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Billy Eugene Self Jr. (born December 27, 1962) is an American men's college basketball coach at the University of Kansas. During his 14 seasons as head coach, he has led the Jayhawks to at least a share of 13 straight Big 12 regular season championships (2005–2017), 2 NCAA Final Four appearances (2008, 2012), and the 2008 NCAA championship. On March 31, 2017, it was announced that Self had been elected into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. The official induction will be later in 2017.
Self is a three-time National Coach of the Year (2009, 2012, 2016). From 2006 to 2012, he had the best six-year record of any men's coach in Division I history (197-29). As coach at Kansas, Self has a record of 202–10 (.957 win percentage) at historic Allen Fieldhouse. In his tenure at Kansas, Self has had 3 home winning streaks of more than 30 wins including a school record and 11th-best all-time 69 game streak. During his tenure at Kansas, he has persuaded several McDonald's All-Americans to become Jayhawks, including Mario Chalmers, Darrell Arthur, Xavier Henry, Andrew Wiggins, Cliff Alexander, Wayne Selden, Jr., Josh Jackson, and Malik Newman.
Self is also known for implementing a strong hi-lo motion offense using size as an advantage in the paint, and a pressing man to man defense on all his teams from his early coaching days at the University of Tulsa through the present. He has also shown great adaptability on the court and has implemented sometimes drastic adjustments as needed to his defensive schemes with various degrees of success. Despite Self's consistency, many reporters have questioned his abilities in the NCAA Tournament because of various upsets in early rounds, as well as a 2–7 record in the regional finals, despite being a #1 seed 7 times.
With an annual salary of $4.8 million, Self is the 2nd highest paid college basketball coach in the United States behind Kentucky coach John Calipari, he is also the 7th highest paid college coach in any sport in the United States. Additionally, he is also the highest paid public employee in the state of Kansas.Contents
Self grew up in Edmond, Oklahoma. He received a basketball scholarship to play at Oklahoma State University. He was a letter winner all four years he played. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in business in 1985 and a master's degree in athletic administration in 1989. Both degrees he received from Oklahoma State.Collegiate coaching history Early coaching jobs
After a successful playing career as Oklahoma High School Basketball Player of the Year in 1981 at Edmond Memorial High School, Self played for Paul Hansen at Oklahoma State and was a four-year letter winner. In 1985, he joined Larry Brown's coaching staff at the University of Kansas, replacing John Calipari, who had accepted a position as assistant coach at the University of Pittsburgh. Self remained at Kansas as an Assistant Coach for the 1985–1986 season. Between 1986 and 1993, Self was an assistant coach at Oklahoma State University under Leonard Hamilton, followed by Eddie Sutton.Oral Roberts
After Oral Roberts (ORU) compiled a 5–22 record in the 1992–1993 season, the worst in its history, Bill Self was hired as its head coach. In his first season at ORU, the team managed only six wins/victories. Things improved slightly the following year, when ORU won ten games. In Self's third season, he guided the Golden Eagles to an 18–9 record, and in his fourth season, (1996–1997), ORU registered a 21–7 record as the school made its first postseason tournament appearance since its 1983–1984 appearance in the National Invitation Tournament.Tulsa
After rebuilding the Golden Eagles, Self was hired by crosstown rival Tulsa and spent three seasons (1998 to 2000) there, compiling a Tulsa-best 74–27 record. While at TU, Self coached the Hurricane to consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances in 1999 and 2000. In the 1999–2000 season, in addition to setting a school single-season record for victories by compiling a 32–5 record, Self led the Golden Hurricane to its first-ever Elite Eight appearance.Illinois
On June 9, 2000, Illinois named Bill Self the head coach of their basketball program. Self's predecessor, Lon Kruger, had recently left the Illinois program to accept a job in the NBA as head coach of the Atlanta Hawks.
