Archive for Saturday, June 27, 1992


June 27, 1992


On March 31, Kansas assistant Jerry Green signed a five-year contract to become head basketball coach at Oregon University.

Less than three months later, the man who hired Green, Bill Byrne, was named athletic director at Nebraska.

"I've got a lot of mixed emotions," Green said by phone from Eugene on Friday afternoon. "I think it's probably a good move for Bill and for the University of Nebraska, but it's a tough move for the University of Oregon and for men's basketball here."

It's also a tough move for Green because Byrne is the man who convinced him to leave the security of his position at Kansas and go to Oregon to revive a program that had fallen into the depths of the Pac-10 Conference.

"THE ONLY reason I came originally was because of Bill Byrne," Green said. "He's the only person I knew when I landed. He convinced me we could get the program off to a winning position. I felt Bill made a true commitment to get it going."

Green can only hope Byrne's successor at Oregon will have the same commitment.

"Men's basketball needs help," Green said. "We have the oldest on-campus arena in America (McArthur Court built in 1926), and I hope and trust we bring in someone who has the same values Bill has about basketball."

Green took long-time former KU player and coach Mark Turgeon with him to Eugene.

"One thing Mark hasn't learned is who the head coach is," Green reported, jokingly. "When you play golf with the head coach, you're supposed to let him win at least some of the time."

IT WILL BE a few months, Green said, before his wife Nan leaves her state government job in Topeka and moves to Oregon. Also, Green said their son, Travis, has decided to remain in Lawrence for his senior year in high school.

Travis Green lettered in both football and basketball at Lawrence High as a junior. He'll live with the Rick Short family.

"Once people heard we were leaving, 12 people in Lawrence offered to keep him, including Roy (Williams)," Green said. "That's something I feel awfully comfortable about."

More comfortable, certainly, than he does about Byrne's decision to leave.

"I feel good for Nebraska and for Bill Byrne," Green said, "but I feel bad for Jerry Green and the University of Oregon. The one thing I feel made this situation so comfortable was Bill Byrne."

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