Originally published April 1, 2012 at 02:04p.m., updated April 1, 2012 at 03:22p.m.

Bill Self named Naismith national coach of the year

Kansas head coach Bill Self raises up the fieldhouse following the Jayhawks' 87-86 overtime win over Missouri on Saturday, Feb. 25, 2012.

Kansas head coach Bill Self raises up the fieldhouse following the Jayhawks' 87-86 overtime win over Missouri on Saturday, Feb. 25, 2012.


Kansas coach Bill Self was named the 2012 Naismith men's basketball coach of the year, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced Sunday.

Self edged out finalists Jim Boeheim (Syracuse), John Calipari (Kentucky) and Frank Haith (Missouri).

“This is a terrific honor. When you think of postseason awards, anything that has (James) Nasmith’s name in front of it is a huge award and certainly I’m very proud of this,” Self said. “It is a reflection of how our team performed all year long. There are so many good coaches out there to choose from, but I am honored they picked me.”

KU is the only university to have three different Naismith coach of the year winners; Larry Brown won in 1988 and Roy Williams won in 1997.

Self was picked by the Atlanta Tipoff Club’s voting academy, comprised of leading basketball journalists, coaches and administrators from around the country. The academy based its criteria on coaching performances this season.

“Bill has done a remarkable coaching job this season and deserves all the accolades that come his way,” said Eric Oberman, executive director of the Atlanta Tipoff Club. “There’s always something special about adding another chapter of Kansas basketball to the Naismith Awards family.”

In his ninth season at Kansas, Self led the Jayhawks to a 32-6 record — including a perfect 16-0 mark at home — and helped them to a record eighth straight regular season Big 12 title.

Entering the 2012 NCAA Tournament as a No. 2 seed in the Midwest region, the Jayhawks defeated No. 1 seed North Carolina and No. 2 seed Ohio State to reach their second NCAA Championship game in four years.

Last year, San Diego State head coach Steve Fisher claimed the Naismith coach of the year award, the first ever for the Mountain West Conference.

• A previous version of this story has been updated.


Foster Coburn 10 years, 5 months ago

I would think the Journal World of all papers would print the correct record. It says 31-7 when the team is 32-6 entering the championship game.

irvan moore 10 years, 5 months ago

hey Jesse, how come i still don't have todays paper and nobody answered the phones this morning when i tried to call?

Yolanda Gay 10 years, 5 months ago

So deserving. Look what he had to work with this year and look where we are now. Playing for a national championship. He's the best!

SaltLakeHawk 10 years, 5 months ago


This award makes Anthony Davis sad.

Thad Daugherty 10 years, 5 months ago

Ha! that looks like that Muppet character. I think he was on Sesame Street.

jayhawker_97 10 years, 5 months ago

HA! i knew i saw him somewhere. wait, is it Oscar or Bert?

nuleafjhawk 10 years, 5 months ago

Bill Self was a great coach before he ever got to Kansas.

Now he has Hall of Fame, nay, "Legend" coaching status.

With the talent that he's had and the insane (almost obscene) statistics and records that he's put together, very soon he will be universally recognized as one of the greatest college basketball coaches.


WilburNether 10 years, 5 months ago

Yup. The stupidity of the journalists who voted Haith the AP Coach of the Year is obvious.

theoljhawk 10 years, 5 months ago

Haith won with Andersons recruits, also. I predict he will go the way of Bruce Weber once he has to use his own recruits.

REHawk 10 years, 5 months ago

AP voting was really screwy. The press corps selected a guy who inherited a bevy of returning starters recruited by another coach; a guy who failed to win his own league title, who got knocked out of the NCAA Tournament in the first round, and who arrived at Missouri with a taint of impropriety because of an ongoing NCAA investigation into his dealing with a Miami crook. Then the AP had the gall to select Frank Haith over Tom Izzo and John Calipari, omitting Bill Self from the top 3 finalists! What hoops fan in his right mind would ever give much credence to the sports publications of our nation's press corps? These folks are typing away in a disturbed haze, far removed from the reality of sound judicious thinking and accounting.

rockchalkxii 10 years, 5 months ago

Saw this on twitter today...

"With last night's win, Kansas now has more wins in a six-year period than any program in the history of college basketball.”

prusso25 10 years, 5 months ago

I'm not doubting that stat is true... I'm just surprised UCLA doesn't still hold that record.

Al Martin 10 years, 5 months ago

In Wooden's day, they didn't play nearly as many games per year, so that may account for it.

Gregor Southard 10 years, 5 months ago

Teams were only playing about 30 games a year in the '70s. That means about 50-60 less games over that time period.

