Kansas University men’s basketball coach Bill Self was one of seven individuals inducted into the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame on Monday at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City.
“Bill has won a lot of games, but he’s a great ambassador for KU and for Kansas Athletics,” said Bill Self Sr., who introduced his son at the ceremony. “He doesn’t think he’s better than anyone, he supports great causes, and it’s a great honor for me to present my son for this award.”
The other inductees in the 2013 class were Wayne Baughman (University of Oklahoma wrestling), Clay Bennett (owner of the Oklahoma City Thunder), Nadia Comaneci (Olympic gold medal gymnast), LeRoy Gutowski (Oklahoma City University and NFL standout), Jimmy Harris (Oklahoma football) and John Henry Ward (Oklahoma State University two-sport All-American).
“I am proud to be here tonight, but I didn’t get here by myself,” Self said. “My parents were the best role models anyone could have, and I owe so much to my wife and kids. I’ve been blessed to coach great players, who have sacrificed personal goals for the good of the team, and have been fortunate to work with the best assistant coaches anywhere.”
Self’s wife, Cindy, and their children — Lauren and Tyler — as well as other family members and friends attended the ceremony. Lauren graduated from KU in May, and Tyler will be a sophomore guard on the KU basketball team this upcoming season. Also in attendance was former KU head coach Ted Owens, who is also a member of the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame, and Jayhawk legend and current Tulsa men’s basketball coach Danny Manning.
A native of Edmond, Okla., Self was named the Oklahoma High School Basketball Player of the Year in 1981 while at Edmond Memorial High. Born in Okmulgee, Okla., Self went on to play at Oklahoma State University under coach Paul Hansen from 1982-85. While at OSU, he was a four-year letterwinner and was an All-Big Eight freshman selection.
Self began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Kansas for the 1985-86 season under head coach Larry Brown. He then returned to his alma mater and served as an assistant coach at OSU under Leonard Hamilton and Eddie Sutton from 1986-93. Self’s first head coaching job was at Oral Roberts in 1993-94. His second head coaching stint came four seasons after ORU as he moved across town to Tulsa in 1997-98, guiding the Golden Hurricane to an NCAA Tournament Elite Eight appearance in 2000.
In 2000-01 Self left his home state and took over the head coaching job at Illinois, directing the Illini to two conference titles and an NCAA Tournament Elite Eight appearance in 2001.
Self came to Kansas in 2003-04, and in his 10 seasons KU has won more games, 300, than any other school in the last decade. Self has steered the Jayhawks to the last nine Big 12 regular-season titles, six Big 12 postseason championships, two Final Fours, one NCAA National Championship and one NCAA runner-up finish.
The four-time Big 12 Coach of the Year (2006, 2009, 2011 and 2012) has twice been named the national coach of the year (2009 and 2012) while at KU. Self is 300-59 (83.6 percent) in his 10 seasons at Kansas and 507-164 (75.6 percent) in his 20 seasons overall.