Kansas coach Bill Self back to full strength after heart procedure, health scare: ‘I missed my job’

Almost a full month after he was rushed to an emergency room, longtime Kansas coach Bill Self said he’s finally feeling back to his old self.

Self, 60, missed Kansas’ Big 12 tournament and NCAA tournament games this spring due to health issues, which resulted in him needing two stents and a heart catheterization to treat blocked arteries.

“I’m exercising almost daily. I don’t know if you guys believe this, they told me that I need to improve my diet and exercise more,” Self said Wednesday, . “But I feel fine. My energy level is probably back to where it was prior to the episode but not where it’s getting ready to go, I believe. I think sometimes we don’t realize we don’t feel well until we actually feel well and know the difference. And I’m in the process of feeling well again, so I’m excited about that.”

just one day before the Jayhawks were set to open the Big 12 tournament in Kansas City while complaining of chest tightness and balance issues. He ended up missing the rest of the season for Kansas.

Longtime assistant Norm Roberts took his place. Roberts got Kansas to the conference championship game, where the Jayhawks fell to Texas. They received a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament, where Self rejoined the team but did not coach, but they were knocked out in the second round by Arkansas.

“I was never scared that I wasn’t going to be OK. But it was a different feeling,” he said, . “I’m sure many have had it, but it was kind of like an out-of-body type experience that you really don’t know what’s going on. You have no control over what is going on. So it was something that I’d never experienced before, but it was never to the point where I felt like I was in danger.”

Bill Self missed the Big 12 tournament and NCAA tournament while undergoing a heart procedure (Alonzo Adams/USA Today)

Bill Self: ‘I missed my job’

With the health scare and the season behind him, Self will now turn his attention forward. He is ‘100% positive’ that he will coach Kansas for a 21st season this fall.

While he’s accomplished everything possible in the college basketball world throughout his three-decade coaching career — he’s won two national titles, 21 regular season conference titles and 10 conference tournament titles while coaching at Oral Roberts, Tulsa Illinois and Kansas — Self isn’t ready to give it up just yet after his health scare

But in order to keep going, he knows he needs to tweak some things.

“I think the last several weeks I’ve been able to reflect on a lot of things,” he said, . “The one thing I can tell you without question: I missed my job. I love my job and I want to do my job for a long time. That’s what is positive.”

“Now, for me to be effective doing that, I think I have to wake up a little bit and maybe do some things from a lifestyle standpoint, a personal habit standpoint, that I’ve been very, very, very inconsistent with my entire adult life. And I said that jokingly earlier, can you imagine a doctor telling you to lose weight, eat right and exercise? I’ve been told that a long time, but I’m taking that serious for the first time I probably have in my life.”