Norm Roberts enters his eighth season on the Kansas sidelines after rejoining Bill Self’s staff in June 2012. Roberts was on Self’s first KU staff in 2003-04 and returned prior to the 2012-13 season.
In his time at Kansas, the Jayhawks have won six Big 12 regular-season titles, three Big 12 Tournament championships and have advanced to the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 five times, the Elite Eight four times and the Final Four once, in 2018.
While on the KU sidelines, Roberts has coached five NBA Lottery selections in Josh Jackson, Andrew Wiggins, Ben McLemore, Joel Embiid and Kelly Oubre Jr. Additionally, Roberts has seen more than 20 Jayhawks go on to compete professionally, be it in the NBA, the G-League or overseas.
In Roberts’ stint at KU, 30 KU student-athletes have been named to All-Big 12 teams for an average 4.3 per season, including two Big 12 Players of the Year, two Big 12 Defensive Players of the Year, one Big 12 Freshman of the Year and one Big 12 Newcomer of the Year. The two conference players of the year were 2017 Consensus National Player of the Year Frank Mason III and 2018 Consensus All-America First Team selection Devonte’ Graham.
Roberts returned to Kansas after serving the 2011-12 season as an assistant coach at the University of Florida, where the Gators advanced to the Elite Eight of the 2012 NCAA Tournament.
Roberts is no stranger to Kansas or Self. He spent nine seasons on Self’s staffs at KU in 2003-04 as associate head coach; three years at Illinois (2000-03), including serving as associate head coach in 2002-03; three seasons at Tulsa (1997-2000) and two years at Oral Roberts (1995-97).
Prior to his year in Gainesville, Roberts spent six seasons as the head coach at St. John’s in New York, where the Queens, New York, native took over the Red Storm in 2004.
In his first season, the Red Storm showed that despite coming off several losing seasons they could compete at a high level with a pair of top-25 victories over No. 17 North Carolina State and No. 21 Pittsburgh while claiming the championship at the 2004 Holiday Festival at Madison Square Garden. St. John’s also defeated long-time rival Georgetown that year.
Roberts’ second season, 2005-06, St. John’s improved its overall and conference record and claimed the Holiday Festival championship for a second-consecutive year. The team also scored its first top-10 win under Roberts, defeating No. 9 Pittsburgh, 55-50, on Jan. 21 just four days after another top-25 win against No. 17/15 Louisville, 68-56.
In 2008-09, St. John’s scored its biggest victory of Roberts’ tenure, knocking off No. 7 Notre Dame and added a pair of wins over Georgetown, including a first-round matchup in the Big East Tournament. In his final season with the program, Roberts led St. John’s past UConn in the Big East Tournament and earned a postseason berth in the NIT.
A 1987 graduate of Queens College with a bachelor’s degree in health and physical education, Roberts is the school’s third all-time leading scorer with 1,719 points. He also is the career leader in steals (253) and is second in assists (460), and had his number (15) retired by his alma mater in 1993.
Roberts’ first job out of college was under legendary high school coach Jack Curran at Archbishop Molloy High School in Queens, where he spent three years as the head freshman coach and an assistant on the varsity squad. While at Archbishop Molloy, he had the opportunity to coach many noted New York players, highlighted by the 1991 No. 2 overall NBA draft pick Kenny Anderson.
He and his wife Pascale have two sons, Nicholas (Niko), who was a four-year letterwinner at Kansas from 2011-14 and graduated from KU in spring 2014, and Justin, a redshirt junior guard at Niagara. Niko works for the NCAA and is Coordinator of Men’s Basketball Championships.