Former KU Men's Basketball Coach Ted Owens to be Inducted into Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame

July 1, 2009

Former Kansas men’s basketball coach Ted Owens will be inducted into the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame August 3 in Oklahoma City.

Owens is one of six to be inducted along with Tom Catlin (Oklahoma football player), John Kolb (Pittsburgh Steelers), Cal McLish (MLB All-Star pitcher), Clem McSpadden (longtime rodeo announcer) and Bob Tway (Oklahoma State golfer). Enshrinement ceremonies will take place at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum.

A native of Hollis, Okla., Owens ranks as the third-winningest coach in Kansas basketball history behind Phog Allen and Roy Williams. His record of 348-182 (.657) was compiled over 19 seasons from 1964-83.

In Owens’ tenure as the Jayhawks’ head coach, Kansas won six Big Eight Conference titles and advanced to NCAA postseason play seven times. His 1971 and 1974 teams reached the NCAA Final Four, and in 1968 the Jayhawks lost to Dayton in the finals of the National Invitation Tournament.

Owens was named Big Eight Coach of the Year five times and was named National Coach of the Year in 1978 by Basketball Weekly. He coached five All-Americans: Jo Jo White, Darnell Valentine, Dave Robisch, Bud Stallworth and Walter Wesley.

A three-year letterman at the University of Oklahoma (1949-51), Owens honed his coaching skills as head coach at Cameron State Junior College in Lawton, Okla. In four seasons his teams never won fewer than 20 games and three times advanced to the national junior college tournament semifinals. At Cameron, he amassed a 93-24 record and boasted four junior college All-Americans. Owens then accepted an assistant’s position under KU head coach Dick Harp in 1960, and was promoted to head coach when Harp resigned following the 1963-64 season.

This is the first of two enshrinements for Owens this year; he will be inducted into the State of Kansas Sports Hall of Fame in October in Wichita, Kan.

Founded in 1986, the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame includes 116 Oklahoma sports figures.