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The Jayhawker Podcast
31 minutes | Jul 20, 2021
70. Kyle Clemons: Beauty In The Grind
Learning. Growing. Maturing. That 400 meters, that one lap around the track, caused Olympic gold medalist and world record holder Kyle Clemons to do some deep thinking about his athletic career and his life. His rise to the top of the track and field world did not come easy. However, to a young Clemons, this whole thing was supposed to be a breeze. Highly rated out of high school, he’d spend a year or two in college and then go pro, and then the medals and money would come. But his times at Kansas failed to reflect that and he struggled. Suddenly, a mental switch flipped for Clemons, and with the help of Kansas track coach Stanley Redwine, he dropped the expectations. And found beauty in the grind.
32 minutes | Jul 13, 2021
69. Danielle McCray: Taking A Risk
Jayhawk women’s basketball great Danielle McCray has enjoyed a fruitful career on the basketball court. But for McCray, who concluded her time at KU ranked in the top 10 in nine different categories, her basketball journey almost ended before it got started. How did she persevere In Lawrence and earn second-team All-America honors and become the highest WNBA draft pick in Jayhawks history in 2010, when she was selected 7th overall by the Connecticut Sun? We’ll also explore her international basketball career, which has taken her to over nine different countries, and how she has established herself as a successful businesswoman and developed an urge to help others with their careers when the ball stops bouncing.
34 minutes | Jul 6, 2021
68. Christian Braun: Born For The Border Showdown
Junior Christian Braun was born for the Border Showdown, which returns this winter on the basketball court. Although he claims Burlington, Kansas, as his hometown, his mom’s side of the family is so well-known in Missouri that they are in the state’s athletic Hall of Fame. The whole family. But that didn’t stop Braun from rocking the Crimson and Blue growing up. A late bloomer, Braun turned his family’s competitive nature into a successful high school career and a basketball scholarship to play for his dream school. Now in his third season with the team, Braun still pinches himself when he takes the Allen Fieldhouse floor on gamedays. It’s not a dream, and when he looks into the crowd, he sees himself in those fans in the stands.
25 minutes | Jun 29, 2021
67. Brandon Schneider: Like Father, Like Son
Coaching women’s basketball is in Jayhawk coach Brandon Schneider’s veins. His father, Bob, spent 43 years coaching women’s basketball in Texas and the Schneider name is very well known. Although it seemed like a natural fit for Brandon to follow in his Dad’s footsteps, going into coaching was not always a sure thing. However, like his father, Brandon took to the profession and excelled in stops at Division II Emporia State, where he won a national championship, and then at Stephen F. Austin, before he arrived in Lawrence in 2015. Throughout his career, Brandon has emulated his father with his desire to develop young women into quality human beings, and in the end, he learned that it’s the simple things that matter the most.
29 minutes | Jun 22, 2021
66. Dr. Ramsey Nijem: Basketball Strongman
Dr. Ramsey Nijem has loved the game of basketball his entire life, and at the age of 23, Nijem became the NBA’s youngest head strength coach with the Sacramento Kings. After working what he thought was his dream job in the NBA, Kansas came calling, and he felt he had to live up to one of the principles he had been teaching to his players throughout his career. Being comfortable with being uncomfortable.
26 minutes | Jun 15, 2021
65. Get To Know: Matt Gildersleeve
Football Director of Sports Performance Matt Gildersleeve is at the forefront of the changes new coach Lance Leipold wants to implement with the Jayhawks. But even he knows that he is just a piece of a bigger puzzle. On paper, Gildersleeve and Leipold are an odd couple. Gildersleeve played at Division III powerhouse Mount Union, where he was 57 and 3 in his career. Those three losses: To Leipold and Wisconsin Whitewater. One thing is for certain. Gildersleeve is on a mission to impact and influence the Jayhawk football roster, one day and one workout at a time. And there’s no place he’d rather be.
27 minutes | Jun 8, 2021
64. Zach Bradford: Flying High
Jayhawk Zach Bradford is one of the top collegiate pole vaulters, and in 2021, he has the best mark in the nation for a collegiate at over 19 feet. Bradford’s background is unique – he grew up with a family of pole vaulters. His father was a pole vaulter. His brother was a pole vaulter. But Zach, being the competitive person he is, wanted to be the best Bradford. He is now gearing up for his most intense time of the year with the NCAA Championships and the Olympic Trials for the Tokyo games. He has big aspirations, especially after a successful spring season and a Big 12 championship under his belt.
