Two of basketball's blue blood head coaches have ties right here in Green Country.
Michigan State's Tom Izzo spent seven weeks on TU's staff back in 1986. But Bill Self of Kansas spent his first seven years as a head coach right here in Tulsa. He first started at ORU and then spent three at TU, and now, he's back where it all began.
"This is a melting pot of [darn] good coaches," said Izzo.
Tubby smith, Danny Manning and Tom Izzo are just some that have come through Tulsa. But arguably, the best of them all is Bill self.
"Happy to be in Tulsa, a place that I spent seven years of my adult life,” said Self.
Self's first head coaching job was at Oral Roberts in 1993. He inherited a team that won just five games the year before. And in just four years, had them in the NIT.
"I loved my time at Oral Roberts,” Self stated. “We lost 18 in a row to winning 31 of our last 38."
After that season, it was eight miles up Harvard to TU where he won 73 percent of his games and had the Golden Hurricane ranked as high as 12th in 2000 and a four-point loss to North Carolina from making the Final Four.
All in all, Self won 129 games during his time in Green Country.
"They were both tremendous experiences,” he said. “Not too often do you get a chance to coach at two different universities within the same city. Both places were great for us.”
And they both helped propel him to a hall-of-fame career.