Jerrance Howard came to Kansas in May 2013. Two months later, Howard was ranked 12th among the top recruiting assistant coaches in NCAA Division I by ESPN.com in a survey of more than 200 head coaches.
In five seasons at KU, Howard has been part of Kansas’ five Big 12 regular-season championships, two Big 12 Tournament titles, four in-season tourney titles and five NCAA Tournament appearances, including three Elite Eight runs and one Final Four in 2018. Additionally, Howard has seen 11 Jayhawks move on to the NBA, including Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid, the No. 1 and No. 3 overall selections in the 2014 NBA Draft and Josh Jackson, the 2017 No. 4 pick.
In five seasons at Kansas, Howard has coached 22 All-Big 12 selections, including back-to-back Big 12 Players of the Year Frank Mason III, the 2017 consensus national player of the year, and 2018 All-America First Team honoree Devonte’ Graham.
In the summer of 2015, Howard was an assistant coach who helped guide the USA National Team, made up mainly of University of Kansas student-athletes and KU coaches and staff, to the gold medal at the World University Games in Gwangju, Korea, by posting an 8-0 record. The medal was USA’s first in three World University Games and the first gold, 14th overall, for the Americans since 2005.
Howard came to KU after one season in the same position on Larry Brown’s staff at SMU. Prior to SMU, Howard spent the previous five seasons as an assistant coach at his alma mater, Illinois. He was also interim head coach for the Illini. While at UI he earned a reputation as one of the top young assistant coaches in the country and one of the nation’s best recruiters. Before Illinois, Howard spent three-plus seasons on Billy Gillispie’s staffs at Texas A&M and Kentucky.
A Peoria, Illinois, native, Howard was a four-year letterwinner for the Fighting Illini from 2001-04, including three seasons for Bill Self. During his career, Illinois compiled a record of 104-31 overall and was 48-16 in the Big Ten Conference. The Illini won three Big Ten Championships (2001, 2002, 2004), a Big Ten Tournament Title (2003) and appeared in the NCAA Tournament all four years, advancing to the Elite Eight in 2001 and the Sweet 16 in both 2002 and 2004.
Howard brings with him a strong playing career, over half of which was spent under Self. He played point guard for the Illini along with All-Americans Frank Williams, Dee Brown and Deron Williams. Howard developed a reputation as the program’s inspirational leader and was a team captain his junior and senior seasons. He also was a two-time winner of the Kenny Battle Award, an accolade voted upon by the players and coaches and given to an Illini who earns the respect of his teammates through hard work and effort in games and practice each day.
Howard earned a bachelor’s degree in speech communication from the University of Illinois in 2004. He is married to the former Jessica Wordlaw, who also is an Illinois graduate. The Howards have a son, Jerrance Jr., and a daughter, Jaya Brooklyn-Rose.