Former Jayhawk Woodberry joins Missouri State's basketball staff

J-W Staff Reports, Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Former Jayhawk Steve Woodberry was named the newest member of head coach Barry Hinson’s men’s basketball staff at Missouri State University on Wednesday. Woodberry will join the Bear staff in August and replace former assistant Troy Collier. Collier left Missouri State last month for the basketball staff at Ball State. Woodberry’s appointment is subject to the approval of the Missouri State Board of Governors at its next regular meeting.

"For me, this is going to be a great experience," commented Woodberry. "I’ve wanted to get into college coaching for some time and I’m excited to be able to join the staff at Missouri State. It’s a great situation and I’m excited about working with Coach Hinson. This is a perfect opportunity for me and I’m looking forward to the challenge of competing in the Missouri Valley Conference."

The Bears’ newest coach played on four NCAA tourney teams at the University of Kansas from 1990 to 1994 for Jayhawks’ head coach Roy Williams. Kansas posted a record of 27-8 when Woodberry was a freshman and reached the NCAA title game game where the Jayhawks lost to Duke. Kansas won 27 of 32 games in 1991-92 and reached the the NCAA second round. The Jayhawks went 29-7 when Woodberry was a junior and returned to the Final Four and a semifinal loss to North Carolina. When Woodberry was a senior, KU again went 27-8 and got to the NCAA Sweet 16. Woodberry’s KU career also included three Big Eight Conference titles, one league tourney title and one preseason NIT championship.

"The opportunity to have Steve Woodberry on our staff addresses three very specific items for us," Hinson said. "First, we wanted someone with connections for overseas recruiting and Steve has played in Australia and Europe. Second, we wanted a person who had been involved in AAU coaching and Steve has done that. Third, we wanted someone with the same philosophies we have on offense and defense and Steve clearly brings that to us. We think he’s going to be a perfect fit for our situation and we’ll look forward to having his family join the Bears’ basketball family this summer."

Woodberry averaged 10.1 points a game and won Big Eight second team all-conference honors from the Associated Press, the league coaches and the conference players as a junior despite not being a regular starter. He repeated second team selection from AP and the coaches as a senior and the players voted him to the all-league first team. He was KU’s MVP and top defensive player as a senior and led the team in scoring with a 15.5 average. Woodberry finished with 1,240 points for his 138-game Kansas career, as the four teams on which he played were a combined 110-28.

After a brief time with the NBA Indiana Pacers after KU, Woodberry began a six-year pro playing stint in Australia. He was the league’s Most Valuable Player one year and was an all-league selection two other occasions. Woodberry then played three seasons in Lithuania and also saw action in Greece, Finland and Sweden before retiring as a player in 2005.

Woodberry is a native of Wichita, Kan., and was a Wichita South High teammate of Johnny Murdock, a Missouri State standout from 1991 to 1995. Murdock ranks third in MSU career scoring with 1,834 points. Woodberry played on two Kansas state title teams at Wichita South and was named the Kansas Naismith Player of the Year as a senior in 1990.

The summer of 2006 will be Woodberry’s second year of AAU coaching in Kansas City after taking his team in the 16-17 age group last summer to tournament titles in Minneapolis, Des Moines and Las Vegas.