Kansas' Bill Self coaches from the bench during their NCAA college basketball game against Texas Tech in Lubbock, Texas, Tuesday, Feb, 18, 2014. (AP Photo/Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, Stephen Spillman)
OKLAHOMA CITY - Kansas men's basketball coach Bill Self was presented with the Wayman Tisdale Humanitarian Award at the Devon Energy College Basketball Awards in Oklahoma City Monday.
A native of Edmond, Okla., Self was informed in November of 2013 that he would be honored in the ceremony at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City. The College Basketball Awards are produced annually by Access Sports in conjunction with the United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA). Self shared the stage with college basketball's 2014 Wayman Tisdale Freshman of the Year (Jabari Parker of Duke), the 2014 National Player of the Year (Doug McDermott of Creighton), who received the Oscar Robertson Trophy, and the 2014 Henry Iba National Coach of the Year (Gregg Marshall of Wichita State).
The Tisdale Humanitarian Award recognizes an individual involved in college basketball that has had a significant and positive impact on and away from the court. Previous honorees include legendary ESPN and hall of fame announcer Dick Vitale, Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski and Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo. The award's namesake, Wayman Tisdale, died in May 2009 after a two-year battle with cancer.
"I was very aware of this award but I had absolutely no idea that I was in consideration for anything like this," Self said in a media session prior to the banquet. "They could have picked a lot of guys more deserving than of a humanitarian award than me. It means a lot because it's happening in Oklahoma City and then having Wayman's name on it. I was by no means in competition with him but I did play during the same era and I saw how he revolutionized basketball in our state. You could say Billy Tubbs and Nolan Richardson had a strong hand in doing that but Wayman changed the whole climate of everything going on here. And to have a guy do it that was such a personality, and maybe as good of an ambassador as anybody as our state has known, is very cool."
In 11 seasons at Kansas Self has a 325-69 record, averaging 29.5 wins per season. Overall, Self has coached 21 seasons with a 532-174 record. Including the 2013-14 title, Self has guided KU to an unprecedented 10-straight Big 12 regular-season championships. He has also guided the Jayhawks to two Final Fours, including the 2008 NCAA title. He was named just the eighth head coach in Kansas basketball history on April 21, 2003. While at KU, Self has been named national coach of the year twice and Big 12 Coach of the Year four times.
Bill and Cindy Self established the Assists Foundation in 2006 to help provide young people access to better lives. The mission of Assists is accomplished by identifying areas of need and working with other community-based institutions to provide creative and lasting solutions. The Assists Foundation supports scholarships and helps community organizations improve their facilities and programs so as to teach young people how to live healthy, productive lives. The foundation works to help young people have access to healthy lifestyle programs, facilitated by components of education, assessments, prevention, leadership, and competition. Self is also actively involved in a variety of other charitable efforts, including Coaches vs. Cancer and the V Foundation for Cancer Research.
The Devon Energy College Basketball Awards are presented by Devon Energy, a leading independent oil and natural gas exploration and production company based in Oklahoma City. The event is produced by Access Sports, an Oklahoma City-based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization committed to supporting various charitable causes, including funding prosthetic devices for needy individuals through the Wayman L. Tisdale Foundation, funding of youth basketball programs throughout the state of Oklahoma through the Wayman's Lightning Basketball League, and other worthy charitable causes.