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Kansas Jayhawks

Big 12


Bill Self cutting down the net

Cutting down the net after his team's overtime win and national title, Kansas coach Bill Self gets a great start on his next career -- as a celebrity endorser of a-frame ladders.

Getty Images / Ronald Martinez

The University of Kansas basketball program is perhaps the most historic in all of college sports. After all, Dr. James Naismith himself -- the inventor of the game of "basket ball" -- was once KU's coach.

Team History

James Naismith joined the staff at the University of Kansas in 1898 -- six years after he first published the rules of a new sport he called "basket ball." He formed KU's first team, scheduling games against local amateur clubs and the like. In 1907, he hired one of his former players, Forrest C. Allen, to take over as coach.

"Phog" Allen, as he was known, would go on to become "The Father of Basketball Coaching," with a "coaching tree" that includes the likes of all-time greats Adolph Rupp and Dean Smith.

Allen would coach the Jayhawks for 39 seasons, winning two Helms Foundation Titles and one NCAA Tournament. He also had tremendous influence off the court; he was instrumental in creating the NCAA Tournament itself, pushed to make basketball an official Olympic sport, and coached the United States' gold medal winners in 1952.

The Jayhawks continued to field competitive teams and attract star players -- most notably, Wilt Chamberlain -- after Allen's retirement in 1956. But they wouldn't win another title for decades.

In 1988 the Jayhawks, under coach Larry Brown, entered the NCAA Tournament as a six seed. But led by forward Danny Manning, the Jayhawks went on a run through March Madness, and beat heavily favored conference rival Oklahoma in the championship game.

Brown left after that season to take a job with the NBA's San Antonio Spurs, and Roy Williams -- then an assistant to Dean Smith at North Carolina -- took over. Williams' teams were contenders -- reaching four Final Fours and two championship games -- but a national title wasn't in the cards. Williams left KU after his second loss in the title game, taking the head coaching job at UNC.

Williams was replaced by Bill Self. Under Self, the Jayhawks have been one of the top teams in Division I, winning five Big 12 regular-season titles, three Big 12 Tournaments, and the National Championship in 2008. Five members of that team -- Darrell Arthur, Mario Chalmers, Darnell Jackson, Sasha Kaun and Brandon Rush -- were selected in the 2008 NBA Draft, tying the record for most players from one school in a single draft.

Self's 2009-10 team has the look of a championship contender, with talented players like Sherron Collins and Cole Aldrich back in the fold and an outstanding incoming class featuring guard Xavier Henry.

Home Court

Name: Allen Fieldhouse - named for coach Phog Allen
Opened: 1955
Seating Capacity: 16,300

Retired Numbers

Note: KU retires the jerseys of honored players, but not the jersey numbers.
  • 0: Drew Gooden
  • 4: Nick Collison
  • 5: Fred Pralle
  • 5: Howard "Rope" Engleman
  • 7: Tusten Ackerman
  • 8: Charlie T. Black
  • 10: Charlie B. Black
  • 10: Kirk Hinrich
  • 11: Jacque Vaughn
  • 12: Paul Endacott
  • 13: Wilt Chamberlain
  • 13: Walt Wesley
  • 14: Darnell Valentine
  • 15: Ray Evans
  • 15: Jo Jo White
  • 15: Bud Stallworth
  • 16: Clyde Lovellette
  • 23: B.H. Born
  • 25: Danny Manning
  • 26: Gale Gordon
  • 32: Bill Bridges
  • 34: Paul Pierce
  • 36: Al Peterson
  • 40: Dave Robisch
  • 45: Raef LaFrentz
  • 60: Max Falkenstein (announcer)

Head Coaches

Dr. James Naismith (1898-1907)
Dr. Forrest C. "Phog" Allen (1907-09)
William Hamilton (1909-19)
Dr. Forrest C. "Phog" Allen (1919-56)
Dick Harp (1956-64)
Ted Owens (1964-83)
Larry Brown (1983-88)
Roy Williams (1988-2003)
Bill Self (2003-present)

Kansas Jayhawks Fast Facts

Location: Lawrence, KS (map)
Coach: Bill Self


For more information: Kansas Jayhawks Official Website
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