Head Coach Bill Self Will Remain KU's Coach For Years to Come

April 10, 2008

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<?xml:namespace prefix=”st1″ ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags”?>University of Kansas Chancellor Robert Hemenway

Good afternoon, I want to congratulate Bill Self, his players and his staff for winning the NCAA basketball championship earlier this week. I am pleased and proud to announce that Bill Self will be our men’s basketball coach at the University of Kansas for a long time to come. I am pleased and proud not only because Bill Self has led the Jayhawks to so many victories over the past five years, but also because he has represented this University – and I want to stress this – he has represented this University with class and grace since the day he set foot on this campus. Bill is exactly the right person for Kansas Basketball, and we are delighted that he will lead our men’s basketball program for years to come.

University of Kansas Athletics Director Lew Perkins

Good afternoon. I want to echo what the Chancellor said about Bill Self being the right person to lead our men’s basketball program into the future. The NCAA Championship, the Elite 8’s, the numerous Big 12 titles- all of that is great. But as the Chancellor indicated, Bill’s value to this University goes far beyond that. He represents us with class – on and off the court – and I can’t think of another coach I’d rather be sitting next to today. I know you all want to know details, but today is not the day for details. Bill and I have agreed in principle that he will be our coach for years to come. The details – money, length and other things – will be finalized over the next couple of weeks. We’ll give them to you as soon as we have them. For now, the good news for us is that Bill is staying, and we’re glad to have him.


University of Kansas Chancellor Robert Hemenway

On his personal satisfaction from hiring Bill Self and Lew Perkins:

“I remember very distinctly at the press conference when we introduced Bill, and he was asked a question `whether or not he could take this job without knowing who the athletic director was’. I remember his answer and he said that he had confidence in the Chancellor making a good appointment for an athletic director. I’m very proud of the fact that I was fortunate enough to be Chancellor when we hired Bill Self and Lew Perkins, who I think is probably the best athletic director in the country, just as Bill Self is the best basketball coach in the country. This is a pretty good place for me to be, between the two.”

University of Kansas Athletics Director Lew Perkins

On facility upgrades:

“Bill and I have talked about a lot of things. We’re very supportive of the things that Bill wants to have done. We want to have them done too. There is really nothing new in terms of facilities that we want to have done. These are things that Bill and I have talked about for the past six months.”

On if he was worried about Coach Self leaving:

“You never take anything for granted. As Bill said, I encouraged him to go talk to the people at OklahomaState. And I want to concur with one thing that Bill said; the people at OklahomaState were great. I talked to (Athletics Director) Mike Holder and he was very professional. The people down there deserve a lot of credit for how they handled this situation. I’ve been involved in a lot of situations where people are not as `up-front’ and open about everything. But they were great to work with and I want to say that publically. Mike was very professional and I really appreciated that. But at the end of the day, Bill and I have such a great relationship. I told him that I would support him in whatever decision he made because he deserved that support. That’s not only for the fact that we work together, but because we are friends. And I wanted to be there the entire way, helping him make the right decision.”

On upgrades to attract top-flight recruits:

“When I first came here, I said that we have great facilities, but that we need to update them. Bill and I are 100 percent onboard together. We have very good facilities, but some of them need updating. Kids are bigger and stronger now, and they probably need more room in the locker room than they needed 10 to 15 years ago. We have to have vision for what it’s going to look like in the next five to 10 to 15 years from now. These are things that we all agree on, and we have developed a master plan, but some of those need to be expedited.”

University of Kansas Head Basketball Coach Bill Self

On the past couple of weeks and his decision to stay at the University of Kansas:

“I don’t know what the big deal is. These last three or four weeks have been an absolute whirlwind. I don’t know if a guy deserves to have as much fun as I’ve had coaching this particular team and being around these guys this year, primarily the last couple weeks. It all came together in San Antonio in an unbelievable fashion. We had so much fun and we’re so proud. I’ve had to deal with a little bit since then. I not only felt obligated, but I wanted to visit with Mike Holder at my alma mater about the vacant coaching position. Not because I was looking to leave, but because I do have a true affection for OklahomaStateUniversity, as I spent 11 years of my life there. There was never serious interest on our part in leaving the University of Kansas, but there was serious interest in listening and hopefully helping OklahomaStateUniversity in a way that would put their basketball program in a position that they want it to be in. We did that last night, visited and slept on it and came to the conclusion that I felt all along- the time is right for my family to be in Lawrence, Kansas, and to lead this program, hopefully, to bigger and better things in the future.”

On whether he received a raise and an extension:

“It is fair to say. Without going into many details, and I understand why Lew (Perkins) doesn’t want to- it’s not the right time and we haven’t had the proper people look at it- but yeah, it’s fair to say that’s the case. But I think Lew would agree with this- there are a lot of things that are important in a commitment to winning at the highest level over time. Obviously, Kansas has given the basketball program the resources to do so, or we wouldn’t have done it. In order to maintain the level of excellence, there has to be a commitment on a lot of people’s parts. Certainly we know we have the University’s commitment in a lot of areas.”