Thomas Michaud 10 years, 5 months ago


How can the AP explain such a discrepancy between their voting and the Naismith voters?

bradh 10 years, 5 months ago

Haith and Self both did a great job coaching this year. Either coach would be a good pick for COY. I figure we're a little bigger than the MU faithful, who can only see that their guy did a good job, not that anyone else's coach also did a good job.

theend 10 years, 5 months ago

Awesome!! Well-deserved.

Will the court at AFH be named after him someday?

Thad Daugherty 10 years, 5 months ago

I could see maybe another part of the facility. Maybe the practice court or heck even the practice facility.

Eric Williams 10 years, 5 months ago

if there was talk about naming the court after Roy w/o any National Championships I wouldn't put it past Self being immortalized in some manner.

Marcia Parsons 10 years, 5 months ago

I think the rules structure or whatever will surely say Booth.

741hawk 10 years, 5 months ago

No, but one more championship and there will be a statue of Coach Self outside AFH . . . alongside the statue of Coach Allen (or, as originally positioned, looking across the entrance from one another. That's what will need to be done.

Jackalope7 10 years, 5 months ago

If you ever find youself in a situation where you need to prove that you are smarter than the associated press, just say these words: "Bill Self is the best coach in college basketball."

Tony Bandle 10 years, 5 months ago

TOP Ten Reasons KU wins tomorrow:

10] Bill Self coaches Kansas. 9] HCBS has mind AND brain controil!! 8] 2012 is a leap year. 7] KU's biggest fan is a porn star..UK's is a washed up old actress. 8] We have a coach of the year...they don't!! 6] Unibrows are so 60's. 5] KU fans are intelligent...UK fans are unintelligible. 4] There are Wildcats everywhere...but only one Jayhawk. 3] KU checks its ego at the door...UK checks it's ego every 30 seconds. 2] UK players will wake up and realize that they are Freshmen and Sophomores.

and the number one reason Kansas will win tomorrow.....

John Calipari coaches Kentucky!!!!!!!!!!

Thomas Michaud 10 years, 5 months ago

While I agree with so many of your points, it's really weird how this team and the '88 team have so many similarities. That was my Freshman year at KU and ending up in the Championship game was unreal. I couldn't believe the work that Brown an the team did in the latter half of that year (specifically the tournament). Now with the KU/UK matchup, it has all the earmarks of the KU/OU matchup of '88 (aside from the freshman/senior scenario).

I can't wait for the game and love this team (players, coaches, and staff) and their accomplishment no matter the outcome.

nuleafjhawk 10 years, 5 months ago


Just for the record -

7 - I am not a porn star. Any more.

kumax 10 years, 5 months ago

Congratulations to HCBS!

There is no one more deserving, more humble and kick-a** funny. He has such an amazing way with people and is a born leader. Proud to call him part of the tradition of Kansas Basketball.

Thank you coach Self for continuing to honor and carry the legacy of Naismith and college hoops!

MrPilot 10 years, 5 months ago

Congratulations Coach Self! A well-deserved award!

jayhawkintexas 10 years, 5 months ago

Congratulations, Coach Self. You are definitely deserving of this honor.

Thad Daugherty 10 years, 5 months ago

I have been to the Fieldhouse a few times but I cant remember. Do they hang banners for coaches in the rafters?

rockchalk_dpu 10 years, 5 months ago

no, the only non-player that is hanging in the rafters is Max's 60 for his years of service behind the mic.

gchawk 10 years, 5 months ago

There's a really big one that says: "Beware if the Phog"!

SaltLakeHawk 10 years, 5 months ago


Phog Allen has, by far, the biggest banner hanging in the fieldhouse

prusso25 10 years, 5 months ago

Two possible outcomes to this game tomorrow:

1) KU wins a championship

2) No championship in 2012 due to UK cheating.

So basically, either KU wins, or nobody wins. Sweet!

Alohahawk 10 years, 5 months ago

When Coach Bill Self first signed on as head coach at KU, little could he have known (with certainty, although he must have dreamed of such a scenario) that he would achieve so much in so little time. Nine years of unbelievable success, all well earned. One could say that this award, named in honor of the father of basketball, is the high point of his career. Although a coach deserves respect from his peers and basketball fans everywhere for winning a National Championship, that is still an award won by and given to the team. But "Naismith National Coach of the Year", that is an individual award. And the fact it is attached to the name,'Naismith', makes it that much more special. My highest congratulations to Coach Bill Self. What an honor it is having you coach the Jayhawks. You make the Jayhawk Nation proud.

Alohahawk 10 years, 5 months ago

BTW, take a close look at the picture above. It creates the illusion that Coach Self has a mini assistant (cheerleader), standing on his shoulders, resting her arm on Self's head.

KUFan90 10 years, 5 months ago

It's like he's saying "get this dang cheerleader off my head before she eats my brain!".

