Danny Manning is hoping that he’ll be able to help the Kansas Jayhawks win the NCAA Championship game, but after that, he’ll be turning his focus to Tulsa. Manning announced this morning that he has accepted the head coaching job at Tulsa.
Manning said in a statement:
“Right now my focus is on Kansas and its participation in the Final Four. We’ve worked extremely hard to get to this point and we want to keep it going for another few days.”
The Associated Press reports that Manning is the second member of the Kansas office to announce his departure. Earlier this week Barry Hinson, the director of basketball operations at Kansas, announced that he would be taking a head coaching job at Southern Illinois.
Kansas Head coach Bill Self said:
“Danny Manning is one of the most accomplished, humble people you’ll ever meet. He’s done more in his life through the athletic world than just about anybody, but you would never know it in visiting with him as he never ever talks about himself…. He’s been around basketball his whole life, played for so many coaches, been able to steal from everybody and has developed a vast knowledge that will certainly play a huge role in his success as a head coach. He will lead Tulsa to great heights athletically and be competing for championships in a very short amount of time.”
Tulsa hasn’t made it into the NCAA Tournament since 2001 but they haven’t been a bad team. Tulsa World reports that the team has had 6 consecutive seasons with a record on the winning side of .500. Next year, four of the team’s five best scorers will be returning.
Tulsa athletic director Ross Parmley said:
“We are extremely excited to have Danny. His 15 years in the NBA combined with the last nine years under one of the best coaches in the country, have helped mold him into a great teacher and coach of basketball. He most definitely brings the excitement, the style of basketball and character that we were looking for in our head coach.”
Manning is looking forward to coaching at Tulsa but his departure from Kansas will be bittersweet. Manning is Kansas’ all-time leading scorer and rebounder. He lead Kansas to the NCAA Championship in 1988 and is ninth on the NCAA’s all time scoring list with 2,951 points.
“I’m excited and looking forward to being the head basketball coach at The University of Tulsa… I’d also like to thank Coach Self for giving me the chance to be a part of his staff for the past nine years. I have learned a tremendous amount about the game and the profession from him and all of the members of his staff.”