Assistant Coach Dooley Among the Nation's Best

March 10, 2011


Rankings generally tend to garner a lot of discussion and publicity, especially when there is a new No. 1 in the weekly basketball polls. However, one ranking over the summer received far less exposure, and that’s just fine with the individual who topped the list.

Last July, named Kansas assistant coach Joe Dooley the No. 1 assistant coach in high-major college basketball, but Dooley did not seem phased by the honor.

“I don’t pay attention to that stuff to tell you the truth,” said Dooley, who moved into the top spot after being ranked No. 6 in 2008.

Junior guard Tyshawn Taylor believes the No. 1 ranking for Dooley is well deserved.

“He wants to help his players get better,” said Taylor, who is fourth in the Big 12 in assist-to-turnover ratio. “He’s always willing to watch tape and do anything to help his players improve. He’s one of the main reasons I transformed into a point guard. He helped me transform into that position by drilling me, telling me what to do and always coaching me. He’s always pushing us to get better. He never stops coaching.”

Dooley says the most important quality to being a successful assistant coach is loyalty.

“Loyalty to the person you work for, loyalty to the university and loyalty to the players you work with,” said Dooley. “That’s very important.”

Dooley has demonstrated that loyalty by remaining at Kansas for seven years despite often being rumored as a top candidate for various head coaching vacancies across the country. Dooley says that while it is true he receives calls about some openings and he would like to be a head coach again, it will have to be a very unique opportunity to pry him away from KU.

“I’d be interested in being a head coach again, but it has to be a really good situation,” said Dooley, who served as the head coach at EastCarolinaUniversity for four seasons from 1995-96 through 1998-99. “It would have to be a situation where there’s a commitment to basketball and a place where we could live as a family, but we’re very happy at Kansas. This is a special place. My family loves it here, and we love (Kansas head coach Bill) Self. It’s an unbelievable situation, great fans, great support and we’ve had really great players. It’s a tough place to leave.”

In addition to being the top high-major assistant coach in college basketball, Dooley has also received a lot of recognition for his ability to recruit. In 2007, named him the fourth-best recruiter in the nation. While some coaches view recruiting as a necessary evil of the job, Dooley says he appreciates recruiting as another form of competition.

“(The other Kansas coaches and I) enjoy recruiting,” said Dooley. “We’re out recruiting whenever we’re allowed to be out there. It’s fun. It’s nice getting to meet new people. It’s competitive, which is good. We like trying to compete with other schools. We all know we need good players in order to be very successful, so we all chase them.”

Senior guard Tyrel Reed says Dooley possesses a lot of great qualities that help him on the recruiting trail.

“He’s a really funny guy and very personable,” said Reed. “He also relates well to a wide variety of people and a wide variety of athletes.”

Reed says that as long as Dooley is at KU, he will probably stay at the top of the rankings because his track record at developing guards speaks for itself.

“He does a real good job of working with the guards and developing our skills,” said Reed. “He’s coached some unbelievable ones when you think about Sherron Collins, Russell Robinson, Mario Chalmers and many more. He’s dealt with a lot of high-level talented players, and I think that translates to developing good players in the future. People coming in know they have a chance to be that good as well.”