Yeah, I know, that's what you were thinking too.

master16 10 years, 5 months ago

Wow congrats to HCBS. What an honor, and he deserves it as much as any other coach. I wonder if now Robinson will land Naismith POY, since the voters obviously have their attention on Kansas. I mean, if Davis wins the RUPP POY why can't Robinson win the NAISMITH POY?

kellerman411 10 years, 5 months ago

Did anyone see Bill's reaction when Tyshawn threw the ball (and maybe the game) away with 2 seconds left? All Tyshawn had to do was hold the ball and it was over. Bill exploded for about .0001 seconds before remembering what must be done next. He had to remain calm so that the kids would remain calm. Bill licked his lips, looked at Tyshawn and pointed to the other side of the court, signaling that now it was time to play defense.

Bill Self is 1 win away from securing his spot in the hall of fame. It's not often a coach has the opportunity to do this in their 40s but, Bill certainly does.

FLJHK 10 years, 5 months ago

Great point about the TT incident - I noticed Self's reaction too. Coach was definitely on his game last night.

10 years, 5 months ago

Excellent observation! The key comparison of head coaches in this game was blatantly evident during the final 3 seconds. The KU players knew exactly what to do while the OSU players sought intervention from the officiating crew. Tick tock you lose. Coach Self has taught this team well and they have committed themselves to listening to and executing their coaches instruction.

addlime 10 years, 5 months ago

Yeah, I replayed to my friend after the game and showed him Self's poise to immediately instruct the players to foul. Had he been flustered he might have missed that just like Ohio State did on the final inbound.

LAJayhawk 10 years, 5 months ago

Looks like someone just cashed a bonus check. :-)

jayhawkinATL 10 years, 5 months ago

Cool...the folks in the ATL got it right!!!

Janet Olin 10 years, 5 months ago

Congratulations, Coach, for a well deserved honor.

DRsmith 10 years, 5 months ago

Well deserved. When you take a line up like this to the final game, great coaching has to be the key.

David Reynolds 10 years, 5 months ago

There is only one award yet to be given that has any meaning, and that is the Naismith Player of the Year...the player most deserving is T-Rob. Now that would be something! RCJH :)

jaycon11 10 years, 5 months ago

so, if coach k got one vote, does that mean that dick vitale gets to vote for this award?

KUlolly 10 years, 5 months ago

It's about time Coach Self gets some credit for a job well done this season! I <3 him! His half time adjustments are always spot on and these kids believe what he tells them. He is the best!


Orangedog87 10 years, 5 months ago

Congrats and thanks to Bill and the team...thanks for stretching BB season until the last possible game....that is something I have really appreciated ...awards are a sweet bonus

Mandie Eutsler 10 years, 5 months ago

Rock Chalk!!! So proud to be a Jayhawk!!!

ironhead80 10 years, 5 months ago

Did any hear Jack Harry ask today in the team media interview? When He asked Coach Self about how he felt about some news media type critizing him in the way he has coached this year and this year team had not really deserved to be in the final 4. I don't think Harry was informed just today, Coach Self was named Naismith Coach Of The Year. I heard after that question the other reporters sneakered about That. Congrats! Bill!!

DDDHawk 10 years, 5 months ago

Coach Self- Congratulations on this wonderful honor! Well-deserved! Thanks for all of your hard work this year!

Jim Dickerson 10 years, 5 months ago

I can only imagine the amount of effort it took from coach Self to mold this bunch of characters into the team we saw last night. Job well done Coach, well done indeed.

brooksmd 10 years, 5 months ago

Hey, a sportswriter who has finally figured out this Kansas thing. Looks like the cat is out of the bag and I can imagine there will be more of this on other campus' next year.

Alohahawk 10 years, 5 months ago

Another great writeup on why the Jayhawks are what they are. And how and why this Jayhawk team can and will compete till the end of each game. Coach Self knows what it takes to win. And it's nice that others recognize his philosophy and the discipline and hard work necessary to follow it to completion. Credit the coach, but also credit the players, for buying into what Coach Self teaches.

Ken Sedgwick 10 years, 5 months ago

Coach Self, you make good people happy! You make bad people sad! Congratulations, and carry on.

Armen Kurdian 10 years, 5 months ago

Well-deserved! Have to say that in the Purdue game, coach looked really rattled, but he's been so focused since then, and relaxed. He's really enjoying this squad.

Steve Jacob 10 years, 5 months ago

Guessing this award was voted on counting the NCAA Tournament, why Self got the award. Anthony Davis deserves POY. In the Final Four, while Robinson is getting pulled early, Davis plays 39 minutes 18 and 14 with 5 blocks. .

Brendan Connolly 10 years, 5 months ago

The award does not include tourney and as demonstrated by KenPom, Davis shouldn't even be runner up.

