Originally published May 31, 2013 at 10:13a.m., updated June 1, 2013 at 12:13a.m.

KU’s Doc Sadler accepts assistant coaching position at Iowa State

Self in market for new director of basketball operations

Kansas coach Bill Self, right, peeks around assistant coach Doc Sadler during practice for a second-round game in the NCAA basketball tournament at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo., Thursday, March 21, 2013. Kansas is scheduled to play Western Kentucky on Friday.

Kansas coach Bill Self, right, peeks around assistant coach Doc Sadler during practice for a second-round game in the NCAA basketball tournament at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo., Thursday, March 21, 2013. Kansas is scheduled to play Western Kentucky on Friday.


Doc Sadler, Kansas University’s first-year director of basketball operations, is headed back to full-time coaching — at Iowa State.

“I’m excited for Doc. He did a great job here. Doc is a terrific coach and wants to be on the floor,” KU coach Bill Self said of former Nebraska head coach Sadler, who on Friday was named T.J. Otzelberger’s replacement as full-time assistant coach for the Cyclones. At KU, Sadler was involved on the administrative end, not hands-on coaching. At Iowa State, he’ll be allowed to coach and recruit.

“Fred’s (Hoiberg) position at Iowa State opened up, and he wasted no time in coming after Doc. Doc will be a huge asset for their team not only from a recruiting standpoint, but also as an on-the-floor coach. He’s a terrific coach that loved what he did last year but missed getting a chance to work with the guys in practice. I think this is a win-win for everybody,” Self added.

Self said he hoped to hire a director of basketball operations in a week or two. He has been well aware of Sadler’s interest in the ISU job for at least a couple of weeks now.

“I have several scenarios (about a replacement) playing out. In a perfect world, I would like to have it done next week, but I’m not sure that is possible. I do anticipate announcing what we will do with that position in the next week or two,” Self said.

Greenwood, Ark., native Sadler has a career head-coaching record of 269-146, with stops at Arkansas-Fort Smith Junior College, UTEP and Nebraska, where he was 101-98.

“I am thrilled that coach Sadler will be joining the Iowa State family,” Hoiberg said. “Doc brings a wealth of experience to our staff and is respected in the profession. His Big 12 coaching experience and extensive recruiting background will help on the road and make him a very valuable member of our staff.”

Sadler spent six seasons as head coach at Nebraska (2006-12) and three seasons as an assistant at Texas Tech (1991-94).

“I am excited to work at a program like Iowa State and for a coach like Fred Hoiberg, who has quickly become recognized as one of the best coaches in the nation” Sadler said Friday. “Having coached in the Big 12, I know how important home-court advantage is, and Hilton Coliseum is one of the best.”

Sadler said he loved his season at KU and working with Self and his assistants.

“Great people,” Sadler told the Lincoln (Neb.) Journal-Star. “You knew that competing against them, but you had no idea of how good of friends they would become.”

“Probably about as fun a year of basketball as I had in a long time,” Sadler told the Omaha World-Herald. Yet ... “I spent a year where I couldn’t recruit and wasn’t able to get on the floor and coach — and I realized how much I missed it. There’s nothing like coaching players. Don’t get me wrong: I realized how fortunate and lucky I was, but at the same time, I’m a coach. I want to coach,” Sadler, 52, added. “Maybe if I was younger and I had a lot of years left, I’d look at it a little bit different.”

Cyclones land Kane: Iowa State on Thursday landed former Marshall point guard DeAndre Kane, who will be immediately eligible next season. Kane, 6-4, averaged 15.1 points and seven assists for Marshall last season. Kane can play next season because he graduated from Marshall. He has one season of eligibility remaining.

“The coaches … who wouldn’t want to play for coach Fred?” Kane told the Des Moines Register. “Coach Fred’s been in the pros. His team plays that up-tempo offense that everybody wants to play. That style fits my game perfectly.”

Kane chose ISU over Pitt and USC.


gchawk 6 years, 5 months ago

Best of luck, Doc, and please don't give away any of our "secrets"!

