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Monday April 9, 2012 Donovan assistant Norm Roberts leaving for Kansas

Updated: 3:09pm, April 9

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Billy Donovan is back in the hunt for an assistant coach. Norm to KU

Norm Roberts, who joined the University of Florida basketball staff last April, resigned Friday to accept a similar position on Bill Self’s coaching staff at Kansas. Roberts will replace outgoing Danny Manning, the former Jayhawks icon who left to become head coach at Tulsa.

Roberts, 45, was an assistant for Self at Oral Roberts, Tulsa, Illinois and, most recently, KU in 2003-04 when he served as associate head coach of the Jayhawks before leaving to become head coach at St. John’s.

In returning to Lawrence, Kan., Roberts also will get a chance to coach his son, Niko, who just finished his sophomore season as a preferred walk-on with the Jayhawks, who lost to Kentucky in the NCAA championship game Monday night.

“Norm Roberts did a great job on our staff the past year here at Florida,” Gators coach Billy Donovan said. “I have a lot of respect for the Kansas program and Bill Self, and I know this is a great opportunity for Norm and his family to all be together.”

Both Roberts and UF assistant John Pelphrey joined the Gators on April 15, 2011 -- with Matt McCall hired two weeks later -- after all three of Donovan’s assistant coaches (Larry Shyatt, Rob Lanier and Richard Pitino) left the program for other jobs.

Roberts went 81-101 in six seasons at St. John’s. He was relieved of his duties with the Red Storm following the ’09-10 season and took a year off from coaching, doing broadcasting work for of New York television and ESPN, before Donovan came calling.

“I'm thrilled," Self told the Lawrence Journal-World. "We were together for nine years. My family helped raise his kids. His family has helped raise mine. We're close. Certainly we hate to see Danny go, but Norm coming back will be a big bonus to our program.”

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