In 2000–01, his first season at Illinois, Self coached a squad of mostly Lon Kruger recruits to a 27–8 record (13–3 conference record), a share of the Big Ten title, and a final Associated Press ranking of 4th in the nation, resulting in the Fighting Illini earning a number 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Self coached Illinois guards Frank Williams and Cory Bradford, along with guard/forward Sergio McClain, forward Brian Cook, and center Marcus Griffin, to the Elite Eight in the NCAA Tournament. The Illini failed to advance beyond the Elite Eight after falling to eventual tournament finalists number 2 seeded Arizona. The 2000–01 Illini roster included future NBA players Frank Williams, Robert Archibald and Brian Cook. With mostly the same core, Illinois followed up the season with impressive 2001–02 and 2002–03 campaigns, but fell in the NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen in 2002 to Kansas, and the second round in 2003 to Notre Dame.
Self was responsible for the recruitment of many of the 2005 Fighting Illini team, which won the Big Ten title under Bruce Weber. Bruce Weber replaced Self prior to the 2003–04 season and coached the 2005 Fighting Illini, almost exclusively Self's recruits, to an NCAA record tying 37–2 record after falling to North Carolina in the NCAA championship game. Players Self recruited on that team included four eventual NBA draft picks, Cleveland Cavaliers guard Deron Williams, Dee Brown, Luther Head and James Augustine. In Self's three seasons in Illinois, he led the Fighting Illini to two Big Ten regular-season championships, a Big Ten Tournament title, and three straight NCAA tournament appearances. His record was 78–24 in that span, the best three-season run in Illinois' history until it was surpassed by Illinois' subsequent coach Bruce Weber soon thereafter.Kansas
After the 2002–03 season, Roy Williams left Kansas to take over at North Carolina. This vacancy left many speculating that Self would take what was well-publicized as his "dream job" with the Jayhawks. Self told a large group of Illini supporters that he was happy at Illinois, but he did not close the door on the move. Self left for Kansas just a few days later. Since the move Self has become one of the Jayhawks all-time favorite coaches and has helped them continue their 13 straight Big 12 championships.Self (third from left) sitting on the bench with his staff and players in a November 2007 game. 2003–04
In his first season at Kansas, Self led the Jayhawks to the Elite Eight in the NCAA tournament, where they fell to Georgia Tech.2004–05
The following season, the Jayhawks were ranked the preseason #1 and started off 20–1, but slumped and lost six of their final nine games. Kansas received a #3 seed in the NCAA Tournament and lost to #14 seed Bucknell in the first round. The team finished 23–7 and settled for a Big 12 co-championship with Oklahoma.2005–06
In 2005–06, little was expected of the freshman/sophomore dominated Jayhawks, as they were unranked in the preseason polls and picked to finish 6th in the conference. They began the season 10–6, including 1–2 in the Big 12. Although they did post a 73–46 win over Kentucky, they also saw the end of their 31-game winning streak over rival Kansas State with a 59–55 loss at Allen Fieldhouse, and two nights later blew a seven-point lead in the final 45 seconds of regulation en route to an 89–86 overtime loss at Missouri. But afterward, the Jayhawks matured rapidly, winning 15 of their final 17 games. They picked up impressive road wins over Texas A&M (83–73), Iowa State (95–85), Nebraska (69–48), and Oklahoma State (64–49). They mounted a monumental comeback victory over Oklahoma (59–58) after falling behind by as many as 16 in the second half, and avenged their loss to Missouri with a 79–46 victory over the Missouri Tigers in Lawrence, Kansas.
