Archive for Thursday, April 10, 2003

Ex-coach Allen defends Williams

April 10, 2003


Many Kansas University basketball fans were angered Wednesday when Al Bohl blamed coach Roy Williams for Bohl's ouster as athletic director.

Count former KU football coach Terry Allen among those defending Williams and hoping the coach would stay in Lawrence.

"I don't want to sound vindictive because what Al did with me he had to do," said Allen, who was fired by Bohl with three games remaining in the 2001 season. "I didn't appreciate the way he did it, but what he did he had to do.

"Roy Williams did not get Al Bohl fired. Al Bohl got Al Bohl fired. He wasn't a good fit for KU. He was doing what he thought was right, but that's just not KU. I think most people in that athletic department would say that ... maybe now. They couldn't before."

Bohl replaced longtime athletic director Bob Frederick Aug. 1, 2001.

It was Frederick who had given Williams his first head-coaching job back in 1988, and Williams showed loyalty to his athletic director and team when he turned down a job offer from North Carolina in the summer of 2000.

A little more than a year later, Frederick was forced out and replaced by Bohl, who fired Allen -- Williams' good friend -- less than five months later.

Allen said Williams did not campaign for Bohl's ouster, and the coach was upset that people think he did.

"It's not fair to coach Williams to be labeled as the guy who got Al fired," said Allen, now associate head coach at Iowa State. "Al got himself fired. I just talked to coach (Williams) a little while ago. It's a tough deal. Don't worry about coach, though. He's a survivor."

North Carolina is courting Williams again, but Allen said he didn't know what his buddy would do.

"I'd love to see him stay at KU, but he has to do what's best for him," Allen said. "I didn't ask, nor would I. I told him I would become a North Carolina fan if I had to."

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