Wednesday, November 5, 2008

K-State’s Prince fired

K-State head coach Ron Prince has been fired.



Kansas State head football coach Ron Prince is escorted from the field following the Wildcats' 52-21 loss to the Jayhawks Saturday at Memorial Stadium. Prince was fired Wednesday, effective at the end of the season.

What Keegan says

If it's my hire and TCU's Gary Patterson says no thank you, which he likely will, I know where I turn next.

Not back to Bill Snyder. He had a great run, but things tailed off at the end.

Not former Snyder co-defensive coordinator Bret Bielema, Wisconsin's coach who went 17-1 to start his tenure in Madison and has gone 8-9 since.

Not even Todd Graham, who did an impressive job in his first year at Rice before returning to Tulsa, where he had been an assistant coach. So far, he's 18-5 at Tulsa and would be my second choice at K-State.

I would try to convince Turner Gill, former Nebraska quarterback, Heisman Trophy finalist and long-time assistant coach, to return to the Big 12.

In just his third season at the University of Buffalo, Gill already has turned one of the nation's losingest programs into a winner.

In the past two seasons, Gill has won 10 games and counting, quite an accomplishment at a school that had won 10 games in its first seven seasons as a Division I-A program.

A native of Fort Worth, Texas, Gill has a deep pool of Big 12 recruiting contacts, a winning personality and a gifted offensive football mind.

- Tom Keegan

— Kansas State coach Ron Prince was unable to rebuild the Wildcats into the Big 12 contender they were under his predecessor.

Now after 2 1â2 seasons in Manhattan, Prince is on his way out and K-State is in the market for another coach who can do what Bill Snyder did in the Little Apple.

Kansas State athletic director Bob Krause fired Prince, effective at the end of the season, on Wednesday, just three months after signing the coach to a five-year contract.

Prince took over for Snyder in 2006, his first head coaching job after 14 years at six different schools. He never lived up to the standard Snyder set, going 16-18, including 4-5 this year.

"It's a decision that we arrived at in the best interest in the institution and the program," Krause said during a conference call. "All along I've looked at understanding we're in a performance-based profession, and in the final analysis, we're at a point that while our goal remains the same, a change is necessary."

Snyder was a consistent winner in 17 years as Kansas State's coach, turning a team that won one game from 1987-89 into one that racked up at least 10 victories seven times, and reached bowl games 12 straight seasons from 1992-2003.

He retired after a 5-6 season in 2006, handing the program over to Prince, Virginia's relatively unknown offensive coordinator the previous three years.

Prince never got the Wildcats going in the right direction.

Kansas State was 7-6 and went to a bowl game in his first season, but the program has regressed since, going 5-7 last season and losing four of five Big 12 games this year.

The Wildcats have lost three straight headed into Saturday's game against Missouri, including a 52-21 setback to Kansas last weekend that dropped Prince to 0-3 against Kansas State's in-state rival.

"The reality is that all coaches want to compete and win championships," Prince said. "That's why we came here and that's why we do what we do, and ultimately educate these kids along the way. We're disappointed, but we're in a position to accept the decision that's been made."

In August, Kansas State signed Prince to a contract that runs through 2012, paying him a base salary of $143,00 with a total guaranteed package of $1.1 million. The deal included a larger buyout, meaning Prince will receive $1.2 million, along with a prorated longevity bonus of about $150,000.

The midweek announcement, during preparation for a game, was unusual, but not the midseason move. Clemson, Washington, Tennessee and Toledo have already started looking for new leaders after announcing coaching moves earlier this season. Earlier this week, the Volunteers announced Phillip Fulmer won't be back next season.

"There's a plan in place and there's some consultation I want to have with some individuals," Krause said. "It's coming down to the point where you have a list of folks you think have the ability to take the program and accomplish the things we want to accomplish."

Prince's teams never had trouble generating offense, with a wide-open attack and strong-armed quarterback Josh Freeman piling up yards and points.

Defense has been a problem, though.

Kansas State had one of the nation's worst last season, allowing 30.8 points and 400.6 yards per game, and the Wildcats have been even worse this year. They rank 107th in scoring defense at 33.7 points per game and 108th in total defense at 444.67 yards per game.

