Throwback Video Thursday: Jerry Waugh
Nov. 24, 2011
Jerry Waugh (Men’s Basketball) 1947-51
Wellington, Kan. native Jerry Waugh is a living link to the hallowed past of the Kansas basketball program. Having played for the legendary coach Forrest “Phog” Allen, Waugh returned to assist another well known KU coach in Dick Harp. Together, the pair would win a total of 48 games during their three seasons on the bench. That brief stint as a KU coach would not be the last for Waugh as he would return as the KU women’s golf coach from 1992-99.
You played at Kansas during a time in which the program was a lot different than it is today. What was that experience like and what were some of the differences?
“Well I played in Hoch (Auditorium) and my coach was Phog Allen. Doctor Allen did not contact me to come to Kansas because much of the recruiting in those days was done by people who were alums of this institution and cared about Kansas and Kansas basketball.”
After finishing your playing career and education at KU, you returned a few years later to become a member of the Jayhawk coaching staff, what compelled you to come back?
“You know I had coach in the high schools and then Doc (Allen) retired, so Dick (Harp) brought me back as his assistant. In those days the staff certainly was not to the same extent that we have today, but we didn’t have the money in those days to hire people. So Dick was the head coach, I was his assistant and together the two of us ran it. I was honored and pleased to come back to Kansas as a college coach. Of course what made me even more excited was that he had a tall fella by the name of (Wilt) Chamberlain.”
What was it like to coach ‘The Big Dipper’ while he was young and in college?
“Someone once asked me before about working with Wilt and I said Wilt was politely disobedient. It was very difficult for a young man who had the previous successes that he did as a high school player, to catch a ball, turn over and face the basket, because he had never done any of those things. He also had difficulty in learning the transition and so he was politely disobedient. What stood out to me about Wilt was that he returned for that final recognition at the Fieldhouse (in 1998). He was finally able to realize how much this place had meant to him personally.”
What has being involved with the university and its athletic department meant to you and what do you think it represents to others who you have coached and played with?
“As we watch the young men who have played here in the past and come back here to be recognized, they begin to understand who they were, what this meant to them and what Kansas basketball is. I know I am very proud to have been a part of what went on here, not just with basketball, because my four years here are much more meaningful because of other things and basketball was just a part of it.”