KU did stumble against Texas, taking an 80–55 beating, but by winning their final two Big 12 games over Colorado and at Kansas State (avenging the earlier loss at home), took advantage of a Texas loss to Texas A&M to force a tie for the Big 12 title at 13–3. KU played as the #2 seed in the Big 12 Tournament in Dallas, and avenged the loss to Texas with an 80–68 victory over the Longhorns in the final to clinch the Tournament championship. KU was handed a #4 seed for the NCAA Tournament but stumbled again in the first round with a loss to the #13 seed Bradley.2006–07
Prior to the 2006–07 season, Bill Self was 72–24 (.750) in three seasons at KU, 279–129 (.683) in 13 seasons overall and 13–8 in NCAA Tournament play. On February 10, 2007, Self-recorded his 300th career win in a 92–74 victory at Missouri. Self led Kansas to the 2007 Big 12 regular season championship with a 14–2 record, highlighted by a win over Kevin Durant-led Texas in a pair of monumental, come-from-behind victories in the last game of the regular season and in the Big 12 Championship game. At the end of the regular season, Kansas stood at 27–4 and ranked #2 in the nation in both the AP and Coaches' polls. In the NCAA Tournament, Self's Jayhawks received a #1 seed, and advanced to Self's fourth career Elite Eight, with the team garnering commanding wins over #16 seeded Niagara and #8 seeded Kentucky, as well as a victory over the #4 seeded Southern Illinois. Kansas's tournament run ended in the Elite Eight with a loss to 2-seed UCLA.2007–08
In 2007–08, Kansas started the season 20–0 before suffering its first loss at Kansas State. Michael Beasley led KSU past the Jayhawks at Bramlage Coliseum. The defeat marked Kansas' first loss in its last 24 trips to Manhattan, Kansas, where KU had remained undefeated since 1983. Kansas eventually won the Big 12 regular season title and the Big 12 conference tournament, and secured a #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
On March 30, 2008, Self led Kansas to a win in the Elite Eight over Davidson. KU won by two, 59–57, after a last second shot by Davidson's Jason Richards drew only backboard. The Jayhawks went on to play the overall #1 seeded North Carolina Tar Heels in the semifinals, who were coached by Self's predecessor at Kansas, Roy Williams. The Jayhawks jumped on the Tar Heels early, leading 40–12 at one point, before recording an authoritative 84–66 victory and advancing to the National Championship game.
On April 7, 2008, Kansas defeated John Calipari-led Memphis in overtime, 75–68, earning KU its first National Title since 1988. Mario Chalmers, who forced Memphis to overtime by hitting a three-point shot with 2.1 seconds left in regulation, was named Most Outstanding Player in the NCAA Tournament.
In August 2008, Self signed a new 10-year contract guaranteeing him $3 million annually, making him the second-highest-paid coach in college basketball at the time, following Florida's Billy Donovan.2008–09
The Jayhawks lost their entire starting lineup and two reserves to the NBA draft following the 2008 season, and returned only two role players from the NCAA Championship squad. With guard Sherron Collins and center Cole Aldrich, Self responded by coaching the team to a 27–8 season record, a Big 12 championship, a Sweet Sixteen showing in the NCAA Tournament, and several national coach of the year awards.2009–10
Going into the 2009–10 season, the Jayhawks were ranked #1 in the preseason polls. The team went 33–3 and won Self's sixth straight Big 12 Championship, something no team had accomplished in a BCS conference since John Wooden's UCLA teams of the 1960s and 70s. The team also won the Big 12 Tournament, Self's third. Self reached his 400th career victory with a win over Iowa State on February 13. The Jayhawks had their 2,000th win in school history under Self when they defeated Texas Tech, joining Kentucky and North Carolina as the only schools to record such an achievement. However, the Jayhawks were seeded #1 in the NCAA Tournament and were upset by #9 seeded Northern Iowa in the second round.2010–11
Recruiting began immediately for the 2010–11 season, as Kansas landed top recruit Josh Selby in April. By September 2010, both The Sporting News and Athlon Sports had ranked Kansas in their pre-season outlook as #4 overall and, along with ESPN's Joe Lunardi, were projected to become a #1 seed again in the 2011 NCAA Tournament. Blue Ribbon and the USA Today/ESPN coaches polls both placed Kansas at #7 in the pre-season poll. Josh Selby became eligible mid season and joined the Jayhawks beginning December 18 against USC. The Jayhawks went 29–2 during the regular season, winning the Big-12 Conference title and the Big 12 Conference tournament in Kansas City, Missouri.
