great respect for our amazing Head Coach, a cross between John Wooden and Will Rogers.

Alohahawk 9 years, 10 months ago

Congratulations, Coach Self. Your most difficult and appreciated season at KU, yet. May it be followed by many more successful years.

Will Rogers? Wasn't he from Oklahoma, too? I think all three of those men would consider it complimentary and an honor to be compared to the other two.

BTW: On the college BB page (under "Wooden Watch"), Jason King has written a very supportive article explaining his decision, as one of the official voters, to vote for TRob for National POY. Guess not everyone has been influenced by the talking heads on ESPN.

tis4tim 9 years, 10 months ago

King is a former KC Star writer, so he's got some homerism in him, but he's a pretty level-headed journalist. At least ESPN hasn't fully corrupted him quite yet.

Alohahawk 9 years, 10 months ago

Congratulations, Coach Self. Your most difficult and appreciated season at KU, yet. May it be followed by many more successful years.

Will Rogers? Wasn't he from Oklahoma, too? I think all three of those men would consider it complimentary and an honor to be compared to the other two.

BTW: On the college BB page (under "Wooden Watch"), Jason King has written a very supportive article explaining his decision, as one of the official voters, to vote for TRob for National POY. Guess not everyone has been influenced by the talking heads on ESPN.

BBallNut2012 9 years, 10 months ago

FYI - Jason King has ties to the KU program...He spent seven years covering the University of Kansas for the Kansas City Star and has written two books on the Jayhawks basketball program.

actorman 9 years, 10 months ago

My favorite Will Rogers line: "I don't belong to any organized party. I'm a Democrat."

I also like, "I never remember a name, but I always forget a face."

John Randall 9 years, 10 months ago

One that applies to sports fans as well as politicians:

"What you don't know can cause problems, but nothing like what you Do know that simply isn't So."

Pitthawk34 9 years, 10 months ago

Please leave democrats or Republicans out of a sports site. We need our space to relieve stress from the reality, Lets just play ball.

KU79 9 years, 10 months ago

Pitthawk...thank you. I come here to get away from that crap. I hate the "drive by" slams at whatever politician as if it's something everybody agrees. But to answer it, you just continue it, and then you're part of the problem. Play ball, and Rock Chalk!

gchawk 9 years, 10 months ago

Congratulations on a well deserved honor.

adamjhwkfan 9 years, 10 months ago

Congrats! Too bad they went w/ Davis for POY

bdb6188 9 years, 10 months ago

ESPN has a poll for POY

Help T-Rob beat out Davis. I have put in around 1000 votes (I was bored in class).

There is also one for best conference and somehow the Big 12 is in 4th. Help fix this wrong.

Ludwig Supraphonic 9 years, 10 months ago

Wow! I may restart a subscription. Dropped it due to recurrent political editorials. Perhaps this is evidence of a renewed investment in sports.

Brian Skelly 9 years, 10 months ago

Actually, it isnt. It was originally, but has been located in Charlotte NC for a good 10-15 years now.

Matthew Herbert 9 years, 10 months ago

Taylor's early season turnover struggles hurt him. Taylor has been easily 2nd team AA the last half of the season, but the first half of the season wouldn't have even qualified for 3rd team AA honors.

master16 9 years, 10 months ago

They have to stop doubting HCBS. After our National Championship in 2008 they said it would be a down year... Self wins AP Coach of the Year. After losing two Morris, two seniors, Selby, and 3 freshmen to ineligibility, they said it would be a down year again. Self goes 16-2, his best ever Big 12 mark in probably the most talented (from top to bottom) Big 12 conference in recent years, and is once again on the short list to win Coach of the Year.

No such thing as a down year with Bill Self as our leader.

Joe Joseph 9 years, 10 months ago

I wouldn't say best top-to-bottom. The league was definitely top heavy with a significant drop off after about #6. The Big 12 will get, what, 5 -- 6 at best in the field? Weren't there years when the Big 12 had 7 or 8?

Still, very impressive record.

Greg Woolen 9 years, 10 months ago

Can't remember if Big XII has had 8 teams before (kind of doubt that many), but if we have 6 this year with 10 teams in the league and 7 out of 12 got selected in a previous year, this year is statistically better with 60% vs 58%.

packywacky88 9 years, 10 months ago

And he did it without the 4 Ws from Colorado and Nebraska.

