Sunday, August 4, 2013

Self to go into Oklahoma Hall today


Kansas University basketball coach Bill Self will be inducted into the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame tonight at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City.

Self in 20 seasons as a head coach has a 507-164 career record, including a 300-59 mark in 10 seasons at KU. He led the Jayhawks to the 2008 NCAA championship and a national runner-up finish in 2012. Also, KU has won nine straight conference championships.

“It’s a great honor,” Self said. “I’m really proud of my state and respect all the people in different sports and different areas that have contributed to the rich sports history of Oklahoma.”

Self, 50, will be inducted today along with 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 (OU football) and John Henry Ward (Oklahoma State two-sport All-American).

Self, who grew up in Edmond, Okla., was selected as the Oklahoma High School Basketball Player of the Year in 1981 while at Edmond Memorial High. Born in Okmulgee, Self went on to play at Oklahoma State under coach Paul Hansen from 1982-85. While at OSU, he was a four-year letter-winner and was an All-Big Eight freshman selection.

Self began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at KU for the 1985-86 season under Larry Brown. He then returned to his alma mater and served as 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. He moved across town to Tulsa in 1997-98. He led the Golden Hurricane to an NCAA Tournament Elite Eight appearance in 2000.

In 2000-01, Self took over at Illinois, directing the Illini to two Big Ten titles and an NCAA Tournament Elite Eight appearance in 2001.

Self came to Kansas in 2003-04 and in 10 seasons has led the Jayhawks to nine straight Big 12 regular-season titles, six Big 12 postseason championships. He’s four-time Big 12 Coach of the Year (2006, 2009, 2011 and 2012) and has twice been named the national coach of the year (2009 and 2012).

He will be introduced tonight by his dad, Bill Self Sr.

Self’s dad coached Morris High to the 1966 Class B girls state basketball title when Bill was 4 years old. Shortly after that, the elder Self became a school superintendent and worked 27 years for the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association.

“It’s unbelievable. It’s the ultimate,” Bill Self Sr. told the Oklahoman. “This is a different type of rejoicing. You don’t jump up and down like you do winning a national championship. I know with Bill and our entire family this means a lot. Not only is he being inducted but look at who he is being inducted with. The other six inductees are outstanding that he will be on the stage with. It’s such an honor. It’s an honor for me and the entire family. Others helped him along the way but Bill did this on his own. I’m so proud of him.”

Self told the Journal-World that partly because of pressure on his dad at work, he wasn’t sure he wanted to be a coach.

“I said, ‘I am not going to coach. I don’t want to coach. I see how time consuming it is with my relationship with my father and all the coaches he was surrounded with and the stress. I’m going to go into business and make a lot of money doing who knows what?’

“I got my degree in business (at OSU). I got the opportunity to come here (KU) as graduate assistant. When I got here, it was over. I knew there was nothing else I could do to be as happy as trying to coach guys.”

The younger Self said his dad’s job with the OSSAA was “a thankless job. You only deal with problems every day,” Self said. “In 25 years I don’t know anybody came up to my dad (and said), ‘You know what? You are doing great. The officials are great. I’m glad you declared that kid ineligible.’ You are talking from band to all the sports, all the activities, scrambling around. When you are in charge of basketball you are doing the state tournament, assigning officials to games. That’s a pretty big job. I don’t know anybody tells you that you are doing it well. It’s like coaching. If you don’t win, if you get your butt beat, you don’t hear it was a well-coached game.”

Self, who last week was on a golf vacation to Scotland, told the Oklahoman his dad will “enjoy it. My friends and family (mom, Margaret; sister Shelly; wife, Cindy; children Tyler and Lauren) will get a big kick out of him doing it. It’s pretty cool because no person, no matter who I’ve been around, has been more positive or a bigger influence on me than my father.”


Trace Stark 9 years, 1 month ago

What a wonderful honor... Congrats Coach Self!!!

JayHawkFanToo 9 years, 1 month ago

A well deserved honor; the Kansas Sport Hall of Fame is next.

Robert Brock 9 years, 1 month ago

I hope that Self keeps some distance from Clay Bennett; I wouldn't want him to pick up Bennett's stink.

jay381 9 years, 1 month ago

Respectfully Brock you either know absolutely nothing of Oklahoma City, its heritage, or this is just an unwarranted and outrageous and frankly offensive cheap shot. Clay Bennett is one of a group of trans-formative civic leaders responsible for the growth, the vibrant downtown area. He is a well respected businessman and principle owner of The Thunder. He met his future wife while attending Casady she is a descendant of the Gaylord empire of publishing. I was fortunate to live in OKC during the ascendancy from the depths of the oil bust of the early 1980's to see it rise to the vibrant city it is today. I can say I am proud of what OKC has due to good governance, dedicated civic leadership, and a plan has become. Without the dedication, the resources and the vision of men like Clay Bennett it would still be just a dusty little downtown.

Incidentally The Daily Oklahoman has been running articles on Bill Self since last week. He is one of only a few that is really liked by both the OSU and OU fans.

When I read the first few word of your comment I thought no I hope he does not lure him to The Thunder if something happens to Brooks. I really was taken aback by the conclusion of your comment.

There is an article in The Oklahoman today detailing Clay Bennett I suggest you read. If anyone else has an interest in knowing more about the man Bill Self will be inducted with the link is below. I think after you read it the comment above will be devoid of any credibility.

kay_you 9 years, 1 month ago

... and stole the Sonics from Seattle after he said he wouldn't. But that's another story.

Congratulations Bill.