On whether the situation with OklahomaState has created anxiety:

“This is a situation that has created much thought; it’s been one that has allowed my family to reflect upon what we think is important at this moment in our lives. We are at peace with what we feel is best and what we feel is best is being here. That’s not a knock on anybody else because there are only two schools in my eyes and that would be the one here and then one in Stillwater, Okla., and we wish them the very best and I know they’ll make a great choice.”

On his meeting with OklahomaState and if they offered anything formal:

“I will elaborate enough to say that Coach Holder did an unbelievable job at striking the right chord, so to speak, and he did it in a way that provoked thought on why that would be a great fit for me and my family at this time. It wasn’t done in a way that many of you imagine it being done. It was strictly as an opportunity to come home, lead a program through a transition and go to heights that it’s seen, but hasn’t seen in awhile. Everything was very positive with that, but he also knew going in, and we talked about this, that this is a very special place that I’m at, but he knows that I care about our school (OSU) and he wanted to give me some things to think about. Money never came up. It never came up and I certainly respect OklahomaState for how they handled it. It never came up, it was a situation that, `you decide if you want this for you and your family and if you want this for you and your family, then we’ll get down to business’. But money never came up, there was not a negotiating ploy or anything like that.”

On whether his mind was made up prior to talking with OklahomaState:

“My mind has been largely made up since I came here five years ago. My mind has been largely made up since the rumors started circulating this year. Certainly since Monday, my mind has largely been made up. The talks that Lew (Perkins) and I had yesterday did not cement the deal because I told him, and he agreed with me 1,000 percent, `Bill, you need to go talk to Coach Holder, you need to do this, it’s your alma mater’. But I think he knew when he told me that, exactly how I feel about this place (University of Kansas).”

On whether he’s chatted with his team about the OklahomaState opening:

“I first visited with them about this all the way back in January, maybe February. I told them because they came to us and said, `Coach, this is what we’re hearing…’, and at the time, it was totally untrue. I addressed it then, but when it did happen again, I told them that they may get hit up about this as far as questions in the respective press conferences. That didn’t mean anything to them. They were focused on ballin’ and their focus was on North Carolina. With my focus, and Lew knows, it didn’t even hint at getting sidetracked, not in the least because there was no distraction there. People painted it to be a distraction, but there wasn’t one.”

On what contributed to his reasons for staying here:

“When your family loves it here first and foremost, you love the people you work with on a daily basis, you love the direction of the program, you love the positive steps that have been taken since you’ve been here to build a foundation that can certainly springboard you into the future. We know that we are deficient in some areas, but the commitment is there to eliminate those deficiencies. We know that’s going to get done. When it comes down to it, we’re going to lose some guys. We’ve already lost five and there’s a chance we’ll lose more, you know that. We’ve told six young men that we’re going to be their coaches next year and we need to recruit some more guys. We have some guys that have given their heart and soul to us for an extended period of time and I can’t see walking away from those guys. When you really stop and think about how humbling it is, we say Phog Allen won three (National Championships), which is technically one, coach Brown won one, and now we’ve won one and how cool would it be win two? That to me is great motivation and something we’re going to work very hard to accomplish at a place that is as passionate about ball as anything. I’ll speak to one more thing about this. I have a big group of buddies of mine that went to the Final Four- they’re all OSU guys, high school buddies, college buddies- they stayed at our same hotel. After the game Saturday, I had a small gathering of them, family, coach’s families and to see how much pride existed with them, not just because of me, but because they were a part of something much bigger than anything we’ve all been a part of before. To do it again on Monday, the same scenario, to have the past players from Kansas come through that same suite and the pride that they have for a team that they’re not connected to directly, but are related to, and how much it meant to them, even those guys, my buddies, that have no connection to Kansas told me, `Bill, I’m amazed that people don’t understand the pride that exists at your place’. There were three things that happened this year. There was that, there was the 110-year Anniversary when all those players came back and you saw how much it meant to them to be connected to this place and how much joy and honor there was for me to be heading the program, and then senior night. There won’t be another senior night in America like that next year. The emotion that was involved with everything that was going on was priceless. Those things meant so much to me, I couldn’t picture leaving.”

On when OklahomaState Athletics Director Mike Holder met with him and when he declined the offer:

“It was face to face, he came to Kansas City last night and I drove over and met with him. I don’t know the exact time of day (that I turned it down), but I’d guess around 12:30 this afternoon.”

On whether OklahomaState asked him for ideas for other candidates for the job:

“I don’t want to go into detail what we talked about, but I offered to assist in any way, shape or form and I believe that, depending on how Coach Holder feels, he knows that I’m totally unbiased on that. I will do everything I can to help and I would hope that they would ask for that. If they do, I’ll have some ideas in mind for them. They know what they’re doing there too. I’m sure they have it under control.”