Ted Owens says he’s humbled by the University of Kansas athletic department’s plans to place a bench outside of Allen Fieldhouse in honor of his contributions as basketball coach of the Jayhawks from 1964 to 1983.
“To know that your bench is outside this incredible place and you played a small part in this tradition is really wonderful,” Owens, 88, said Saturday after a ceremony at the Booth Family Hall of Athletics in which former KU player Bud Stallworth presented the bench to Owens in front of 63 of Owens’ former players.
“This is awesome. For so many to travel so far to be here, it’s incredible,” Owens added of his Jayhawk players who returned to KU for the school’s 120 Years of Basketball reunion weekend.
Four of the five All-Americans coached by Owens attended: Stallworth, Dave Robisch, Darnell Valentine and Walt Wesley. The fifth All-American, Jo Jo White, recently died at the age of 71. White’s memorial service was Saturday in Massachusetts.
Owens led KU to a 384-182 record, with six conference titles and two Final Four appearances.
The plaque on Owens’ bench, which will be placed outside the front doors of the fieldhouse this spring, reads:
University of Kansas
Men’s Basketball Head Coach, 1964-1983
Dedicated February 3, 2018”
The ceremony took place 45 minutes after KU’s 84-79 loss to Oklahoma State at Allen Fieldhoust.
“You know what … we’re going to win the championship again,” Owens said of KU vying for a 14th straight regular-season Big 12 title.