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BILL SELF: At Home in the Phog Hardcover – October 10, 2008

4.1 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

In the storied history of Kansas basketball, no coach has a higher career winning percentage at the school than Bill Self. In 2008, in his first trip to the Final Four, Self claimed the national title. He now boasts a 142-32 (.816) record in five years at Kansas and a 349-137 (.718) mark in 15 seasons as a Division I coach. Self has been to 10 straight NCAA tournaments and advanced to the Elite Eight five times in that span, while directing three different programs. His Kansas teams have won four straight Big 12 regular-season titles and three straight Big 12 Tournament crowns. In the decade leading up to the national championship, Self has finished first eight times in three different leagues. The other two seasons, his teams finished as conference runner-up. A former player (1981-1985) and assistant coach (1986-1993) at Oklahoma State, Self was head coach at Oral Roberts (1993-1997), Tulsa (1997-2000) and Illinois (2000-2003) before arriving at Kansas in April 2003. Self and wife Cindy have a daughter, Lauren, and son, Tyler.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Ascend Media; 1 edition (October 10, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0981716636
  • ISBN-13: 978-0981716633
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #643,188 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
An excellent look at the travels of Bill Self and his coaching development. It is a rare chance to live in that world that most of us will never experience. An easy and quick read.
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Format: Hardcover
Dr. James Naismith, the physician/fitness guru, invented basketball at the YMCA in Springfield, Mass, as a fun group exercise. When he later joined the University of Kansas faculty, he brought the game to KU where it was developed into a competitive team sport under the game's first coach, Phog Allen. So KU is the birthplace of competitive team basketball and this sport is #1 in the hearts of all KU fans. (Phog) Allen Fieldhouse, which holds the KU BB court, is named in coach Allen's honor and a banner warns all (teams) who enter, "Beware the Phog," which gives rise to this book's subtitle: At Home in the Phog.

Almost all lovers of KU and college basketball will find this book interesting and for them it will be 5 stars. It was written by John Rohde based on extensive interviews with Bill Self and many of those who've worked/interacted with him, with liberal quoting (hence listing Bill Self as co-author).

It gives a fascinating inside look at basketball coaches, facets of their jobs, and coaching changes. The book contains two interwoven narratives -- one tale is the development and changes in Bill Self from BB player in high school, at OSU, to being coach at ORU, Tulsa, Illinois, and then KU. This larger tale intertwines with a second: the 2007-08 KU BB season and its games through the NCAA championship tourney. This book will be an entertaining read for most any sports lover and most of them will find this at least a 3 or 4 star in value. Those bitter at coach Self for leaving ORU, Tulsa, or Illinois (or not returning to OSU) or whose favorite teams were defeated by him, may rate it lower.
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Format: Hardcover
I have Jayhawk friends who have tried to tell me how exciting Kansas basketball is, they've tried to explain their emotional connection and pride many times. Bill Self's book took me inside the history of the storied program and allowed me to understand why they all feel as if they are "caretakers" of game. He shares, quite frankly, what ups and downs he faced in becoming the chief caretaker - even discussing what it was like to face Roy Williams, beat Roy Williams, and then have to deal with Roy wearing a Jayhawk sticker. Pretty good stuff. Finally, what I enjoyed learning most was how he leads these young men to greatness. How, as the coach, he builds up these young men into champions. It is a great read for anyone who loves basketball or who coaches...any sport.
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Format: Hardcover
This book takes you from Coach Bill Self's childhood to life after winning the 2008 National Championship. You will learn about his basketball playing days growing up and at college. You will learn about his coaching career. If you are an avid fan of KU basketball and Coach Bill Self, you will enjoy reading this book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
First, there's no question that Bill Self is a terrific basketball coach, a dedicated family man, and earned his success. I was disappointed that a book about a top coach gives so little insight into his basketball philosophies. About as much as he shares is to say we don't redo our game plan for everyone, we tweak it. This great coach apparently willingly shares his thoughts, terminology, and plays at clinics, but didn't write this book with that purpose.

Coach Self acknowledges a fundamental teaching responsibility, enthusiasm, the ability to make adjustments, his favoring the high-low motion offense, and his belief in transition and in playing aggressive defense. But he doesn't talk a lot of specifics. He discusses in depth the relationships with his coaches, assistant coaches, and athletic directors and you get a strong sense of his ambition very early.

Here's a coach who goes from Oral Roberts, to Tulsa, to Illinois, and KU within a ten-year period, a walking, breathing turnaround specialist, who leaves players and programs usually about as quickly as a new job is offered. He earned that right and took bigger, better jobs along the way. As loyal as he is to his family and to his assistants, he often leaves with a carpetbagger feeling left behind.

If you're a die-hard Jayhawk fan, then you've probably already read this book. If you love basketball and are looking for coaching insights, this probably isn't the best book for you. If you want the behind-the-scenes politics of coaching, and some of the dirt behind the comings and goings of major basketball coaches, then "At Home in the Phog" gives you that.

I wanted to find out what made Coach Self and his programs successful, basketball successful.
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Format: Hardcover
With all due respect to the previous reviewier (Giddy Up), "At Home in the Phog" is a fascinating look at Bill Self. Sure, you knew a lot about him, but did you know his thoughts and reasons behind why he's gone to different coaching stops? Did you know he nearly went to an NAIA school for college, which would've completely altered KU's history? Were you in the film sessions with Self and his staff during the 2008 title run to see what he was thinking during the tournament's critical moments? Were you with the team at its hotel in San Antonio after the Jayhawks won? Personally, I wasn't there, or in the film sessions, and I didn't know the answers to the other questions. "At Home In The Phog" takes readers on that type of "inside" journey in KU, coach Self, and the coaching profession overall.
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