Bill Self delivers thoughtful Hall of Fame speech thanking players, coaches and family
Self received a standing ovation both before and after his riveting speech
Kansas coach Bill Self was deferential and reverent to his supporters in his Hall of Fame enshrinement speech on Friday night, paying homage to the players, coaches, family and friends who encouraged and believed in him throughout his journey in coaching.
Self's success as a coach has been undeniable at every stop. From Oral Roberts to Tulsa to Illinois to Kansas, he has accumulated an astounding 623 wins. He has nine 30-win seasons, 13 consecutive conference crowns, and an NCAA championship won in 2008.
"I want to acknowledge everyone in this room I grew up idolizing," Self said. "Players and coaches that have been role models, it's certainly very humbling to be in your presence tonight."
Self specifically thanked his wife, mother and father who made the trip to his enshrinement as well as his sister, recalling a time during his playing days at Oklahoma State in which his sister punched a man at a bar for talking down on his game.
Even in one of the biggest speeches of his career, Self's sense of humor shined through.
On a more serious note, Self then paid specific honor to Larry Brown -- the Hall of Famer who first gave him a shot at KU and presented Self on stage Friday.
"I had a chance at age 22 to work and study under one of the most innovate minds our sport has ever known, and I tried so hard to emulate you, coach, in how I coached," Self said facing Brown on stage. "Thank you for everything. Thank you for giving me my first opportunity."
Self was reflective in his speech of his career and the path that took him to three different schools as a head coach before landing with the Kansas Jayhawks -- the only opportunity he says was worthy of leaving his gig and successful run at the University of Illinois.
"The Lord has blessed me and my family beyond measure," Self said. " There is no way an average player from Oklahoma would be standing before you tonight if his handprint wasn't all over my life. I will never take this honor for granted, and I will be more humble now than ever to occupy an office on Naismith Drive."
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