Self was named Big 12 Coach of the Year for the third time on March 6, both in the coaches' poll and by the Associated Press. The Jayhawks entered the NCAA Tournament as the #1 seed in the Southwest Region, defeating #16 seed Boston and #9 seed Illinois to advance to the Sweet 16 where they beat #12 seed Richmond. Kansas lost to #11 seed VCU, a team many didn't think deserved to be in the tournament, by 10 points in the Elite Eight after never leading during the game.
Over the last five seasons (2007–2011), Self's KU teams won 165 games, an average of 33.0 wins a year, passing Mike Krzyzewski of Duke (164 wins, 32.8 a year from 1998 to 2002) and Jerry Tarkanian of UNLV (163 wins, 32.6 a year from 1987–1991) for the highest 5-year win total of any men's basketball coach in Division 1 history.
In the 2010–11 season, Self led the Jayhawks past North Carolina to end the season at number 2 on the all-time wins list, trailing leader Kentucky by 14 games (List of teams with the most victories in NCAA Division I men's college basketball).2011–12
In 2011–12, having lost four starters from the 2010–11 team, Kansas faced an apparent rebuilding year. Two of Bill Self's recruits were ruled ineligible by the NCAA, and those who moved into the starting positions had seen little action in prior years. Kansas began the season with a 7–3 record, and though there were wins over Georgetown and UCLA in Maui and an upset of Ohio State in Allen Fieldhouse, Kansas lost to Kentucky by ten points, to Duke by seven points in the Maui finals, and to Davidson by six points in an upset in Kansas City. Self later stated that, after the loss to Davidson, he worried of his team's chances of making the NCAA Tournament that year.
Kansas won its last three non-conference games, and went 16–2 through the Big 12 to capture an eighth straight Big 12 regular-season championship. On February 25, 2012, Kansas erased a 19-point deficit at home against its arch-rival, No. 3 ranked Missouri, winning 87–86 in overtime to clinch the Big 12 title. Kansas faltered in the 2012 Big 12 Tournament, losing to Baylor in the semifinals.
The Jayhawks entered the 2012 NCAA Tournament as a #2-seed in the Midwest Regional. After a win over Detroit Mercy, the Jayhawks rallied for a comeback victory over Purdue in the second round, a game in which Kansas led for only 45 seconds. In the regional rounds, Kansas secured a narrow victory over North Carolina State before facing top-seeded but injury-riddled North Carolina in the regional final. In only their second meeting against former KU coach Roy Williams, the Jayhawks sprinted with UNC to a 47–47 halftime tie, before ultimately claiming an 80–67 victory and a trip to New Orleans for the Final Four.
