Danny Manning: “You don’t leave Kansas just for any job. It’s a great fit. I couldn’t be more excited.”

April 9, 2012 – 7:00 am by Steven Cuce

Former Kansas assistant coach Danny Manning has signed on to become the next head coach of men’s basketball at the University of Tulsa. Manning knows the history behind some elite head coaches starting their careers at Tulsa. Tubby Smith, Nolan Richardson and former boss Bill Self all coached at Tulsa before going on to win national championships at other programs.

Manning is looking forward to the challenge of being a head coach and certainly would like to give an assist to Bill Self for giving him all the background information he needed to know before making the decision to coach the Golden Hurricanes.

Danny Manning joined KCSP in Kansas City with Fescoe in the Morning to discuss turning Tulsa University into a contender, the moment in his life where he knew he wanted to be a head coach, taking on all the blame as a head coach, Bill Self endorsing him to become the head coach of Tulsa and Bill Self being very instrumental in pushing him to take the gig.

What are you going to have to do as a head coach to make Tulsa successful?

“We gotta make sure we get the right mix of young men to come in and have an impact on our team and have an impact on this university. It’s a great university. The facilities are wonderful. We look forward to brighter days.”

When did you have it in your mind that you wanted to be a head coach?

“I think that happened to me throughout the course of my career having gone through the injury bugs I went through. I had to figure out different ways to have an impact. I needed to know my opponents and how they were shooting the ball from the perimeter. Which hand do they like to drive with? All their moves. I wanted to know the other teams plays that they ran most of the time, so I could have some type of advantage. Going through injuries sometimes you lose some of your athletic ability and I thought anticipation could make that up for me by having a jump start at knowing what’s going to happen before it actually happened.”

At Kanas University as the assistant coach you had a nice lifestyle with none of the blame and all of the credit. Is being a head coach something you want?

“You’re absolutely correct, but it’s a challenge that I am looking forward to. I had a chance to learn from some great coaches and in particular Coach Bill Self the last nine years. I tell people all the time you don’t leave Kansas just for any job. Even as the head coaching job this to you is special. Great academics. Great university. The city embraces this university and kind of woven into the fabric of this area. It’s a great fit. I couldn’t be more excited.”

Did Bill Self give you great perspective on the Tulsa program?

“Absolutely Coach Self and his wife, Cindy, having nothing, but love for the city of Tulsa, for the university, for the program and we’re excited. There have been three coaches who left here and went on to win national championships like Tubby Smith, Nolan Richardson and Coach Self obviously so the history and tradition is here.”

How instrumental was Bill Self in pushing you to the Tulsa job?

“Very instrumental. He helped educate me on Tulsa. He was in conversation with different people on the search committee, not just me, but the university and the direction of the program in general and as it played out. I guess my name kept sticking around and floating to the top. I guess I kind of waited out the rest of the potential candidates and I am very happy and pleased that President [Steadman] Upham and Ross [Parmley] our AD gave me this opportunity.”

Listen to Danny Manning on KCSP in Kansas City here

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