32 minutes | Jun 1, 2021
63. Ray Bechard: Lifelong Jayhawk
Jayhawk volleyball coach Ray Bechard has always been a lifelong Jayhawk and has lived and worked in the state of Kansas his entire life. Interestingly, Bechard was never affiliated with volleyball until his principal made him take the job at Lewis High School in Lewis, Kansas, and he took to the sport. Bechard moved on to the community college level, and after extraordinary success, the Jayhawks came calling. His dream had come true. Bechard has taken the Jayhawks to new heights on the volleyball court, including a trip to the 2015 Final Four. His appreciation for his current post and the fact that he is coaching in Lawrence, and has for 23 years, is not lost on Bechard. He is one fortunate Jayhawk.
28 minutes | May 25, 2021
62. Wally Marciel: ‘Ohana
3,845 miles. From Kailua, Hawaii to Lawrence, Kansas. That’s how far former Jayhawk baseball player and current Director of Operations Wally Marciel traveled to play college baseball 10 years ago. He has never left. Marciel started a pipeline from the Aloha state to Lawrence, and the reason behind the move for him and other Hawaiaan players was pretty simple. It started with one person, coach Ritch Price. Price and Kansas baseball provide an atmosphere that Hawaiians value and cherish, and one that makes them travel across the globe to be a part of. Family.
34 minutes | May 18, 2021
61. Lance Leipold: All In
Kansas head football coach Lance Leipold is a program builder, just look at his history. And although there’s no secret sauce to his successful career, there are some simple ingredients he believes helped lead to winning. That success has come at an unbelievable clip for Leipold, including winning six national championships at Division III Wisconsin-Whitewater. He also became the fastest coach in NCAA history to record 100 wins, no matter the level. Leipold then made the leap to Division I, where he turned a downtrodden Buffalo program into a consistent championship contender. His contagious, winning mindset is now in Lawrence, and he’s spreading his message throughout Jayhawk Nation: be relentless, have pride, and show commitment in all aspects of life.
35 minutes | May 4, 2021
60. Sasha Kaun: Figuring It Out
Coming from Russia, former Kansas standout Sasha Kaun had no idea about sports in the United States, and his homeland, the idea of becoming a professional athlete was not one he ever thought about. Interestingly, Kaun came to the United States and a boarding school in Florida for academics, where basketball wasn’t even on his radar. Through hard work, Kaun figured out basketball enough to land a scholarship to the University of Kansas and a Jayhawk national championship in 2008. He then spent eight seasons in professional basketball, seven in Russia, and one NBA World Championship season with Cleveland. All along, he let his curiosity and hard work guide him, and it’s safe to say, he figured it out.
33 minutes | Apr 27, 2021
59. Todd Chapman: Jayhawk Pride
There’s a process to achieving greatness. And for Jayhawk women’s tennis coach Todd Chapman, he believes there are a few things that teams must have when it comes to winning. In his eight seasons in Lawrence, Chapman has transformed the women’s tennis program into a perennial Big 12 contender, and in 2019, he coached them to the Big 12 championship and Sweet 16. But championships don’t happen overnight and appear out of thin air. They take work. And process. And perseverance.
38 minutes | Apr 20, 2021
58. Travis Goff: KU Is Family
New Kansas Director of Athletics Travis Goff is a Jayhawk through and through. Raised in Dodge City, Kan., Goff got his start in college athletics as a KU student in the Williams Education Fund. After realizing he wanted to make a career in athletics, he built on his time with the Williams Education Fund and earned a full-time post at Tulane University in New Orleans. After Hurricane Katrina ravished the region, Goff and his colleagues were critical assets in rebuilding the athletic department. He used those rebuilding experiences in New Orleans in his next role at Northwestern, where he helped the Wildcats build sparkling new facilities and contend for Big 10 championships. But when Kansas called looking for a new athletic director, that was a call he was not going to miss. KU is home.
27 minutes | Apr 13, 2021
57. Bill Self: 2020-21, A Season Like No Other
Jayhawk head coach Bill Self admits that this year was tough on everyone, especially the players. Self felt bad for his guys, especially the ones who had never experienced Allen Fieldhouse at its finest. Covid-19 had taken that away. In spite of all of those circumstances, the Jayhawks advanced to their 49th NCAA Tournament and their 31st consecutive appearance in 2021 with a 21-9 record, and was one of only two teams to beat eventual national champion Baylor in 2020-21. As Self puts the 2020-21 season in his rearview mirror, the pride in this year’s team in how they persevered through trying circumstances is hard to contain. It truly was a season like no other.