Bryce Landon 9 years, 1 month ago

Congratulations, Coach Self. I didn't realize he has only lost 59 games since he's been at KU. That's an 83.6% winning mark!

actorman 9 years, 1 month ago

Nadia Comaneci??? Did Romania become a part of Oklahoma?

texashawk10 9 years, 1 month ago

I would guess her gym is somewhere in Oklahoma.

actorman 9 years, 1 month ago

That still doesn't explain her going into their HOF. After all, the thing that truly made her great was her performance in the Olympics.

jay381 9 years, 1 month ago

She married Bart Conner and they have lived in Norman OK decades. They have a school there. There was a really good article about her in The Daily Oklahoman about a week ago but I guess it has been archived. I was going to provide the link. She definitely considers Oklahoma home. It also gave some of the history that was extremely dangerous in her escape from Romania. I really was unaware of the chance she took to escape through woods just to get to freedom. I thought it was more like one of the exchange set up in a hotel with the CIA or something. Not so in this case. The history and the mutual acceptance of Oklahomans and Nadia is well known in OK.

sekjayhawkfan 9 years, 1 month ago

Is this The Daily Oklahoman link you're talking about, jay381? Thanks for referencing it so the rest of us can be better informed.

Michael Luby 9 years, 1 month ago

Thanks jay. I remember watching her in the Olympics all those years ago.

jaybate 9 years, 1 month ago

Thanks from me too.

The veneration and love for Nadie by some older posters is probably very difficult for younger posters to grasp.

The emotional experiences of those living through all past wars are very difficult to for those that come afterwards to appreciate, except out of a kind of contextless respect.

Nadie was a great, great, great athlete in the closing years of the cold war. She was lovable. She was the second of the great child athletes (Olga Korbut being the first) produced/induced under Communism's centralized programs for leaping forward in sport--for growing great athletes inside a comintern bureaucracy that seemed fearfully close to what George Orwell had once chillingly forecasted in 1984, and Aldous Huxley had envisioned in Brave New World. Rational persons actually wondered/feared sometimes if these children were test tube babies bread in some sterile laboratory. They were eseentially unknown to westerners beyond the Iron Curtain countries until the Olympics came. Then these children emerged almost fantastically and did super human things for the states that claimed that Communism would one day bury us all. It was frankly scary to many that the Communist block countries were using these children in the first place, and, second, it was staggering to see how incredibly good these seeming pixies could be.

Nadie became at once an awe inspiring athlete and a poster child for what needed saving from Communism in many persons eyes. She was in many respects the emblem of why we engaged in fighting the Cold War for half a century. If the Communist system could take little girls and steal their childhoods from them to turn them into super athletes, what else wouldn't they be capable of. It was a kind of naivety on our parts that was a product of our having been intensely propagandized for half a century about the "evil empire" that in some ways exceeded our worst fears (read Solzhenitzen's "The Gulag Archipeligo" and recall the dreaded psychiatric hospitals--the Soviet forerunners of our own present day abominations--the 24/7 USA torture prison archipelago), and in other ways were merely bungling, economically inept bureaucracies that many of today's producer oligopolies increasingly seem to be eery corporate socialized emulations of.

jaybate 9 years, 1 month ago

And when Nadie escaped, the vast, dehumanizing bureaucratic tyranny of the East Block, she not only escaped for herself, but for all of us that wanted to see that Soviet empire ended, and, though we rarely dared say so then, wanted to see that dehumanizing bureaucracy then taking America increasingly by the national and state throat, also.

Nadie was a sports hero in two Olympics.

Nadie was a political hero, when she defected in 1981. .

Nadie became an American hero, when she chose to become an American and to marry a noteworthy American in Bart Conner.

Understand that to defect from the East Block in 1981 put one's self and anyone one knew back home in mortal danger. Tyrannies rightly view defections and defectors as the seeds of their own destruction. Human beings voting with their feet to escape your tyranny drive home the point of your illegitimacy on a human level like nothing else can.

Nadie is in some small, but symbolically significant part responsible for that terrible wall in Berlin finally coming down and for that Soviet empire finally coming undone.

And she was cute as a button.

But ya probly hadda be there, Mac, to grasp the emotional dimension of what I'm recalling.

Go, Nadie, go!!!!!

John Fryback 9 years, 1 month ago

I brought that up with a few friends, makes no sense, except the "Look at us" factor. Much like local media pointing out all to often during football games, Toby Keith on the OU sidelines. BFD.

Jeff Coffman 9 years, 1 month ago

So when Nadia comes to Oklahoma and develops the ou program into what it is, including many Olympic is a reach. With that kind of logic, bill self wouldn't be eligible for kansas' sports hall of fame.

Remember many of these people have done a lot more than their 15 minutes of fame, that is why they are in the hall of fame.

mikehawk 9 years, 1 month ago

As referenced earlier, living down here in Oklahoma (Tulsa), it is amazing how much respect all sports fans, regardless of school, have for him. OSU would dump their coach in one second to have Bill come home, and T-Boone would great him with outrageous sums of money. Bennett would love to have him come and coach the Thunder if the planets lined up, also. Even at the young ripe age of 50, Bill Self is an icon in Oklahoma. Clearly he has that status in Kansas as well.

Michael Luby 9 years, 1 month ago

Will Coach Self get an induct into KS hall of fame too?

Tim Orel 9 years, 1 month ago

Bet on it. Oh, wait. I'm sure he will because of his coaching accomplishments at KU.

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 1 month ago

Congrats Coach, must be exceptionally rewarding to win this award in your home state. I imagine another state giving you a similar award in the not too distant future.

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