HISTORY OF KANSAS COACHES
James Naismith and Phog Allen circa 1932
James Naismith 1898-1907
55-60, .478, 9 Seasons
- Naismith invented the game as a physical education
instructor at Springfield College in the winter of 1891.
- Naismith joined the KU faculty in 1898, coached the
Jayhawk's first basketball team and later became the director of physical
- Naismith is the only Kansas coach to have a losing
- Naismith retired from active teaching in 1937 and died
in 1939 at the age of 78.
- The National Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield,
Mass., is named in his honor.
"Phog" Allen 1907-09; 1919-56
590-219, .729, 39 Seasons
coach in Kansas Basketball history with 590 wins.
- All totaled, Allen won 746 games, a record since
broken by one of Allen's former players, Adolph Rupp of Kentucky.
- Allen played under Naismith earning 3 letters between
- When he thought about entering coaching, Naismith
advised Allen, "You don't coach basketball, Forrest; you play it." Allen
emphatically disproved that theory, innovating much of the basketball theory
evident in the modern game.
Accomplishments and Honors
- 24 Conference Championships.
- 1952 NCAA National Championship; Helms Foundation
national Championship 1922 and 1923.
- NCAA Championship Final, 1940, 1953.
- Coached 14 All-Americans.
- National Coach of the Year, 1950.
- Charter member of Helms Foundation Basketball Hall
- Elected to Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of
- Driving force behind addition of basketball as
Olympic sport in 1936.
Allen Fieldhouse was named for him in 1955 and is still the home of
O. Hamilton 1909-1919
125-59, .679, 10 Seasons
- Hamilton bridged the gap between Phog Allen's two
tenures as Kansas' coach. He coached basketball, track and was athletic
- Hamilton's teams won 5 conference championships.
- Under Hamilton, three KU players became All-Americans,
including Tommy Johnson in 1909, KU's first All-American in any sport.
121-82, .596, 8 Seasons
- Harp spent 8 seasons as Allen's assistant and took
over the head spot when Allen retired.
- Harp played basketball at KU, lettering from 1938-40
and was starting guard on the 1940 KU team that lost to Indiana in the NCAA
- Harp led the Jayhawks to two conference titles and two
NCAA tournament berths. In 1957, he led the Jayhawks to the finals, where KU
lost to North Carolina 54-53 in triple overtime.
- Both Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Bridges became
All-Americans under Harp.
- After leaving KU, Harp served as the director of the
Fellowship of Christian Athletes for 13 years.
- Harp is one of only five people to have played and
coached in an NCAA title game.
- Harp returned to coaching between 1986-1989 under Dean
Smith, another former KU player and assistant under Allen. While at UNC,
Harp became acquatinted with a UNC assistant named Roy Williams.
348-182, .657, 19 Seasons
- Owens ranks as the second-winningest coach in Kansas
Basketball history behind Allen.
- Under Owens, KU won six Big 8 titles, advanced to the
NCAA Tournament 7 times and played in the Final Four in 1971 and 1974.
- Owens was Big 8 Coach of the Year 5 times.
- Owens coached 5 All-Americans, including Jo-Jo White.
- Owens spent 4 years as an assistant under Dick Harp.
- Owens was the first KU coach to be fired after the KU
program fell from the national prominence in the late '70's and early '80s
to which KU fans had become accustomed. While the move was controversial at
the time, KU has again become a consistent top 10 team under his successors,
Larry Brown and Roy Williams, advancing to 4 Final Fours and winning the
National Championship in 1988. Although feelings between Owens and the
University were strained after his departure, in recent years feelings on
both sides appear to have mellowed and he has returned to Allen Fieldhouse
to a standing ovation. His contribution to the tradition of Kansas
Basketball is unquestioned.
135-44, .754, 5 Seasons
- Brown returned the Jayhawks to national prominence,
taking the Jayhawks to the NCAA Tournament in each of his 5 years.
- Browns 1986 Final Four team is considered by many to
be the best KU team in the last 25 years.
- Brown's 1988 team won KU's second NCAA Tournament
Championship and set the record for most losses in a season by a National
- Although Brown brought KU the success that KU fans
wanted and was immensely popular, rumors swirled in each of his 5 seasons
that he would leave for coaching jobs in both the NBA and at other colleges.
In 1988, those rumors came true when Brown left KU late in the summer for a
job in the NBA. Brown's departure opened the door for a little known North
Carolina assistant to take the reins. . . . .
Rock Chalk Zone