He is a very good player. Without him Kentucky is still probably top ranked team in the country. He plays for say Washington or Minnesota and you don't hear about him half as much. Without Robinson, KU might not make tournament. Probably would, but more like Texas did.

DRsmith 10 years, 5 months ago

LOL at all you KU fans that think TRoBle should get NPOY. After the Naismith today, that makes him 0-6. Davis is clearly the better player and will also be the top pick. You will be able to recognize Monday night though.

Jace FitzGibbon 10 years, 5 months ago

id take t rob over anthony davis any day. better player and a better person overall. not saying that davis is a punk or something but t rob is an awesome individual and a true man. t rob all day

Alex Peekeaton 10 years, 5 months ago

We can argue all day long better player...AD or TRob. With Davis just winning the Naismith, the country says its AD. But when it comes to CLASS on the court, AD wins hands down. Why is it that one of the premier players (TRob) in the game has continually T-Bagged opposing players on the court during the year? He did it against Kentucky, Texas A&M, and several times against K-State. Thats just the games I watched...who knows how many times he did it over the year. So when you want to talk about a better person and class on the court, you might want to rethink. For Bill Self and Danny Manning to not put an end to the T-Bags says something about them as well cuz they could have stopped it immediately.

DRsmith 10 years, 5 months ago

You can't be serious. Do you see AD acting like a punk after every shot? AD is pure class. No one will argue that he is a great player and that he has had to endure more than a young man should but that doesn't excuse the way he comes across on the court.

Kye Clark 10 years, 5 months ago

Congrats, the ESPN hype machine worked. Davis is deserving, but don't be that naive into thinking that the campaign ESPN had for months didn't influence voters. See you on the court tomorrow chump!

Dan Pawlowski 10 years, 5 months ago

Your a DB . Get the hell off of our board.

addlime 10 years, 5 months ago

Congrats, Coach!

I was a little sorry to see that T Rob didn't get one of these player of the year awards. AD is great and deserving and all, but T Rob gets a little more focused attention from other teams. AD is surrounded by NBA draft picks and other teams just can't focus on him the same way.

That being said, I'm sure T Rob would trade all the awards for MOP in the Final Four and a ring. Go Take What's Yours, T Rob!

Lenette Hamm 10 years, 5 months ago

Love Bill Self!! Couldn't have been a better choice. Go 'Hawks! Kick some Kentucky ass tomorrow night!

Make_Ur_Free_Throws 10 years, 5 months ago

Great honor Coach Self, and well deserved! Am so proud to be a Jayhawk in this "re-building" year, and am proud to see our team playing for yet another National Championship! This is an amazing team, who can play KU basketball with the best!

Let's send Coach Cal and his team back to Lexington empty handed! They need more reasons to riot and burn furniture there, and I can't think of a better reason than hearing the "Rock Chalk" chant in the Superdome at the end of the game to get their party started!

shipat13 10 years, 5 months ago

"KU is the only university to have three different Naismith coach of the year winners; Larry Brown won in 1988 and Roy Williams won in 1997."

and Naismith coached for KU, so that must count for something!

RockCaCO3 10 years, 5 months ago

Congrats Coach Self, and the entire coaching staff and team! This has been an incredible year! And its going to get even better tomorrow night.

Rock Chalk!

jaybate 10 years, 5 months ago

Naming Self COY is like saying the sun is bright.

Naming him coach of the decade is like saying the sun is bright every day.

He is doing it the right way.

He is doing it without Micky Ds.

He is doing it without the hype machine.

He is doing it by getting better himself and by making players get better.

JayHawkFanToo 10 years, 5 months ago

Every single Coach at KU in the last 29 years has now won the award. I know it is only 3 but still, what other schools with more than 2 coaches in the same period can say the same thing?

Dan Pawlowski 10 years, 5 months ago

Davis was awarded the Naismith POY award tonight. Talk about injustice. I am tired of this BS. The entire team needs to take on the cause and take Kensucky to the woodshed!

DRsmith 10 years, 5 months ago

Injustice? what about the other 5 NPOY awards he also managed to take home? Perhaps you are just blinded by your blue and crimson glasses?

FoCoCoHawk 10 years, 5 months ago

Anthony Davis is a great player, maybe even the best in the country, and from the limited interviews I've seen he's a pretty classy guy too. I hope tonight we see how he gets frustrated from adversity, being young and all. If I was going to compare him with TRob however, it would be hard not to note the advantages of staying in school for a couple of years longer. But it's misguided to make individual comparisons. What I love most about basketball is that is illustrates the important aspects of synergy and gestalts: The whole is greater than the sum of the parts. And this is exactly what a great coach does.

Congrats HCBS! RCJH Go KU!

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