Vernon Riggs 6 years, 5 months ago

The great thing about Kansas basketball is there are no 'secrets'. Big12 teams can chart the Kansas offense. Iowa State players could describe the Weave play that Ben hit the 3pt shot to force overtime in AFH before the game was played. We ran the same play in Hilton. You know it is coming and you still can't stop it.

gchawk 6 years, 5 months ago

I know, my comment about the "secrets" was all in jest, but you make some very good points.

Jeff Coffman 6 years, 5 months ago

I still wish we could have received video of his dunk...the half court shot was a good shot though.

Good Luck...remember the Phog is always greater than the Hilton Magic.

Katie Bieber 6 years, 5 months ago

Magic doesn't exist! Phog and mirrors is how it's done!

stinkybulldog 6 years, 5 months ago

“Having coached in the Big 12, I know how important home-court advantage is, and Hilton Coliseum is one of the best.”

Ya, but AFH is THE BEST.

REHawk 6 years, 5 months ago

Best of luck, Doc. Even when you were smothered by that pigskin machine at Lincoln, I saw you as one of the good guys of Div. 1 Hoops. You are joining a feller who has come on quickly as a respected Big 12 head coach. Now you can help him stomp the stuffings out of Baylor or any other league team which pretends to threaten Jayhawk dominance. We can expect some more down-to-the-buzzer action with you Cyclones this season. Gotta trust that no KU point guards again find it necessary to show their butts and embarrass the Jayhawk Nation as we roll out of Ames.

AsadZ 6 years, 5 months ago

Your indirect attack on EJ is not justified and crued IMO. I am assuming you are referring to his dunk at the end of regulation. I had no problem with his dunk.

That was a very emotional and crucial game for KU. If we had not won our streak of Big 12 championships would have been over.

It was EJs final game at Hilton and he had a very emotional 2nd half and OT performance. So what if he showed some emotion and dunked the ball to seal the deal.

Sam Constance 6 years, 5 months ago

Comments like yours piss me off to no end.

Without EJ, we are looking at an END to the conference title streak, with Bruce Weber and the obnoxious fans of the Wildcats getting to enjoy an outright title.

Without EJ, we don't make it to the 2012 NCAA title game.

Yes, he had some embarrassing moments in his final year, but dunking the ball at the end of regulation in a hard-fought game is hardly one of them. Grow the [expletive] up.

REHawk 6 years, 5 months ago

ralster, you and I do not always see eye to eye, but I respect your point of view. That said, I view EJ's Iowa State dunk as a precursor to his disturbing performance vs. Michigan in the Tournament. Yeah, yeah, he was a four year Jayhawk, true crimson, true blue. But I found those two games to be sad punctuation to an otherwise sound season for KU basketball. As for the expletive of marchphog 88, I am probably dumb for even responding. Very typical of his usual ignorant or bizarre posts.

REHawk 6 years, 5 months ago

Quite probably if I had been in attendance I would have jumped and cheered for Elijah's dunk, just as it has been reported that Hudy and the bench did. I'm ready to move on from this issue. Please note, I most often enjoy your posts, and never skip over them. If I were to list the five most reasonably informed posters on this site, you would be among them. I spent 3 decades in high school gyms, and for the past 2 decades have preferred viewing basketball via TV, so I am far removed from much of the din and clamor which occurs in places like Ames. And I am an old guy who clings to the fading memories of sportsmanlike traditions. Also, my personal bent falls within the parameters of rattling cages. No offense intended to you in particular. The character whom I really "pissed off" provided some lingering grins.

Micky Baker 6 years, 5 months ago

Fine, but it wasn't unsportsmanlike to dunk the ball. It wasn't like Kansas was up 25 or something.

Micky Baker 6 years, 5 months ago

Actually, it didn't embarrass the Jayhawks, it embarrassed the Iowa State players who were getting cocky, thought they had it won, and had personal agendas while on the court instead of playing team ball at times. It was their coach that said it, not me. They were embarrassed and should have been because they didn't have the right mentality to win big games like that.