54 minutes | Apr 6, 2021
56. Roy Williams
Roy Williams really needs no introduction—he’s a college coaching legend. He’s a Basketball Hall of Famer. He’s won three NCAA titles. And he’s been to more Final Fours than every coach in history not named Krzyzewski, Wooden or Smith. And his time at Kansas was equally legendary. Though his Jayhawk teams never won it all, they still won more games than any other program in the 90s. Four Final Fours. Nine Big 12 titles. And the only undefeated Big 12 season in conference history. Roy Williams made his mark in Lawrence. Success aside, not every story has a perfect ending in the moment. But time has a funny way of healing old wounds. And Roy Williams still cares so deeply about his time in Lawrence, his Jayhawk players, and the fans that filled Allen Fieldhouse. So, for the first time, the legendary coach is opening up to Kansas fans about his story, his time leading the Jayhawks, and all the great memories.
45 minutes | Mar 30, 2021
55. Andrea Geubelle Norris: An Olympic Perseverance
It’s interesting to look into the mind of an Olympian and see how they think. And when you talk with Jayhawk track legend Andrea Geubelle Norris, it’s not always what you expect. Her Jayhawk career vaulted her into the upper echelons of track and field, and after a heartbreaking result at the 2012 NCAA Outdoor Championships, she made the Rio Olympics in the long jump. Her experience in Rio was an eye-opening one, both on and off the track. To outsiders, it’s glitz, glamour, and the bright lights. But for Norris, she figured out what really mattered.
27 minutes | Mar 23, 2021
54. Emmett Jones: The Genuine Coach
Interim head football coach Emmett Jones has been around some of the top names in college football, with time spent around former Texas Tech and current Arizona Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury making him ready for this moment. Jones, who cut his teeth in the Dallas metro area as a successful high school coach, wound up on a path that he did not expect, but when the right opportunity came calling, Jones left Dallas to coach at Texas Tech, where he mentored four wide receivers who landed on NFL rosters, along with NFL star quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Jones sees a lot of potential with the Jayhawks, and he has an idea on how to bring that potential to light. Being genuine.
39 minutes | Mar 16, 2021
53. Terry Nooner: The People’s Champion
A regular guy. Terry Nooner was a crowd favorite at Allen Fieldhouse from 1997-2000 because he was one of them. Nooner, who walked on with the Jayhawks and played for Coach Roy Williams from 1997-2000, is currently an assistant with the Jayhawk women’s team. But in the beginning, he never wanted to get into coaching. However, after realizing he had a talent and calling for mentoring others, he has had a fruitful career in the women’s game, while also garnering some NBA experience, working with his childhood friend and current Los Angeles Clippers coach Tyronn Lue. And after all of those times waiting on a whistle in conditioning drills as a player, now he’s the one holding the whistle.
40 minutes | Mar 9, 2021
52. Chris Harris: The Jayhawk Underdog
If you didn’t know Chris Harris and his story, his success in football and in life almost sounds like it is make believe. He wasn’t supposed to play at the University of Kansas and he wasn’t supposed to make an NFL team. But Harris grew up with a different mentality, one that he still relies on today. Harris took advantage of his opportunities after leaving Kansas in 2010, and a free agent deal led to an opportunity with the Denver Broncos, which has turned into into a fruitful NFL career that has now spanned 11 seasons. But Harris has made more of an impact off of the field than on, which says a lot after he was one of two cornerbacks named to the NFL All-Decade team in 2020. The winner of numerous off-the-field honors wants people in his community to find their own underdog mentality, just like the one that helped change his life.
39 minutes | Mar 2, 2021
51. Bryce Hoppel: Just One of the Guys
Former Kansas track star Bryce Hoppel grew up in a sports family and he started his athletic career running the soccer fields in Midland, Texas. Ironically, staying in shape for soccer led him to things he could have never imagined in a different sport. At first, Hoppel didn’t really like the running. He just liked being one of the guys. Hoppel began turning heads with his teammates in high school, and then in college in Lawrence, where he was a five-time All-American, two-time National Champion and four-time Big 12 Champion. In 2019, Hoppel completed a sweep of both the indoor and outdoor 800 meter NCAA titles, becoming the first male from the University of Kansas to win a collegiate title in the event. And although those were great memories, his greatest memories revolve around his teammates. Now, Hoppel hopes his teammates will be cheering on for another adventure – a run to the Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
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