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Ted Owens is a former American college basketball coach. He was born July 16, 1929 in Hollis, Oklahoma.[1] He is best-known as the coach of the University of Kansas men's basketball team from 1964 to 1983. He is the fourth-winningest coach in Jayhawks basketball history.[2]

Ted Owens
BornJuly 16, 1929
Hollis, Oklahoma
NationalityUnited States
OccupationCollege basketball coach
Years active1956-1999


Player and early coaching experienceEdit

Owens attended college at Oklahoma University (OU), where he was a three-year letterman under head coach John MacLeod. He graduated with a BA degree in 1951. In 1956, he was hired to coach both baseball and basketball at Cameron Junior College (Lawton, Oklahoma), where he remained until 1960. His baseball team won the National JC Championship in 1958. The basketball team had a 93-24 record during his four years and appeared in three NJCAA Tournaments.[1]

Owens' overall Kansas record was 348–182 (.657), and his Big Eight Conference record was 170–96 (.639). In Owens' tenure at KU, he won six Big Eight Conference titles and advanced to the NCAA tournament seven times. His 1971 and 1974 teams made it to the Final Four, and in 1968 the Jayhawks lost to Dayton in the finals of the National Invitation Tournament. Owens was named Big Eight Conference Coach of the Year five times and was Named National Coach of the Year in 1978 by Basketball Weekly. He coached five All-Americans: Jo Jo White, Darnell Valentine, Dave Robisch, Bud Stallworth and Walt Wesley. He was fired following the 1982–83 season after the Jayhawks posted back-to-back losing seasons. He is the only coach in the programs history to be fired. Kansas has not suffered a losing season since, and has only missed the NCAA tournament once since then, in 1988–89 when the program was on probation for recruiting violations committed by Owens' successor, Larry Brown.

A three-year letterman at the University of Oklahoma (1949–51), Owens honed his coaching skills as head coach at Cameron State Junior College in Lawton, Oklahoma. In four seasons his teams never won fewer than 20 games and three times advanced to the NJCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship semifinals. At Cameron, he amassed a 93–24 record and boasted four junior college All-Americans.

Owens then accepted an assistant's position under Dick Harp in 1960, and was promoted to head coach when Harp resigned following the 1963–64 season.

Other coaching activitiesEdit

Owens had a brief stint of coaching at Oral Roberts University (1985–87), and then in Israel with Maccabi Tel Aviv during the 1989–90 season, before being fired in February 1990. He then went on to be the development director and basketball coach at Metro Christian Academy (high school) in Tulsa, Oklahoma for five years where his teams won the district championship five times, and went to the state tournament three times. Subsequently, he moved on to be athletic director at St. Leo University in Florida for four years.[1]

Owens was inducted into the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame on August 3, 2009. He was inducted into the Kansas Hall of Fame in the same year.[1]


After leaving St. Leo, a friend invited him to return to Tulsa and work as an investment adviser for First Capital Management, where he spent the next ten years. After retiring from this position, he decided to continue living in Tulsa in retirement.[3]Cherry, Don. "All roads kept coach Ted Owens coming back to Tulsa." Tulsa World. March 16, 2017. Accessed June 26, 2019.</ref>

Head coaching recordEdit

Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
Kansas Jayhawks (Big Eight Conference) (1964–1983)
1964–65 Kansas 17–8 9–5 2nd
1965–66 Kansas 23–4 13–1 1st NCAA Elite Eight
1966–67 Kansas 23–4 13–1 1st NCAA 2nd Round/Midwest 3rd Place
1967–68 Kansas 22–8 10–4 2nd NIT Final
1968–69 Kansas 20–7 9–5 T-2nd NIT First Round
1969–70 Kansas 17–9 8–6 2nd
1970–71 Kansas 27–3 14–0 1st NCAA Final Four
1971–72 Kansas 11–15 7–7 T-4th
1972–73 Kansas 8–18 4–10 T-6th
1973–74 Kansas 23–7 13–1 1st NCAA Final Four
1974–75 Kansas 19–8 11–3 1st NCAA First Round
1975–76 Kansas 13–13 6–8 T-4th
1976–77 Kansas 18–10 8–6 4th
1977–78 Kansas 24–5 13–1 1st NCAA First Round
1978–79 Kansas 18–11 8–6 T-2nd
1979–80 Kansas 15–14 7–7 T-4th
1980–81 Kansas 24–8 9–5 T-2nd NCAA Sweet Sixteen
1981–82 Kansas 13–14 4–10 7th
1982–83 Kansas 13–16 4–10 T-6th
Kansas: 348–182 170–96
Oral Roberts Golden Eagles (Midwestern City Conference) (1985–1987)
1985–86 Oral Roberts 10–19 5–7 5th
1986–87 Oral Roberts 11–17 5–7 T-5th
Oral Roberts: 21–36 10–14
Total: 369–218

      National champion         Postseason invitational champion  
      Conference regular season champion         Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion       Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion

Coaching treeEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d Coaches Database. "Ted Owens (born July 16, 1929)." Accessed June 26, 2019.
  2. ^ "KU Men's Basketball Coaches". Archived from the original on 2007-03-17.
  3. ^ Cite error: The named reference Cherry was invoked but never defined (see the help page).

External linksEdit