Andy Godwin 6 years, 5 months ago

Earlier stories and quotes from Self made it clear that Sadler was not a great fit at KU and did not do enough to warrant being promoted to a full time assistant coach, i.e., replace Dooley. Hopefully Self can restructure his support group to be effective and collegial.

Katie Bieber 6 years, 5 months ago

Also, I think we have Sadler's preferred recruiting area well covered. Howard gives us the best chance to land Okafor and Jones.

Jack Wilson 6 years, 5 months ago

I think it is as easy as Self wanting a high-powered recruiter. A guy that can have impact with top guys. Howard appears to be that .. Sadler, not so much. Really seems pretty simple.

741hawk 6 years, 5 months ago

Yep. Doc's history is that he is a fine coach; but he's had poor recruiting results.

REHawk 6 years, 5 months ago

Howard probably gives us a steady toehold into Chicago where Bill Self has reaped huge recruiting success. Gotta keep Roy and Crean and Cal and K away from that sacred recruiting ground.

Matt Kenton 6 years, 5 months ago

I agree that this is somewhat unique in that someone of Doc's caliber and experience was allowed to leave and go to a direct competitor when we had an opening he was very qualified for. Was it a case of Doc seeing a better opportunity in Hilton or Self not wanting him as bad as Hoiberg? Possible that a stint under Hoiberg would improve the resume and springboard Doc to a better head coaching gig?

Joe Ross 6 years, 5 months ago

I knew Doc would not be out of coaching long. He has it in his blood. Doc is a great guy...I lived near Lincoln for a while when he was head coach at UNL and I can tell you that his reputation is well-earned and he runs a clean program. He will probably always be a better assistant than head coach, though, in my opinion. Still, he's a motivator and a great X's and O's guy who knows the in's and out's of the game. As are others, I'm also curious why Coach didn't slide him into the asst. coaching vacancy here. I mean it's not like having "Kansas" on your resume closes many doors.

Kip_McSmithers 6 years, 5 months ago

My guess, like several others have said, is that Self was looking for youth.

BHawk12 6 years, 5 months ago

What about Bechard stepping up from his Assistant Director of Ops position? That's similar to what Brett Ballard did back when he took over as the Ops guy. Possibility.

Steve Brown 6 years, 5 months ago

Was he the guy that refereed the Tyshawn fist fight witht the football team?

Jesting a bit, yet one of our mentors didn't keep the boys inside the lines of conduct. Actually not sure who it was, no bad vibes here.

texashawk10 6 years, 5 months ago

I think Doc would be a good fit as a head coach at a low or mid-major program because X's and O's tend to be more important at that level than at the high-major level. Assistant at a non blue blood high-major school also seem to be a good fit for his skill set even before the rumors of him to ISU started surfacing.

thmdmph 6 years, 5 months ago

This was like the NBA draft. Howard has a much higher ceiling and upside. He's a potential franchise coach. Sadler has had plenty of chance to demonstrate his potential and his ceiling has long been reached. Self is great in that he won't compromise and accepts nothing but the best. Works out best for both KU and Doc (and ISU).

Tony Bandle 6 years, 5 months ago

Iowa State just got a little if we needed that, but it will be good for the Big 12 to maintain as many quality programs as possible.

I see Misery-Ex Dixon will transfer to Baylor and be eligible this season....luckily, as long as Scottie is the head man, they will always under perform below their talent level.

As long as Andrew performs anywhere near his potential and, although Doc and The Mayor will be a handful, if Scottie, Brucey, Huggy Bear and Lil' Travis remain coaches of their respective schools, NUMBER TEN is in the bag!!!!!

Joe Ross 6 years, 5 months ago

Here's the truth. Im happy about the basketball progress at Iowa State under Hoiberg. Only by being battle tested in a tough conference can a team mature into a program ready to face the gauntlet of the NCAA tournament. Playing in a tough conference also helps the seeding (by virtue of Kansas' RPI and other factors). I like a mauling easy opponents here and there...let's face it: watching domination is fun too. But you can get fat eating cupcakes all the time.

