For the first time in eight years, Kansas men's basketball will be looking for a new assistant coach. Just days after announcing a lifetime contract for head coach Bill Self, assistant coach Jerrance Howard will be leaving to join Chris Beard’s new super staff at Texas.
Here are some names that could be on the Kansas bench next year.
This one seems the most far-fetched, due to Ballard’s recent success with Washburn University. The Hutchison, Kansas native and current Ichabod head coach has a long history with Kansas. Ballard played from 2000-2002 and remained a volunteer student assistant during Bill Self’s first year as head coach in the 2003-2004 season.
Ballard was promoted to video coordinator in 2004 and remained until 2008 when he was promoted to director of basketball operations. Ballard remained until 2010 when he was hired as the next head coach for Baker University. Ballard was also an assistant under Danny Manning at Tulsa from 2012-2014 and at Wake Forest from 2014-2017.
Ballard was hired to replace long-time Washburn head coach Bob Chipman in 2017. In his first year, Ballard led the Ichabods to its first conference tournament title game appearance and NCAA postseason game since 2012. Most recently, Ballard led the Ichabods to its first MIAA tournament title since 2012.
Case played for Kansas under Self from 2003-2008. Case played in 94 games, won four Big 12 regular-season titles, three tournament titles, was a two-time Academic All-Big 12 First team honoree in 2006 and 2008 and was a part of the 2008 National Championship team.
Case was hired as an assistant at Houston Baptist University in 2012 and was on staff until 2016. Case returned to Kansas to become the new video coordinator in August of 2016.
Case has an advantage over some candidates as he already knows Bill Self’s coaching system better than any external candidate.
Miles, like Ballard, has quite a pedigree to show. Miles played at Kansas from 2001-2005, helping the Jayhawks to consecutive Final Four appearances in 2002 and 2003. With 954 assists, Miles is the all-time assist leader at Kansas and was one of the most important players during the first few years of Self’s Kansas coaching career.
Miles signed with the Golden State Warriors as an undrafted free agent in 2005 and remained until 2006. Miles bounced around teams throughout Europe until his retirement in 2015.
Miles returned to Kansas as the director of student-athlete development for the 2015-2016 season. Miles then joined former Kansas assistant coach, Joe Dooley, at Florida Gulf Coast for the 2016-2017 season before becoming the head coach for the Santa Cruz Warriors, the G-League affiliate team for the Golden State Warriors.
Miles remained the Santa Cruz head coach until 2019 when he was promoted to become a player development coach for Golden State, where he currently remains.
An obvious name to be mentioned, Manning’s resume speaks for itself. Manning played at Kansas from 1984-1988, leading Kansas to a 1988 NCAA Championship while also taking home the 1988 Wooden Award. Manning is also still currently the Kansas all-time leading scorer with 2,951 career points.
Manning played in the NBA from 1988-2003 for a variety of teams like the Los Angeles Clippers, Atlanta Hawks and Phoenix Suns. He returned to Kansas in 2003 as the director of student-athlete development and team manager under Self. He was promoted to an assistant coach in 2006 and remained in the position until 2012.
Manning left to become the new head coach at the University of Tulsa and led the Golden Hurricanes to the NCAA Tournament in 2014, their first appearance since 2003 while also being named the 2014 Conference USA Coach of the Year.
In 2014, Manning accepted the head coaching position at Wake Forest. In his third season, Manning led the Demon Deacons to the NCAA first four, their first postseason appearance in seven seasons. Manning went 78–111 in six seasons at Wake Forest and was dismissed after the 2020 season.