Displayhawk 9 years, 10 months ago

Congrats to Coach Self! Obviously well-deserved and well-earned, but it always seemed a bittersweet award to me because he wasn't the only one who earned it. The assistant coaches should also be recognized. Would Thomas Robinson be POY if he didn't have Danny Manning coaching him, or Andrea Hudy training him??? Would Tyshawn have improved from the start of the year without Coach Dooley's help??? I think someone as humble as Coach Self also realizes this, and would join me in thanking the other coaches and everyone else involved with the success of the basketball team this year!

actorman 9 years, 10 months ago

Good point, Display. I'm sure Self would say that this is a team award as much as (if not more than) an individual award.

It's a great tribute to the whole KU program.

bradh 9 years, 10 months ago

He has Actorman, he has. You are exactly right.

HawkKlaw 9 years, 10 months ago

Congrats Bill Self!

A lot of KU fans were calling for your head after the recruiting debacle this past off season, but some of us had your back all the way through (and will continue to do so). The reason why is because all you do is win. I don't think we can ask much more than that! There's no one else I'd rather have coaching at Kansas, no matter how many one-and-dones decide to go to Kentucky!

Kye Clark 9 years, 10 months ago

A lot of fans were calling for his head? I don't remember that, at least not on here or in any of the circles of fans I know personally. I know a lot of fans were critical of recent recruiting efforts (you yourself calling it a "debacle"), but I don't think it was anyone but the trolls pretending to be KU fans that were calling for his head.

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 10 months ago

Thanks for the more reasoned recollection of early season and preseason comments on recruiting. There was a drop-off. Some came down to NCAA decisions and some just decided to go elsewhere. Seems that Self has A game back as a top recruiter.

HawkKlaw 9 years, 10 months ago

No, there were certainly KU fans saying that they wish they'd have a better recruiter as the coach of KU, despite Bill Self's incredible success here. Especially after BMac and Traylor were ruled ineligible. It got ugly. Sure, some were trolls. But many of them were KU fans.

It was a recruiting debacle, in my opinion. Self didn't land a lot of the recruits that he wanted and then three of his recruits were ruled ineligible. I'm not sure how else to describe it. But many of us maintained that, despite things not going his way, there wasn't a better coach in the country and that we wouldn't want anyone else coaching at KU. We were called "homers" or a "Self-worshipers," but really we just refused (and still refuse) to accept the notion that there is a better coach in the NCAA. The proof isn't in my opinion, but in Bill Self's incredible winning percentage (no coach has won more games than Bill Self since he came to KU) and mind boggling run of 8 straight Big 12 titles (I belive the only person to win more straight conference titles was Wooden at UCLA with 13...and he's considered one of the best all-time.)

I just wanted to call attention to all of the doubters and naysayers the came out of the wood works during the off season. They've all but disappeared now!

selfishhawk 9 years, 10 months ago

I will admit that I thought this season might be a downward turning point for Coach Self. And I said it many times on this forum. Wrong again! My apologizes, Coach Self. Excellent job.

nwhawkfan 9 years, 10 months ago

Great to hear the news and congrats to Coach Self! To compete with coaches like Frank, The Mayor & Haith (not to mention the overhyped ESPN favorites like Coach K, Cal, Boeheim, etc.) and still get the top national honor just shows what kind of job he did.

Speaking of recruiting, KU-bound Anrio Adams just picked up a state championship title over the weekend with his Seattle Rainier Beach team. Admittedly he wasn't much of a factor in the title game due to foul trouble, but he was the main reason they got there in the first place. Love the photo of Adams after the win...

mumbojumbo 9 years, 10 months ago

Another great honor for a great coach. Very nice job this year Coach Self.

mumbojumbo 9 years, 10 months ago

Another great honor for a great coach. Very nice job this year Coach Self.

jhox 9 years, 10 months ago

They snubbed T Rob for player of the year, giving it instead to Davis. What a crock...

Brak 9 years, 10 months ago

Agreed, even if you take off your crimson and blue glasses it is clear to see Robinson dominated Unibrow in pretty much every category except blocks while constantly fighting double and triple teams. Defensive POY absolutely but NPOY, not even close.

Tony Bandle 9 years, 10 months ago

Incredible accomplishment considering the circumstances.

I continue to wonder just how scary good we would have been with BenMac and the Jammer available. I know it's damn difficult to improve on the third-seeded #1 but, wow....we may not have lost to anybody!!!

I am sure we would not have lost to Duke, Davidson or Mizzou the first time!!

Thank you, forever, Missouri for rejecting Bill and choosing 'Mr Connectivity"!!!

actorman 9 years, 10 months ago

Yeah, thank God they were too stupid to see what a gem Self is. It's hard to imagine where KU would have been over the last decade if the tiggers had hired Self instead.

Mike Kendall 9 years, 10 months ago

The awards keep coming in for HCBS. No surprise. Self really had to pull a rabbit out of a hat this year. However, he is still the same coach he always was. This year though, he earned every penny of his salary. Congrats, Coach Self. I know some of the credit goes to your staff. You got a hellava staff. Rock Chalk!