Kansas State allowed 110 points in its past two games, more than 50 three times this season.

"Our objective in coming to Kansas State in December of 2005 was to establish a program that was built to last, a team that would consistently compete for championships," Prince said. "Today, we ran out of time to accomplish that."


Lance Hobson 11 years, 3 months ago

Toledo just did the same thing. The guy was just bad, all of his assistants kept leaving, that had to tell you something.

JayCeph 11 years, 3 months ago

KState will be fighting an up-hill battle to find someone that will want to replace Prince and still be judged in the shadow of Snyder. Not an enviable place to be...Too bad, really. I liked Coach Prince and how he comported himself. He was professional, driven, and (given time) could have made KState a competitive program that would only help to strengthen KU's schedule and their ability to compete at a very high level, year in and year out.Silly move on KSU's part.Coach Prince, I wish you the best of luck.

rgreene 11 years, 3 months ago

There's 9 or 10 coaches in the SEC who have 'good teams' every year. That conference is just so loaded that expecting a title every year is irresponsible of the fans.

killabees 11 years, 3 months ago

The resignation of Ron Prince is a sad day for KU football. Now we'll only have one bye week per year as opposed to two.

worrynotjhawk 11 years, 3 months ago

Maybe they should consider circling a different game on their calendar, but I do hope the beat MU this weekend. That would be great. Then they could think about reconsidering him as a coach only to realize he isn't that good.

rgreene 11 years, 3 months ago

There's going to be a lot of house-cleaning, because I doubt whoever comes in will want to get started with a bunch of no-good jucos.

d_prowess 11 years, 3 months ago

So is this the third coach to annouce he will not be back after the year, KSU, Washington, & Tenn? And is this the new thing for universities to do, fire the coach before the end of the year so they can start the search for a new one, but ask him to finish out the year?

bmcmich1 11 years, 3 months ago

Patterson, Venables, whoever...Regardless of who they go after, they had better be prepared to back up the brinks truck because nobody wants to touch that program with a 10 foot pole right now.

Cody Stumma 11 years, 3 months ago

Obama had mentioned about Change...That was quick work. LolBut we didn't want THAT to change!

railer1122 11 years, 3 months ago

I believe Randy Walker or Brent Venables. Both have K-State ties.

Jeff Hargate 11 years, 3 months ago

Everyone I know who is a booster at KSU say Prince is not liked in the commumity or the athletic department. He was very hard to work for and this is seen as his assistants ran away and he pieced his staff together with coaches who were not ready.

11 years, 3 months ago

vmwskywalk ~ and see our nice Orange Bowl and National Championship signs along I-70 :o) If they stop in to visit our campus and we are interested in them, KSU can forget about it!

vmwskywalk 11 years, 3 months ago

You're right TX! And what's worse is they have to pass by Lawrence on the way.

John Percival 11 years, 3 months ago

If Self can follow Roy (who followed Larry) here...sorry, don't buy that. If you're a good coach, you can and will succeed.

rgreene 11 years, 3 months ago

They're going to be pushing hard for Gary Patterson from TCU. Mark my words.

Lonnie Ross Dillon 11 years, 3 months ago

Mostly true...Snyder's team were slipping a bit at the end of his tenure, but yes, they were still MUCH better than what he started with.

jhawker_87 11 years, 3 months ago

Apparently KState has also decided its time for a change.

yovoy 11 years, 3 months ago

the fact that ksu is in this league will sell lots of people (kids AND coaches) on it. this is the big xii. so you have to pass ku on the way to manny? if we had it going on like we think we do, we wouldn't worry about kids going past lawrence: we'd be recruiting "better" players anyway. okay, i like(d) prince. i thought he handled himself well, and i really believe it's a pity that he's going out like this. thank god we didn't treat mangino like this - oh wait lots of us (not me) did. glass houses must cause amnesia. ourMangino started w/ less than prince, and was given time to resuscitate it. prince let a "star" qb ruin him. bottom line, if freeman had lived up to 70% of the hype surrounding him (somehow still!), people around here would be thinking of him like we thought of roy after 3-5 years. all that said, i like him, blah-blah, but i don't know that he's demonstrated any marketable strengths that are going to keep him around anywhere. hopefully someone will give him a chance, and hopefully he succeeds, and can laugh at the school that forced him to resign, then made him lay in the mess for the rest of the season.