With a 64–62 victory over Ohio State, Kansas advanced to the championship game to face Kentucky, a rematch of their earlier encounter in November. The Jayhawks fell behind by as many as eighteen points against the Wildcats in the first half. Kansas trimmed the deficit to five late in the second half, but ultimately lost, 67–59. The Jayhawks concluded the year with a 32–7 record, and Self was named the Naismith Coach of the Year.2012–13
With four seniors in the starting lineup and redshirt freshman Ben McLemore eligible to play, expectations were high for Kansas. The Jayhawks got off to a fast start, winning 19 of their first 20 games, including the CBE Classic in Kansas City. But then they hit a 3-game skid, losing at home to Oklahoma State, at TCU and at Oklahoma. Following the Jayhawks' loss to a TCU team that had been winless in Big 12 play to that point and would finish last in the league, Self made national headlines when he called his team worse than James Naismith's teams that lost to the Topeka YMCA. KU recovered from its 3-game skid and went on to share the Big 12 championship with Kansas State, and then won the Big 12 Tournament by beating KSU 70–54 in the title game. The team earned a 1-seed for the NCAA Tournament's South Region and picked up wins against Western Kentucky and North Carolina to reach the Sweet 16 for the fourth straight year. However, the team's tournament run was cut short when Kansas blew a 14-point lead in the final minutes and lost to eventual national runner-up Michigan in overtime, finishing the year 31–6.2013–14
With star freshmen Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid on the roster, Kansas entered the season as the #5 team in the country. They started off well with five straight wins, including a victory over Duke in the Champions' Classic. However, the team went 4–4 over its next eight games, including back-to-back losses to Colorado and Florida and an ugly home loss to San Diego State. The team recovered from this rough stretch and began Big 12 play with seven straight wins, ultimately finishing 14–4 to win its 10th consecutive Big 12 title. A back injury to Joel Embiid, however, left the Jayhawks vulnerable on their interior defense, and they fizzled out at season's end with four losses in their final seven games, including a loss to Iowa State in the Big 12 Tournament semifinals in Kansas City and an NCAA Tournament Round of 32 loss to Stanford to end the year. Kansas concluded the year 25–10, the first ten-loss season for Kansas since Roy Williams' 1999–2000 Jayhawks went 24–10.2014–15
As usual, Kansas signed another highly regarded recruiting class, adding Kelly Oubre, Jr. and Cliff Alexander to its roster, and the Jayhawks began the campaign as the #5 team in the country for the second straight year. KU stumbled out of the gate with a humbling 32-point defeat at the hands of #1 Kentucky in its second game, and then also suffered an embarrassing 25-point loss on the road at Temple in late December. Once Big 12 play rolled around, however, the Jayhawks regained momentum, winning eight of their first nine league contests, ultimately capturing their 11th consecutive Big 12 title. However, success in the NCAA Tournament would not come as Self's Jayhawks were beaten 78–65 by Wichita State in the round of 32.2015–16
Self won his 200th game at Allen Fieldhouse this season. To this point, he has only lost 9 games there all-time. Under Self, the Jayhawks finished the regular season in the #1 spot of the AP poll and Coaches poll, securing the #1 seed in the South Region.
KU easily disposed of Austin Peay in its opening round game, 105-79, and then defeated UConn in the second round to advance to the Sweet 16 to face Maryland. After a slow start by the Jayhawks, Kansas rallied to win over the Terrapins, 79-63. The Jayhawks then lost a closely fought matchup against the eventual national champions Villanova in the Elite Eight, 64-59.2016–17
On November 18, 2016, after a 86-65 win over Siena, Bill Self passed Ted Owens for most wins at Allen Fieldhouse with 207. On December 6, 2016, Bill Self achieved his 600th win with a 105-62 win over UMKC. He is the 9th fastest coach in NCAA history to win 600 games. On February 18, 2017, Self was announced as one of 14 finalists named from over 100 candidates to be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility. The inductees will be announced April 3 prior to the National Championship game.Professional players coached Player Draft Pro Team(s) Tulsa Michael Ruffin 32nd, Chicago Bulls, 1999 NBA draft Bulls, 76ers, CE Lleida Bàsquet, Jazz, Wizards, Bucks, Trail Blazers Illinois Robert Archibald 31st, Memphis Grizzlies, 2002 NBA draft Grizzlies, Suns, Magic, Raptors,
In June 2006, Self and his wife, Cindy, established the Assists Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization to serve as a fundraising conduit for organizations that serve a variety of youth initiatives. The mission of Assists is to help provide young people access to better lives.
