Jankovich will stay with Jayhawks until end of season

Updated: March 20, 2007, 4:42 PM ET
By Andy Katz | ESPN.com

Kansas assistant Tim Jankovich was named head coach at Illinois State.

Tim Jankovich bio
Tim Jankovich
Jankovich
• Age: 47

• 53-57 in four seasons at North Texas

• Assistant at Kansas, Illinois, Vanderbilt, Texas, Oklahoma State and Colorado State.

Jankovich was introduced at a news conference Tuesday, then planned to rejoin Kansas as it prepares for an NCAA regional semifinal game Thursday against Southern Illinois. The 47-year-old coach will stay with Kansas through the tournament.

Jankovich is a former head coach at North Texas and has been with Bill Self at Kansas as well as spending time on the bench of former Illinois State head coach and current Vanderbilt head coach Kevin Stallings. Jankovich will replace Porter Moser, who was abruptly fired after four seasons.

Kansas announced the move late Monday night so as not to distract from the Jayhawks' Sweet 16 preparation.

Self said in a statement, "We are all so happy and proud for Tim and his family that he has accepted this appointment. Illinois State is a great job with a terrific basketball tradition. They have been to the NCAA Tournament many times, and I am sure it won't be long before the Redbirds will return to the tournament.

We are all very appreciative of Tim's effort at Kansas. He is without a question one of the brightest coaches in the game. I have been blessed to be around many great assistant coaches, and Tim is as talented as any of them.

Tim did not want this to be a distraction for our team, so getting it out now rather than having it leak out was best. Otherwise, he would have been answering questions about this while preparing our team for San Jose. We all know he is the new coach at Illinois State, but his job here is unfinished until our season is complete."

Jankovich, a 1982 graduate of Kansas State, is wrapping up his fourth season at Kansas after serving under Self as an assistant at Illinois.

He also has been an assistant at Vanderbilt, Texas, Oklahoma State and Colorado State, and spent two seasons as head coach at Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College.

Jankovich takes over a team that hasn't played in the postseason since the 2001 NIT. Illinois State hasn't been to the NCAA tournament since back-to-back appearances in 1997 and 1998.

"I have to pinch myself on the hour every hour to believe this is really happening right now," Jankovich said.

Illinois State returns five of its six leading scorers next season, including the MVC's top returning scorer, 6-foot-11 Levi Dyer, and the conference newcomer of the year, freshman Osiris Eldridge.

"I'm excited about these guys. I think there's a lot of potential here ... They were a big part of my decision," Jankovich said.

Andy Katz covers college basketball for ESPN.com. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Andy Katz | email

Senior Writer, ESPN.com

ALSO SEE