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One of the most outstanding players in the history of college basketball, Danny Manning became The University of Tulsa's 29th Head Basketball Coach on March 29, 2012.
A Collegiate Basketball Hall of Famer, Manning spent nine seasons on the KU men's basketball staff. In March 2007, he was named assistant coach for the Jayhawks. He was hired at Tulsa just days before he would be coaching in the NCAA Final Four as a member of the University of Kansas staff.
During his time on staff at Kansas, Manning was part of one NCAA national title, two Final Fours, five NCAA Elite Eight appearances, eight Big 12 regular season conference titles, five Big 12 tournament championships and 269 career victories. As an assistant coach from 2007-12, KU compiled an overall 164-24 mark for an .872 winning percentage. As an assistant coach in 2008 and player in 1988, Manning was on the floor for KU's last two national championships.
In his role as KU assistant coach, Manning worked with the Jayhawk post players and earned a reputation as one of the best coaches of big men in the country. He coached 11 NBA draft picks, including eight first round selections and five lottery picks. Kansas forwards among those NBA draft picks during his tenure included Wayne Simien, Julian Wright, Darrell Arthur, Darnell Jackson, Sasha Kaun, Cole Aldrich, twins Marcus and Markieff Morris and Thomas Robinson. Manning recruited two McDonald's High School All-Americans, including 2010 NBA first-round draft pick and Oklahoman Xavier Henry. He also coached two Academic All-Americans - Cole Aldrich and Tyrel Reed. Aldrich was selected as the 2010 Academic All-America of the Year for men's basketball.
A Jayhawk legend, Manning is Kansas' all-time leading scorer and rebounder, racking up 2,951 points and 1,187 boards in his illustrious four-year career. Manning, the eighth all-time leading scorer in NCAA history, was named a consensus first-team All-America selection in 1987 and 1988, the consensus College Player of the Year in 1988 and a three-time Big Eight Conference Player of the Year (1986, 1987 and 1988).
As assistant coach in 2011-12, Manning helped lead the Jayhawks back to the NCAA Final Four with an overall 32-7 record and a Big 12 Conference regular season championship. The Jayhawks defeated Ohio State in a semifinal game before dropping a nine-point decision against No. 1-ranked Kentucky in the championship game.
"We are extremely excited to have Danny join The University of Tulsa as our new Head Basketball Coach. He epitomizes everything our university stands for. His impact on young people will extend far beyond the TU basketball program and reach well into our campus and community," said Parmley. "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."
"I'm excited on becoming the head basketball coach at The University of Tulsa. I want to thank President Upham, Ross (Parmley) and the search committee for allowing me this tremendous opportunity to coach at a University with a fine basketball tradition," said Manning on the day of his hiring.
From 2003 until 2007, Manning served as the Director of Student-Athlete Development/Team Manager at KU. In that position, Manning was the team travel coordinator, oversaw equipment ordering and distribution and organized and assisted in the youth holiday clinic and summer camp program. In 2004-05, Manning also took on many director of operations duties for Kansas.
Kansas Head Coach Bill Self, a person who knows the Tulsa basketball program well, having served as the Hurricane head coach from 1997-2000, had this to say about Manning:
"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. His focus on deciding to be a basketball coach was to try to share some of his knowledge and make others better. He's certainly done that at a very high level with us here at Kansas. 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. Although 46 years old, he's well beyond those in basketball years as far as experience. The University of Tulsa has not only hired a great person and a great ambassador, but also a man that will lead Tulsa to great heights athletically and be competing for championships in a very short amount of time."
Self added, "I mean, who wouldn't want their son to be mentored by a guy who has everything you want your son to be? Think about it: he graduated, won a national championship, and was the No. 1 pick in the draft, an Olympian, two-time NBA all-star, family man, has his priorities straight. Who wouldn't want their son mentored by a guy like that on a daily basis?"
Manning was named the 1988 NCAA Final Four Most Outstanding Player en route to leading the Jayhawks to an 83-79 victory over Oklahoma for the 1988 national championship. He was also named the MVP of the NCAA Midwest Regional in 1986 and 1988. The 1986 KU squad finished 35-4 and advanced to the Final Four in Dallas.
Manning won a Bronze Medal as a member of the 1988 USA Olympic Team.
The No. 1 overall pick in the 1988 NBA Draft by the Los Angeles Clippers, Manning played for seven different professional teams -- the Clippers, Hawks, Suns, Bucks, Jazz, Mavericks and Pistons. He boasts averages of 14.0 points and 5.2 rebounds per game during his NBA career, spanning 883 total games. Manning was a two-time NBA All-Star (1993 and 1994), and won the league's Sixth Man Award in 1998. During his playing days, Manning was a representative for the NBA Players Association.
In 2005, Manning became part of a 20-person committee to help select the U.S. Olympic basketball team and its coaches. Additionally, Manning has been an ambassador for the Governor's Council on Fitness for the state of Kansas and a guest lecturer with university classes and other KU athletic teams.
Manning was inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame on November 23, 2008. In addition to his College Basketball Hall of Fame enshrinement, in June 2008 Manning was named to the Guilford County Sports Hall of Fame for his early high school career at Page High School in North Carolina. He is also a member of the Lawrence (Kan.) High School Hall of Fame.
Manning, born May 17, 1966, earned his degree in Communication from Kansas in 1991. He and his wife, Julie, have two children -- daughter, Taylor, a student at KU, and son, Evan, a walk-on with the Kansas basketball team.
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