This is good for everyone involved, and certainly my good wishes follow Doc to Iowa State.

David Brown 6 years, 5 months ago

Thanks Doc. Hey, when you get to Ames, say "Hello" to Melvin Weatherwax, would ya?

Bryce Landon 6 years, 5 months ago

As someone who despises everything about Iowa State, I am outraged that Sadler would turn his back on the Big 12's perfect basketball program in favor of the Big 12's dirtiest program. I already savor Kansas victories over Iowa State, and this only makes me want to see KU beat them even more.

Rock Chalk Jayhawk! To hell with the Cy-Clowns!

JayHawkFanToo 6 years, 5 months ago

The Assistant Coach position at ISU likely pays 3-4 times that of Director of BBall Operations at KU. It really is a no brainer.

Gary Wirsig 6 years, 5 months ago

Outraged...perfect...dirtiest...exaggerate much?

JD Roth 6 years, 5 months ago

That's right. Doc was ready to go after he wasn't promoted. Doc will do well at Iowa State.

DDDHawk 6 years, 5 months ago

Congratulations, Coach! We will miss you!

Jesse Johnson 6 years, 5 months ago

Alright. No one else is saying it so I will:

Paul Pierce for Director of Basketball Operations!!!!!!!!!

He's reportedly going to be let go from the Celtics. Imagine what that would do for future recruiting! I know there is zero chance this will happen, but a guy can dream right?

JayHawkFanToo 6 years, 5 months ago

There is a reason why no one else said it:
First, if the Celtics let Pierce go, there will be lots of teams lined up for his services.
Second, the director of Basketball Operations is not allowed to recruit or coach; he is basically in charge of logistics.
Even Danny Manning, who always had an interest in coaching, joined the programs as Director of Student-Athlete Development and team manager and not as Director of BBall Operations. Pierce has never indicated a desire to coach so I seriously doubt he would be even remotely interested.

FearlessJayhawk 6 years, 5 months ago

I wish him all the best, except when they play KU

dylans 6 years, 5 months ago

I don't get the ISU fans are classy sentiment. The only time I've been around a group of ISU fans was at the big12 tournament. Classy - no; whinny - yes. Every call went against ISU and every call was pro-KU, if you believed the ISU fans. One ISU fan to my left (with his overly perfumed wife) came back for the championship game and cried the whole game about the refs. He should've went home with his team. When the game was finally out of hand he offered, "KSU should have ten more points if the refs had called the game right." Sore loosers leave the worst taste in my mouth of any fans.

Micky Baker 6 years, 5 months ago

Sadler won't be assistant for long at Iowa State. He'll be a head coach somewhere else in about 3 or 4 years, and I hate to say it, but if Calipari gets caught it again, it might just be Kentucky.

JayHawkFanToo 6 years, 5 months ago

You must be smoking away the evidence in the Chris Martin case.
Coach Self, Coach K, Coach Pitino and Coach Roy Williams (maybe Donovan) are the only coaches I can think that would pass on a chance to coach at Kentucky; every other coach would jump to the opportunity.
Doc Saddler is a good coach but by no means an elite coach; his most likely destination is not a major but a mid-major school.

Micky Baker 6 years, 5 months ago

Next time, could you actually post something coherent?

Bryce Landon 6 years, 5 months ago

No way UK hires Sadler after his failure at Nebraska

Bob Forer 6 years, 5 months ago

I am in favor of everyone having the ability to change positions as they see fit. But I can't help but notice the hypocrisy the NCAA displays in its stringent rules which limit the options of the athletes but let the coaches move from job to job at will.

Docs a good guy, and deserves to be back to hands-on coaching, Its a better fit for him. But when athletes find that another school may be a better fit, they have to sit out a year.

Danny Hernandez 6 years, 5 months ago

Why can't we just leave it as Doc wants to coach and Self wants someone else without all the psychoanalysis? I love gossip as much as the next person but sometimes it borders on stupidity. Doc, thanks for the time and effort you spent with Kansas.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.