Assists held its first public fundraiser June 7, 2008—Bill's Basketball Boogie (www.basketballboogie.org) at Kansas Speedway. Over fifty local businesses and Kansas supporters signed on to sponsor the event, which offered opportunities to socialize with past and present Kansas basketball elite and to purchase valuable basketball memorabilia and travel and entertainment venues through the auction. Entertainment was provided by Sawyer Brown and Disco Dick.Head coaching record Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason Oral Roberts Golden Eagles (NCAA Division I independent) (1993–1997) 1993–94 Oral Roberts 6–21 1994–95 Oral Roberts 10–17 1995–96 Oral Roberts 18–9 1996–97 Oral Roberts 21–7 NIT First Round Oral Roberts: 55–54 (.505) Tulsa Golden Hurricane (Western Athletic Conference) (1997–2000) 1997–98 Tulsa 19–12 9–5 3rd (Pacific) 1998–99 Tulsa 23–10 9–5 T–1st (Mountain) NCAA Second Round 1999–00 Tulsa 32–5 12–2 1st NCAA Elite Eight Tulsa: 74–27 (.733) 30–12 (.714) Illinois Fighting Illini (Big Ten Conference) (2000–2003) 2000–01 Illinois 27–8 13–3 T–1st NCAA Elite Eight 2001–02 Illinois 26–9 11–5 T–1st NCAA Sweet Sixteen 2002–03 Illinois 25–7 11–5 2nd NCAA Second Round Illinois: 78–24 (.765) 35–13 (.729) Kansas Jayhawks (Big 12 Conference) (2003–present) 2003–04 Kansas 24–9 12–4 T–2nd NCAA Elite Eight 2004–05 Kansas 23–7 12–4 T–1st NCAA Round of 64 2005–06 Kansas 25–8 13–3 T–1st NCAA Round of 64 2006–07 Kansas 33–5 14–2 1st NCAA Elite Eight 2007–08 Kansas 37–3 13–3 T–1st NCAA Champions 2008–09 Kansas 27–8 14–2 1st NCAA Sweet Sixteen 2009–10 Kansas 33–3 15–1 1st NCAA Round of 32 2010–11 Kansas 35–3 14–2 1st NCAA Elite Eight 2011–12 Kansas 32–7 16–2 1st NCAA Runner-up 2012–13 Kansas 31–6 14–4 T–1st NCAA Sweet Sixteen 2013–14 Kansas 25–10 14–4 1st NCAA Round of 32 2014–15 Kansas 27–9 13–5 1st NCAA Round of 32 2015–16 Kansas 33–5 15–3 1st NCAA Elite Eight 2016–17 Kansas 31–5 16–2 1st NCAA Elite Eight Kansas: 416–87 (.827) 195–40 (.830) Total: 623–192 (.764)
National champion Postseason invitational champion
Conference regular season champion Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
Division regular season champion Division regular season and conference tournament champion
Conference tournament champion
Former Big 12 MembersTotal Home Away Neutral Team Win Losses Win Pct. Wins Losses Win Pct. Wins Losses Win Pct. Wins Losses Win Pct. Colorado Buffaloes 17 0 1.000 8 0 1.000 8 0 1.000 1 0 1.000 Missouri Tigers 15 4 .789 9 0 1.000 5 4 .556 1 0 1.000 Nebraska Cornhuskers 17 1 .944 8 0 1.000 7 1 .875 2 0 1.000 Texas A&M Aggies 12 1 .923 4 1 .800 5 0 1.000 3 0 1.000 Total vs Former
Total vs Big 12 OpponentsTotal Home Away Neutral Wins Losses Win Pct. Wins Losses Win Pct. Wins Losses Win Pct. Wins Losses Win Pct. 173 36 .828 86 5 .945 65 26 .714 22 5 .815
Updated through March 24, 2014. Big 12 tables only include games against teams during their respective Big 12 tenures and during Self's tenure at KansasPersonal life
Self is married with 2 children, a daughter and a son. His daughter graduated from Kansas in 2013. His son, Tyler, played on the basketball team at Kansas from 2012 to 2017.See also
Pound sign (#) denotes interim head coach.
Pound sign (#) denotes interim head coach.
Pound sign (#) denotes interim head coach.
*Selection later vacated