In 17 seasons at Kansas, Bill Self is 501-109 (82.1 percent), averaging 29.5 wins per year. Overall, Self has a 708-214 (76.8 percent) record in 27 seasons as a head coach. In 2020, he became the second-youngest coach to claim 700 NCAA Division I victories.
He was named just the eighth head coach in Kansas basketball history on April 21, 2003.
While at Kansas, Self has won one national championship, 15 regular-season Big 12 titles, which included a KU- and NCAA-record 14-straight from 2005-18, and eight league tournament championships. He is 264-14 all-time in Allen Fieldhouse and has won more league titles (15) than has home losses (14). In his first trip to the Final Four in 2008, Self’s team won the title. Self is one of 10 active coaches in NCAA Division I to have won a national title.
In Self’s 17 seasons at Kansas, he has coached 11 NBA Lottery selections including Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid, the No. 1 and No. 3 overall selections in the 2014 NBA Draft. Wiggins was the second-ever Jayhawk to go No. 1 with the other being Danny Manning in 1988.
A nine-time conference coach of the year, eight of which came at Kansas (2006, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018), Self has guided his teams to 22-straight 23-win seasons dating back to 1998-99. Self’s teams have won 19 league crowns in the last 22 years. The other three seasons resulted in top-three conference finishes.
Kansas’ four-straight 30-win seasons from 2009-10 to 2012-13 are tied for the most consecutive 30-win seasons in NCAA history (note: Memphis did it from 2006-09 yet later vacated the 2008 season). Self has guided Kansas to nine of its 15 overall 30-win seasons.
Enshrined as a first-ballot honoree in the Class of 2017 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, Self became the sixth-fastest in NCAA history to win 700 career games. Kansas’ 300 victories under Self in his first 10 seasons were more wins than any other NCAA Division I school in the previous 10 years. With 501 wins at KU in 17 seasons, Self ranks second on the school’s coaching list, only trailing Phog Allen’s 590.
In 2016, Self was named the Associated Press National Coach of the Year for the second time, also earning the honor in 2009. The 2016 AP honor was one of four Self was recognized for as he was also the national coach of the year by his peers (NABC), USA Today and Bleacher Report. The 2008 Winged Foot Award recipient for winning the national title, Sporting News named Self its National Coach of the Year in 2000, 2009 and 2012. The 2012 Naismith and Adolph Rupp national coach of the year as well, Self is a seven-time finalist for the Naismith honor (2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2009, 2012 and 2016). In 2014, Self received the Wayman Tisdale Humanitarian Award by the United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) and in September 2015 he received the Mannie Jackson – Basketball’s Human Spirit Award at the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame induction ceremonies for his work with his Assists Foundation.
A member of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Rules Committee, the USA Basketball Competition Committee and board member for the National Association of Basketball Coaches, Self has coached seve league players of the year and 69 all-conference performers, including four All-Big 12 selections in 2020. In addition, Self is one of six coaches in NCAA Division I history to have led three different teams – Tulsa, Illinois and Kansas – to the NCAA Elite Eight, including eight times with KU (2004-07-08-11-12-16-17-18). The other coaches are: Gene Bartow, John Calipari, Lon Kruger, Rick Pitino and Eddie Sutton.
In the classroom under Self, Kansas has 39 Academic All-Big 12 selections, including 28 first-team honorees. Included are Academic All-Americans Cole Aldrich (2010) and Tyrel Reed (2011) with Aldrich being named the Academic All-American of the Year.
Also while at Kansas, Self has been head coach of two gold medal-winning USA teams. In summer 2018, he guided USA Basketball to a 6-0 record at the 2018 FIBA Americas U18 World Championships in Canada. In summer 2015, he led a KU based team representing the USA to an 8-0 record at the World University Games in South Korea.
Self came to KU from the University of Illinois, where he guided the Fighting Illini to a 78-24 record over three seasons, including two Big Ten regular-season championships, a Big Ten Tournament title and three-straight NCAA Tournament appearances. In Self’s first season in Champaign, the Illini advanced to the NCAA Tournament Elite Eight.
Prior to his stint at Illinois, Self coached at Tulsa from 1998 to 2000, where he led the Golden Hurricane to a record of 74-27 in three seasons, including trips to the NCAA Tournament in 1999 and 2000. Tulsa went 32-5 in 2000, setting a school single-season record for victories and advanced to the NCAA Elite Eight.
Self began his head coaching career at Oral Roberts, where he resurrected the program. Before Self took over the reins, ORU had compiled the worst record in the program’s history with a 5-22 mark in 1992-93. Although Self’s first ORU team managed just six victories in 1993-94, the win total increased to 10 the following year. In his third season at the helm, Self guided ORU to an 18-9 record. In 1996-97, ORU registered a 21-7 mark and made the school’s first postseason tournament appearance since 1983-84, receiving an invitation to the NIT.
Prior to his appointment at ORU, Self spent seven seasons as an assistant coach at Oklahoma State University. He originally joined the Cowboys’ staff for the 1986-87 season and spent the next four years working under then-OSU head coach Leonard Hamilton. In the three seasons prior to his arrival at ORU, Self served as an assistant on Eddie Sutton’s staff at OSU.
Self spent the 1985-86 season on Larry Brown’s coaching staff at Kansas. While Self was at KU, the Jayhawks went 35-4 and advanced to the Final Four in Dallas.
A native of Edmond, Oklahoma, Self played basketball at Oklahoma State where he was a four-year letterwinner from 1982 to 1985. He received his bachelor’s degree in business in 1985 and a master’s degree in athletic administration in 1989, both from OSU.
He and his wife, Cindy, have two children: daughter, Lauren, who graduated from KU in 2013 and is married to Hayden Browning, and son, Tyler, who played at Kansas from 2013-17. The Self’s also have two granddaughters: Ella and Phoebe, both daughters of Lauren and Hayden.
|The Self File|
|Alma Mater||Oklahoma State, 1985|
|2003-Present, Kansas (HC)|
|2000-03, Illinois (HC)|
|1998-2000, Tulsa (HC)|
|1993-98, Oral Roberts (HC)|
|1986-93, Oklahoma State (Asst.)|
|1985-86, Kansas (GA)|
|Oral Roberts (4)||55||54||.505|
|1982-85, Oklahoma State|