At the Hang-Up
Seeking Your Purpose, Running the Race, Finishing Strong
This is the inspirational story of Ted Owens—still the coach with the most wins in the history of Allen Fieldhouse—from growing up as a boy on a cotton farm in Southwestern Oklahoma during the Great Depression to coaching at the highest levels of the college basketball world. “At the end of each day on the farm, we would gure the total weight of the cotton we had pulled. We called it the “hang-up,” says Owens. One day, in a competition to see who could pull the most cotton, Owens was leading his father, who then gave him the greatest life lesson: “It’s not what you have now that is important, it’s what you have at the hang-up.” He always reminded Ted that regardless of your station in life, whether encountering diculties or enjoying success, you should never lose sight of your ultimate goals. At the age of 5, Owens made his rst basketball goal, lifting the basketball from between his legs in an underhand scooping motion. It was at that moment that basketball became his rst love, a feeling he still embraces today. He went on to play at the University of Oklahoma for Naismith Hall of Fame Coach Bruce Drake, and he witnessed the rise of national championship programs led by football coach Bud Wilkinson, wrestling coach Port Robertson and baseball coach Jack Baer. This book is a story of the survival of a family built upon love, sacrice, and the importance of family strength. The book also shares the ups and downs of building a coaching career and the tale of coaching basketball at the University of Kansas for 19 seasons. Owens’ teams won 206 games in Allen Fieldhouse, a number that still leads Roy Williams (201), Bill Self and Larry Brown. He coached some of the era’s greatest players while leading the Jayhawks against Hall of Fame coaches Adolph Rupp, Joe Lapchick, Henry Iba, Dean Smith, Eddie Sutton, Bob Knight and John Wooden. The book oers little-known—and even unknown—insights into the personalities of these basketball giants. Playing now in the fourth quarter of his life, Owens shares what he has learned, passing on his lessons for life and wonderful, never-before-told stories of his time as the Kansas Jayhawks head basketball coach, as high-pressure a job as there is in American sports, one that only eight men have ever held.
Ted Owens: On a dusty cotton farm more than 75 years ago, a 5-year-old boy scored his first basketball goal on a makeshift backboard that his dad had hung on a steel pole. As the ball soared through the netless rim, so began his love affair with basketball—one that would take Ted Owens out of the plains of Oklahoma and into the spotlight at the University of Kansas, where he would coach the Jayhawk Basketball team for 19 years, winning multiple Big 8 Championships and earning two NCAA Final Four appearances. Enshrined in multiple halls of fame, Owens still holds the record for the most wins in Allen Fieldhouse (206). Owens lives in Tulsa with his wife, Michelle, and is still playing to win and inspiring future generations in basketball and in life.Jim Krause: Dr. Jim Krause, author of Guardians of the Game: A Legacy of Leadership and contributing author for Hoops Heaven, is a lifelong basketball fanatic who has attended every Final Four since 1973. A self-professed basketball coach addict, Krause has coached the game at all levels, from middle school to NCAA Division I at the University of Oregon. He is a 30-year member of the National Association of Basketball Coaches who continues to spread his love of the game as a professional sports consultant with Winning Sports Program in Seattle, WashJesse Tuel: Jesse Tuel is an editor at Virginia Tech, where he leads a creative team of editors, graphic designers, photographers, and others in the planning and production of Virginia Tech Magazine. Before moving to Virginia, Jesse was the communications director and magazine editor for Emporia State University’s alumni and foundation office. A native of Lawrence, Kan., he began his career as a reporter for the Chanute Tribune and then the Emporia Gazette. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Emporia State, where he was a basketball walk-on.