Looking back: 10 years ago this week, Bill Self was hired at KU
Sunday was the 10-year anniversary of Kansas coach Bill Self's introductory press conference to become the men's basketball coach at Kansas University: April 21, 2003.
Let's take a look back at the archives from that day.
• Gary Bedore's main story from the press conference reads like you might expect ... with plenty of talk about how Self was committed to KU and believed it was a "career-ending job."
Here's Self's quote from that day (remember, concern was that Self might want to coach at his alma mater, Oklahoma State, when Eddie Sutton retired):
"My future is not in Stillwater. It is in Lawrence. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I think contractually there'll probably be a couple of things in there to make sure that couldn't happen. But I can tell you right now that (job talk) is over."
Also interesting: Self's first contract was $1.1 million a year for five years, which is a far cry from the 10-year, $53-million extension he signed with KU last September (the $53 million figure is based on the assumption he fulfills the contract to the end).
• Here's the transcript of Self's introductory press conference.
This was an interesting comment from Chancellor Robert Hemenway in the introduction while presenting Self with the head coach's chair:
"We'd be pretty glad if you'd just keep it for the next 25 years or so."
Self is 40 percent of the way to that lofty goal.
• Lawrence attorney Wint Winter Jr. seemed to sum up the fan reaction pretty well with this quote:
"It's like we fell out of a 10th-story window and we just landed in a vat of tapioca."
• Then-Kansas State coach Jim Woolridge had some nice things to say about Self immediately after the hire.
Both are Oklahoma natives.
"People really take to him," Woolridge said. "He's an outstanding coach, an outstanding recruiter. People really will be pleased with Bill Self. He obviously will be different than coach Williams, but I know Bill's teams will play hard and be fundamentally sound and play great defense. He didn't get where he is today because he's not a great coach."
• The KU players at the time seemed happy with the selection of Self as the new head coach.
Then-KU center Jeff Graves, though, might have underestimated Self's tough style a little bit with this funny quote:
"With Coach Williams, I thought I was in trouble every time I looked at him. Coach Self is a laid-back guy. I think we'll be a lot closer."
• It's interesting to read back to the recruits' reaction to Self's hiring in this story from Drew Hartsock:
At the time, David Padgett, Omar Wilkes, Jeremy Case and J.R. Giddens were the four KU signees.
None of them ended up having an extended impact in KU's rotation. Padgett, Wilkes and Giddens all transferred, while Case averaged just 4.9 minutes and 1.8 points per game over his five-year KU career.
At the time, KU also was in on unsigned recruit Charlie Villanueva, who later committed to UConn.
• And finally, it appears young Tyler already was photogenic from looking at these pictures (the second one almost could be considered a photobomb).
Just to compare, here's Tyler now: