Jayhawks Remember Former Coach Dougherty

July 8, 2011


Former Kansas men’s basketball assistant coach Neil Dougherty died on Tuesday, July 5 while running in Indianapolis. Dougherty served as an assistant for the Jayhawks from 1995-2002 under head coach Roy Williams. Dougherty, who was 50, is survived by his wife, Patti and his three children, Megan, Neil and Ryan.

Dougherty grew up just 30 miles from the KU campus in Leavenworth, Kan., and had many ties to the Jayhawk basketball program. He was a standout athlete at Leavenworth High School and played one year under Mike Krzyzewski at Army before transferring to Cameron (Okla.). After completing his collegiate playing career, he served several assistant coaching stints at Drake, Vanderbilt and South Carolina from 1988-94.

After coming to Kansas in 1995, Dougherty was a part of one of the most successful stretches in Kansas basketball history, averaging just under 30 victories a season and winning four conference championships in seven years as an assistant.

Dougherty was hired by TCU in March of 2002 as a head coach. He spent six seasons at the helm, amassing a record of 75-106.

After his stint at TCU, Dougherty went on to work as the director of athlete and coach programs for iHoops, a joint venture between the NBA and NCAA to help promote youth basketball initiatives.

The wake for Cornelius Aaron “Neil” Dougherty is scheduled for Friday, July 15 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Sacred Heart Church, 1401 2nd Avenue, Leavenworth, KS, 66048-3375. Phone: (913) 772-1787. (Map: http://goo.gl/9gBKQ)

A funeral service is scheduled for Saturday, July 16 at 11 a.m. at the same location.

Leavenworth is a short distance from the Kansas City International Airport. A number of hotels have availability in the area, a sampling of which can be found at http://goo.gl/cA3Jm.

In lieu of flowers, Neil’s family is finalizing details on a cause of interest which will be provided in the near future.

What players and friends are saying about Neil Dougherty

Greg Gurley (KU Guard, 1992-95)

“I know Neil very well and it is just a horrible loss. Everyone is in shock because he was such an energetic, fun guy who always made you feel so good. He always had a huge smile on his face; he was such a great guy and a great Kansan. Kansas Basketball is such a strong fraternity of guys, whether it is players or coaches, so even though I never played for him, I as well as others in this program are mourning his loss today.”

Aaron Miles (KU Guard, 2001-05)

“Coach Dougherty recruited me, and I played for him during my freshman year (2001-02). My family really appreciated him because my first year here, I would go over to his house many times and eat. I just remember his family was really welcoming of all us freshman on the team. He may be gone physically from this earth but he is never forgotten. He has done great things with his life and because of that he is loved and appreciated”

Wayne Simien (Forward, 2001-05)

“To hear that Coach Dougherty passed away from a heart attack did not seem quite feasible because he had a heart of gold. He has had such an impact on not just my life, but so many of my friends of teammates.

The thing I appreciated most about him as a coach was that he never let me or anyone else on our team settle for anything less than the best. He always found a way to expect more out of us.

Being from the same area (Leavenworth, Kan.), I have known him pretty much my whole life and he is without a doubt one of the finest men I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.”