REHawk 9 years, 10 months ago

A fine honor for our coaching/training staff. Bill Self will be the first to include the solid support and efforts of everyone connected with his Jayhawk program. What a marvelous season! T-Rob and Ty Taylor, congratulations to you, also. You are going to be two very memorable position players in the statlines and annals of Kansas Basketball. You each have worked well with your coaches and teammates to lift this squad to almost unbelievable success. Best of luck finishing the season in style. Tyshawn, you are putting that Cousy selection committee to shame!

toots_mom 9 years, 10 months ago

Congratulations to Coach and his team of assistants and players.

JD Roth 9 years, 10 months ago

This team is poised for a Final Four run. Great job as usual Coach Self. I love these down years. Still work to be done with this team.

ParisHawk 9 years, 10 months ago

Humble request to the great LJW BBall beat writers: how about publishing a schedule of the various awards that Coach Self or players are up for? I would like a heads up so I can refresh pages at the appropriate moment. For example, when will the first National Player of the Year award be announced?

kraftcrew68 9 years, 10 months ago

Great job Coach Self. Now, let's put the icing on the cake. STOP LOSING TO MID MAJORS IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT PLEASE !!!!!!!!!! YOU KILLING ME !!!!

Dan Pawlowski 9 years, 10 months ago

I am a Cub fan and even I am not that negative. Stop it with the negative waves man.

e93bigd 9 years, 10 months ago

Always with the negative waves man.... Kelly's Heroes?

jackoman 9 years, 10 months ago

Out of the blue..............can anybody tell me what happened to the highly recruited NIno Jackson a guard out of Ardmore OK?

Jack Wilson 9 years, 10 months ago

School happened to Nino .. in early February, I don't think he had been eligible to play a game. In theory, nice fit. But he's out of the picture right now.

Cole Hogan 9 years, 10 months ago

20 years from now, i think we will look back at the Bill Self era and consider it to be the Golden Age of Kansas basketball. no offense to any of our past or future coaches, but this man, and what he does year after year, is just absolutely astonishing. My thanks go out to you HCBS for being such a great coach and stickin with us through the years! Rock Chalk Jayhawk!

Alohahawk 9 years, 10 months ago

Twenty years from now. To quote Gomer Pyle: "Gooolllyy!" Or, "Sha Zam!"

All the NCAA basketball history books will have to be rewritten. Just imagine the possibilities - HCBS collects his 10th NCOY Award. (The awards people will get tired of Self winning it every year. So they'll award him every other year.) His 28th straight conference championship. The Jayhawks lead Kenstinky and N. Carolina with 50 more all time wins.

And most impressive: Self wins his 11th NCAA Championship as KU's headcoach. (Giving KU more 'official' championships than any other team in NCAA history.)

Well, after all. You can't win 'em all.

Jim Johnson 9 years, 10 months ago

Once again we thank Roy W. for leaving. Rock Chalk

Lash 9 years, 10 months ago

Definitely agree jjinks. There was talk about concerns with not getting top recruits in the preseason. Coach can coach. If you don't want to play defense go to UK or UNC!

Jim Johnson 9 years, 10 months ago

Yeah it's funny that ol' Roy couldn't recruit against Dean when he was here but it doesn't bother him to come back here and do it now. Cry Roy Cry

Vittorio1224 9 years, 10 months ago

Congrats Coach Self! Your congratulatory Robert Talbott crimson & blue seven-fold tie is in the mail!! ;)

Alohahawk 9 years, 10 months ago

<p> on their college BB page, under the POY blog - It has a "Rank em" public poll for POY. TRob is behind Davis by a significant amount. This could prove to be an important public poll since the regular season is over and the writers are making their final decision. Any little bit could influence them one way or another.

TRob needs you to vote - Now!!!

kellerman411 9 years, 10 months ago

We already have 4 really good guards for next year in Ellis, Mclemore, Releford and Johnson. I mean how many guards capable of starting can you really have on a team.? If I was Shabazz I wouldn't come to Kansas, we're too strong and experienced at guard right now. Not that he wouldn't see plenty of playing time here but he will definitely see more somewhere else.

No surprises with Bill winning this award, congratulations to him.

Janet Olin 9 years, 10 months ago

Congratulations to Coach Self from a grateful Jayhawk Nation.

