On Tuesday night, Kansas announced that they would celebrate 60 years of Jayhawk Basketball in Allen Fieldhouse. To help pay respect to one of college basketball’s greatest venues, former Jayhawk head coaches Ted Owens, Larry Brown and Roy Williams will be in attendance. Of course, Bill Self will also be there.
The event, which will occur on October 27th, is called “Celebrating 60 Years.” Kansas will announce ticket details in September. The program will benefit Self’s Assistants Foundation in addition to a charities of the other coaches’ choosing.
“Only at Kansas do we get to celebrate a milestone such as this, bringing four living legends together to honor our history and our legacy,” Athletics Director Sheahon Zenger said.
More information on each of the coaches, as well as their reactions to the event were provided by Kansas Athletics:
2003-Present: Bill Self
Self is a remarkable 175-9 inside Allen Fieldhouse. As the three-time National Coach of the Year prepares for his 12thseason at Kansas, he has more Big 12 titles (10) than losses (9) in the 60-year old basketball cathedral. His Jayhawks’ current streak of 10-straight regular season conference championships marks the third-longest run in NCAA history. With four 30-win seasons in the last five years, Self completed his first decade at Kansas with 300 wins, more victories than any other program in the same time frame. His 2008 team won the NCAA Championship.
“For 115 years, Kansas has been a standard of excellence for our sport,” Self said. “There aren’t very many places – if any – where you can invite back the last four coaches who have led the program for the last 51 years to celebrate an anniversary like this one. This is such a special place. Kansas Athletics has really made this a unique event, using the money to benefit the charities that mean a lot to each of us. I know the fans will enjoy it and I will be honored to be a part of it.”
1989-2003: Roy Williams
Williams is the second-winningest coach in Kansas history, behind the building’s namesake – Dr. Forrest “Phog” Allen. During Williams’ 15 years as a Jayhawk, Kansas made four trips to the NCAA Final Four and totaled a 418-101 record. He guided KU to nine conference titles and his 2002 team was the only in Big 12 Conference history to go 16-0. Williams returned to his alma mater, North Carolina, before the 2003-04 season and has gone on to reach 700 wins in fewer seasons than any coach in NCAA history. His 2005 and 2009 teams won the national championship.
“Sixty years in one phenomenal arena – wow! That has been the site of some unbelievable victories and accomplishments of one of the greatest home-court advantages in the history of college sports,” Williams said. “The tradition of Kansas basketball is a tradition of success and Allen Fieldhouse has been a great part of that. The Jayhawk faithful make it almost impossible for the opponents every night. Coaching in that arena is a real treat and I loved it. I’m ecstatic to be part of this anniversary celebration.”
1983-88: Larry Brown
A 40-year coaching veteran, Brown won more than 75 percent of his games at Kansas and led the Jayhawks to the NCAA Tournament in each of his five years. Named the Big Eight Coach of the Year in 1986, Brown and the Jayhawks went 35-4 that season on their way to the NCAA Final Four. Brown capped his career at Kansas with the 1988 NCAA National Championship. Brown accepted the head coaching position with the San Antonio Spurs following that season and spent the next 23 seasons in the NBA. In 2004, he led the Detroit Pistons to the NBA Championship, making him the only coach in history to win a title at the NCAA and NBA levels. In 2012, Brown returned to the collegiate ranks and is in his third season at SMU.
“The years I spent at Kansas were an incredible time in my life that I will always cherish,” Brown said. “The people I got to know, the players who were part of the program and the coaches who worked with me will always be a big part of my life. I am thrilled to be included in this celebration. I can’t imagine a place being more special than Allen Fieldhouse. It was such a great opportunity to coach in that environment. And coming back to KU with Bill Self as the head coach always makes me smile after having the opportunity to coach alongside him.”
1964-1983: Ted Owens
Owens spent 19 seasons leading the Jayhawks, the second-longest tenure of the program’s eight head coaches. A five-time Big Eight Coach of the Year, Owens’ 348 victories rank third all-time behind Allen and Williams. In Owens’ tenancy, Kansas won six Big Eight titles and advanced to NCAA Tournament play seven times, including Final Four appearances in 1971 and 1974. Owens is still an avid supporter of the program and released his authorial debut, At the Hang Up, in 2013.
“I am honored to be a part of the Kansas basketball family,” Owens said. “I really look forward to spending the time with these three men for whom I have the greatest respect. I also look forward to being back with our great Kansas fans.”