- Andy Katz, ESPN Senior Writer
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Kansas assistant Tim Jankovich was named head coach at Illinois 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
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
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
"I'm excited about these guys. I think there's a lot of
potential here ... They were a big part of my decision," Jankovich
Andy Katz covers college basketball for ESPN.com. The Associated Press contributed to this report.