Tim Jankovich
Tim Jankovich

Head Coach

Alma Mater:
Kansas State, 1982


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March 4, 2012 at the State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Championships


Tim Jankovich

Action shots of Illinois State head basketball coach Tim Jankovich during the 2008-09 and 2009-10 seasons.

Printable Tim Jankovich Bio Get Acrobat Reader

His coaching pedigree is unmatched. His attention to detail is precise. His ability to mentor young athletes is fatherly, and his competitiveness is off the charts.

That said, it should not have come as a surprise that Illinois State has won more games (83) under head coach Tim Jankovich than any other staff in Redbird history in their first four seasons at Illinois State.

During his first three seasons, the Redbirds won more overall games than any other team in the Missouri Valley Conference. In 2008, and again in 2009, Jankovich became the first head coach in the history of the Missouri Valley Conference to lead his team to back-to-back State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Tournament Championship Games in his first two seasons.

Illinois State advanced to postseason play for the third-consecutive season following the 2009-10 campaign. Jankovich's Redbirds posted a 22-11 record on the season, including a third-straight berth to the National Invitation Tournament (NIT). ISU finished third in the Missouri Valley Conference race, while posting a road victory at Utah (73-63) in the inaugural Missouri Valley-Mountain West Conference Challenge.

The Redbirds opened the 2008-09 campaign with a school-record, 14-straight triumphs. ISU went on to post a 24-10 overall record that included its second-straight trip to the State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Tournament Championship Game, and a berth in the NIT.

During the 2007-08 season, the Redbirds equaled their highest win total in school history (25), and Jankovich posted the most victories by any Illinois State first-year head coach. As a result, ISU competed in postseason play for the first time since 2001, and posted its first postseason win since 1998, with a 61-57 victory over Utah State in the first round of the 2008 NIT.

Last season, the Redbirds endured a rebuilding campaign and finished with a 12-19 record, but gained valuable experience for a young returning core.

At Illinois State, Jankovich's teams have displayed gaudy offensive numbers, while also shutting down their opponents defensively. During the 2007-08 season, the Redbirds made a school-record 255 three-pointers, but the mark only last a season when Illinois State fired in 297 treys the following campaign. The 2008-09 team also scored the third-most points in school history (2,414), while the 2007-08 team posted the second-best defensive field goal percentage in ISU history at 40.5 percent.

Before arriving at Illinois State, the Gary, Ind., native spent five years under current Kansas head coach Bill Self, during which Self and Jankovich made five-straight NCAA Tournament appearances, two trips to the Elite Eight and laid the foundation for a National Championship season in 2008. Jankovich was an assistant coach under Self for one season at Illinois, before spending the last four campaigns as his top assistant with the Jayhawks. In all, Jankovich has coached teams that have advanced to the postseason in seven-straight seasons, and eight of the last nine years.

In Jankovich's four years at Kansas, the Jayhawks compiled a combined 105-29 (.784) record and advanced to the NCAA Tournament in all four campaigns. In Jankovich's final season as an assistant at Kansas (2006-07), the Jayhawks went 33-5, and advanced to the Elite Eight for the second time in four years. The Jayhawks finished the season ranked No. 2 in both the final Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today Top-25 polls.

The Jayhawks entered the 2005-06 season with a young and inexperienced squad. But Kansas tied Texas for the Big 12 title with a 13-3 conference record, and captured the Big 12 Tournament championship for the second-consecutive season. The Jayhawks went 22-4 in their final 26 games, including winning 12 of their final 13 Big 12 regular-season contests. Kansas led the nation in field-goal percentage defense in 2005-06, holding its opponents to just 37-percent shooting.

Kansas finished the 2004-05 campaign tied for first place in the Big 12 with a 12-4 conference record, en route to a 23-7 overall mark. The Jayhawks started the season 14-0, and weren't defeated by a conference foe until Feb. 14, 2005, when they dropped a one-point decision at Texas Tech. Kansas finished the season ranked No. 12 in the AP poll, and 15th in the coaches' poll.

In Jankovich's first year under Self at Kansas (2003-04), the Jayhawks went 24-9, and advanced to the NCAA Tournament Elite Eight, before narrowly missing a Final Four berth following an overtime loss to Georgia Tech. Kansas finished the season ranked ninth in the coaches' poll.

Overall, the Jayhawks never finished a season ranked lower than No. 16 nationally during Jankovich's tenure.

In Jankovich's one year at Illinois (2002-03), the Illini finished 25-7, won the Big Ten Tournament championship and advanced to the NCAA Tournament's second round. Illinois finished the season ranked No. 11 in the final AP poll.

For the past 25-plus years, Jankovich has played a key role in recruiting and player development. He is responsible for having attracted and coached some of the most accomplished recruiting classes in college basketball and has coached 24 current or former NBA players.

In addition to working under Self, Jankovich has served as an assistant coach for the likes of Eddie Sutton, Jack Hartman, Lon Kruger, Boyd Grant, Gene Iba, Bob Weltlich and former Illinois State head coach Kevin Stallings. Other than Kansas and Illinois, his list of employers includes Vanderbilt, Texas, Oklahoma State and Colorado State. In addition, Jankovich served as a head coach for four years at the University of North Texas (UNT) and two seasons at Hutchinson Community College.

In his first season as head coach at UNT (1993-94), Jankovich took over a squad that had posted a 5-22 mark and tallied the second-biggest turnaround in the nation that year, advancing his team just one win away from an automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament. In his first three seasons, Jankovich took his team to the Southland Conference Tournament championship two times. In his fourth season, the Eagles moved to the Big West Conference. In all, Jankovich's four years at North Texas comprised the second-best winning percentage by a head basketball coach in school history.

Jankovich also guided Hutchinson Community College, home of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) National Tournament, to back-to-back 20-win campaigns, posting a 50-14 record and national rankings both seasons.

At Vanderbilt, he played a key role in turning around a struggling program and helped lead the Commodores to two postseason appearances in three years. The core of Jankovich's recruited players at Vandy advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16 in 2004.

One of the winningest players in Kansas State history, Jankovich was a four-year starter at point guard (one year at Washington State and three years for legendary coach Jack Hartman at K-State). In each of his three seasons, at K-State, the Wildcats were ranked in the top-20 and advanced to the NCAA Tournament. A 1981 Elite Eight appearance and a 1982 Sweet 16 berth highlighted his playing career. Jankovich played in a total of nine NCAA Tournament games.

A three-time academic All-American and honorable mention All-Big Eight player, Jankovich finished his career at Kansas State in the school's top-10 in nine categories, including first in single-season free-throw percentage (.917) and eighth in career field-goal percentage (.510). In addition, he holds the Big Eight Tournament record for single-game assists (14).

Jankovich graduated cum laude in 1982 with a 3.63 grade-point average in business finance and received his master's degree in radio/television from Kansas State in 1985. He and his wife, Cindy, have a son, Michael. The family resides in Bloomington, Ill.