Ronnie Chalmers resigns from KU

Father of former Jayhawks player to pursue 'other interests'

Ronnie Chalmers, director of basketball operations for Kansas University's men's basketball team and father of former Jayhawk guard Mario Chalmers, has resigned from his position, head coach Bill Self announced Tuesday, August 12, 2008.

Ronnie Chalmers, director of basketball operations for Kansas University’s men’s basketball team and father of former Jayhawk guard Mario Chalmers, has resigned from his position, head coach Bill Self said Tuesday.

“We are very thankful to Ronnie for his efforts the past three years,” Self said. “We have all enjoyed his connection and participation with the basketball program. His family will obviously be remembered at Kansas.”

After serving for five seasons as the head coach at Anchorage, Alaska’s Bartlett High, Chalmers arrived with his son at KU in June of 2005. The two were part of three Big 12 regular-season titles and the team’s 2008 national championship run.

“I have mixed emotions about leaving a great university and a great community,” said Ronnie, who leaves at the same time as Mario, who was a second-round pick of the Minnesota Timberwolves (No. 34 overall), then shipped to Miami, in the 2008 NBA Draft.

“I want to thank all the staff and fans for their loyalty and support of the Chalmers family while we were here. Our goal was to come here and win a national championship and we accomplished that. I have decided to move on to pursue other interests. I will certainly miss the Jayhawk fans, but we will always remain part of the Jayhawk family and the Lawrence community,” Ronnie Chalmers added.

Self said in a phone interview Tuesday that he and Ronnie Chalmers had chatted about Ronnie’s future plans off and on for some time now.

“We visited when Mario made the decision to leave (for NBA last spring). We talked about it the last few days,” Self said. “This was not anything I wanted to happen, but certainly it’s understandable. I understand the dynamics have changed (in Chalmers family) now that Mario is gone. I understand why Ronnie would want to pursue other things at this stage following Mario’s departure to the NBA, but that does not take away from his contributions to KU the past three years.

“He will certainly be missed. I appreciate Ronnie and Almarie (Ronnie’s wife) and the time they spent here.”

Mario Chalmers, one of the heroes of KU’s national title victory over Memphis, recently hit the jackpot financially, landing a three-year deal with the Heat for $2.3 million. According to figures recently released by KU in accordance with a freedom of information request, Chalmers made $71,600 last year and was ticketed to earn $90,000 next season.

Ronnie Chalmers served 22 years in the Air Force and is eligible for an array of military retirement benefits. Almarie Chalmers has already earned retirement after working 20 years in Alaska’s school district.

As far as Chalmers’ replacement, Self said he’d begin looking for a new “administrator” to join Brett Ballard (administrative assistant/video coordinator) and Jeremy Case (graduate student manager).

There is a strong possibility Ballard, who has been on Self’s staff the past five years, will move into Chalmers’ slot on the staff, though Self would not address that issue.

“We’ve got to go through the proper channels,” Self said of any job opening. “We’ll have one more administrator on the staff. There will be Brett, Jeremy and one more person. We don’t know the titles yet.”

¢ Henry update: Xavier Henry has scheduled the second of four campus visits. Henry, a 6-foot-6 senior from Putnam City (Okla.) High, who will attend KU’s Late Night in the Phog on Oct. 17, tells he will visit Memphis Oct. 24-25. He will also make an unofficial visit to KU on Sept. 20. Henry also has UCLA and Texas on his final list of schools.