Billy Derringer 9 years, 10 months ago

pretty sure that Ellis is a 4-come or go we will be younger an deeper next year with 3 returning starters.....bring on title no. 9 .....but for now id take winning 9 in a row to close out this season. which looking at our schedule that would mean if we want to win the whole thing we would have to win our last 17 games now that would be a hellav run

1865Hawk 9 years, 10 months ago

People don't respect Calipari because he has an * next to everything he has ever accomplished. The guy is a slime ball.

bbeckum 9 years, 10 months ago

Can anyone name any coach you'd rather have at KU than BS? I can't. Also, didn't Lew hire HCBS? If so, that single act makes up for a lot of transgressions in my book.

LSHawk 9 years, 10 months ago

Lew didnt hire HCBS, the AD before him did. cant remember his name off hand.

Billy Derringer 9 years, 10 months ago

drew jennings went an hired hcbs thank you. lews why we got stuck with gill an not harburgh.

Sally Presson 9 years, 10 months ago

HCBS--You and your staff are the best in the nation!!! We are successful because of the entire staff. and we have to give credit to the coaching staff to get these guys to believe in themselves and have they ever met all their goals. What a fantastic year for the Jayhawks!!! Keep up the great job everyone and we'll see you at the final four!!!

WilburNether 9 years, 10 months ago

"On Monday, Missouri’s Frank Haith won the AP Coach of the Year award."

Does anyone need any more proof of the stupidity of the media people who vote on these things? Even a tree stump should have enough intelligence to compare what Self lost, and what he had returning, with what Haith lost, and what he had returning, and then look at how the Big 12 regular season turned out.

This is a no-brainer, so the news media vote speaks volumes about the idiocy and ignorance of those people.

Alohahawk 9 years, 10 months ago

That brings up a good question: How do the players end up with their "nom de plumes" while at KU. Does HCBS give new recruits the nicknames by which they are usually called?

And has anyone heard what nicknames, if any, Traylor and McLemore are called during practice sessions?

ralster. Heard most of the above nicknames before. Imagine McLemore driving down the lane for a thunder dunk and the defender thinking, "Oh, God. I'm about to receive another BM Attack." :-?

wrwlumpy 9 years, 10 months ago

Andrew will play a LOT of minutes!!!!111

FoCoCoHawk 9 years, 10 months ago

For the record, we also have the Angel of the Year winner too.

Thank you Mrs. Morris for all you've done for Jayhawk Basketball! You've earned a special place in KU lore.

Tim Orel 9 years, 10 months ago

+3 (and probably more). Wonderful lady to help with FOE!

Steve Brown 9 years, 10 months ago

Since MU is not yet in SEC they could become #2 to Kentucky in a region. oh sweet dreams are made of this. I would then have to root for Ky Wildcats to make the F Four.

The faster he gets his banner the quicker NCAA can take it down.

On a related note, feel as if Sbazz is a mole, dad whispering for a job in town, stay away from any non approved behaviour, you may mean well but we all know to never cross the lines with any recruits or families recruits, don't be stupid. Keep the program clean by all means.

UmbertoConforti 9 years, 10 months ago

I don't like Mizzoo, but I'd cheer for them over Kentucky, and I like Calipari despite his alleged and real problems.

I would like to see Frank Martin win coach of the year, but not at KU's and Self's expense.

Self ought to be voted into the Naismith Hall of Fame along with Roy and other active coaches.

Alohahawk 9 years, 10 months ago

HCBS is all but assured a place in the Naismith Hall of Fame. I've heard it mentioned too many times by all the talking heads at ESPN for it not to happen. It's only a matter of time.

I'd guess he'll be nominated when he earns his 700th career win, or perhaps earlier if he gets 10 straight Big 12 Conference championships. A 2nd NCAA Championship would also compel a number of the voters to submit his name for membership.

Not sure what limitations there are before a coach is nominated, but active coaches are eligible. After all, Roy Williams and Coach K are both in, aren't they?

Mizzery over UK? I agree, because it makes the Big 12 look stronger, and I hate UK even worse than I hate MU. However, I would prefer both were upset before the Final Four.

Jack Wilson 9 years, 10 months ago

Umberto: You, my friend, have been smoking crack cocaine. Rooting for MU? Yea, I root for the devil now and then. Satan has some redeeming qualities. See, you cannot root for MU unless their ultimate failure is your plan. Like this season .. I can root for them to win, win, win .. to build it up. To create anticipation. For the ultimate failure.

That horrific second round loss to Long Beach St. The season crashing down. The shock and amazement. The stench of death.

But without that ultimate let-down after the best season ever, you cannot root for Satan.

The Gods have cursed MU. The ultimate misery is upon us.

nighthawking 9 years, 10 months ago

Congrats to HCBS once again. Doing what I did not think was possible. I am so ready for March Madness. Ready for a couple of rematchs.

danmoore 9 years, 10 months ago

So we stop playing mizwho but we still play A&M?

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