🏀 Ted Owens Reunites with Jayhawks from His Era via Zoom

LAWRENCE, Kan. – More than 40 former men’s basketball players, coaches and staff reunited with 91-year-old Jayhawks coach Ted Owens in a Zoom video conference Tuesday evening.

Coordinated by Kansas Athletics and K Club, the video conference session lasted just over an hour with Owens and many others chiming in about their experiences with Kansas Basketball. The participants dialed in from 14 different states for the event.

Owens coached at Kansas for 19 seasons from 1964-83, amassing a 348-182 record that included six Big Eight regular-season titles, eight Big Eight Holiday Tournament crowns and one Big Eight Tournament postseason championship. He guided KU teams to two Final Fours in 1971 and 1974, and seven NCAA Tournament appearances.

Owens opened the video conference with a prayer and recognizing his former players and staff who have passed. He then welcomed the entire group.

"Many of you were great players and some of you were reserves who helped prepare us for game competition, and some of you were student managers who served our every need. But all of you played a vital role in helping us achieve success on the court. I’ve lived a blessed life and one of those blessings is I’ve spent years of my life watching you grow into the outstanding men you are today."

Ted Owens

Included on the call were Owens’ assistant coaches Lafayette Norwood, Bob Hill, Bob Flickner and Polly Miranda, widow of assistant coach Sam Miranda. Also, among the group were four Jayhawks whose jerseys are retired in Allen Fieldhouse – Dave Robisch, Bud Stallworth, Darnell Valentine and Walt Wesley.

"Kansas has meant more to me as I’ve gotten older. It has meant for me, a family, a family that stays connected. I don’t think that I can appreciate enough the opportunities to continue to fellowship and connect with people of our same DNA code. We are all part of Kansas and it’s our DNA code. As we’ve gotten older I certainly appreciate all my associations, my connections and my friendships tied with Kansas. Kansas has been family to me."

Darnell Valentine

The hour was mainly spent with players sharing memories of being recruited by Owens and later playing for him and his assistants.

"If I was baking a cake right now, I would have to put a little bit of what everybody has said for the cake to come out the right way. Because all of what everyone has said has been a part of me."

Walt Wesley


The faces of varsity athletics at the University of Kansas have changed through the years, but our uniquely shared experiences across generations and sports are what bind us together forever. The story of Kansas Athletics is one deeply rooted in history and tradition. There is no greater tradition than the people who helped create our legacy. K Club provides an avenue for us to come together in unity to celebrate with pride, our respect and love for the Crimson and Blue. The mission of K Club is to help preserve the history and traditions of Kansas Athletics, support current student-athletes, and connect former participants, coaches, student athletic trainers and managers of varsity sports at the University of Kansas.

More than 40 former men’s basketball players, coaches and staff reunited with 91-year-old Jayhawks coach Ted Owens in a Zoom video conference