Kyle Crenshaw 11 years, 3 months ago

come on ryan... fulmer has had good teams the last 5 or so years and every year they have underachieved. that is what can doom a team is sticking with a coach just cuz they've been there forever. it was obvious a change was needed in tennessee (even though fulmer has an amazing track record). i am dissapointed prince is leaving though. i loved beatin the crap out of em the last few years

zissou 11 years, 3 months ago

Couldn't agree more, JayCeph. I thought they had really found an answer to the problems that arose toward the end of Snyder's career. He seemed to have it all: attitude, confidence and a good reputation in the coaching community. Still, it was obvious to Wildcat fans and otherwise that his loading up on juco talent was an act of desperation. Who will come next?

Carter Patterson 11 years, 3 months ago

I highly recommend Terry "Gameball" Allen or Coach Val.

ohjayhawk 11 years, 3 months ago

jeffthejayhawk - I've heard the same thing about him... that he's not real well liked even within his own staff. That's why so many assistants have left over the past couple years.It will be interesting to see who they can get to replace him. It's not a very attractive situation right now, but there's always one or two out of work coaches who have a big enough ego to feel like they can go in and turn things around quickly, regardless of the situation.

11 years, 3 months ago

One of the luxuries Snyder enjoyed prior to Prince arriving, and was cut-off due to NCAA rules, was the ability to use a private jet to fly recruits directly to Manhattan instead of taking a commercial plane to KCI and enduring a 2-hour car ride from there. Imagine what might be going through an out-of-state recruit's mind during that commute if he had never visited Kansas before. It will be an uphill battle for whoever chooses to replace Prince.

truefan 11 years, 3 months ago

I agree that the new coach won't want to start with a bunch of Juco players, but he probably won't have much choice. You have to put your best players on the field and whomever it is won't have enough time to put together a star studded class before they get there.

Jonathan Briles 11 years, 3 months ago

creightonjayhawk Snyder took over one of, if not the worst football programs in history. If they won two games in one season it was amazing. So Snyder getting 13 in 3 was amazing for KSU back then. Prince inherited a program that had athletes and and respect and he has watered down both of them. KSU will have a very hard time rebounding from this if they ever do, because they dont have real tradition. They just have a few years of great seasons but nothing that dates back so in just a few years that will be forgotten and KSU will go back down and be like a Baylor or Iowa state every year from now on if they dont get lucky enough to land a great coach.

rockchalk_dpu 11 years, 3 months ago

Guys, while I feel for Coach Prince and his staff, we have to remember how lucky we are that KU didn't do the same thing after Mangino's first 3 years. While we were doing well out of conference, we still couldn't get over the hump against the Big 12 but the school had the faith and confidence in the foundation he was building that the results would be there soon and were rewarded with last season.Never underestimate the importance of having the school and the athletic department on your side and confident in your vision.RCJ

Rodney Stice 11 years, 3 months ago

Tough times for KSU football. I have enjoyed watching Ian Cambell play football since high school.I hoope that KSU can get this problem figured out with the next coach. This reminds me of the Coaching problems of Nebraska after Tom Osborn retired.

sdoyel 11 years, 3 months ago

With Dalonte Hill's salary, he should have to coach football too.

kansas22 11 years, 3 months ago

I wanted to see him stick around. I could really get used to those 52-21 meetings like we saw Saturday.

walkdog262 11 years, 3 months ago

You can't fire a football coach after 2 1/2 years on the job unless he bones a stripper or something. Dumb move by K-State.

rgreene 11 years, 3 months ago

Agreed, walkdog.I mean, that's just the instant gratification that exists in sports now. Look at Phil Fulmer, the guy is 150-51 in his career at Tennessee and has won a nat'l title. Plus he's a great ambassador for the university. One bad year? Done. It's a joke.

railer1122 11 years, 3 months ago

Wow... I always get Randy Walker and Gary Patterson. Randy Walker is the coach from Northwestern who died a few years ago. R.I.PBut I meant Patterson.

ku_tailg8 11 years, 3 months ago

This doesn't suprise me. Prince recruited 22 juco players for this year and he still could not get the job done. Kstate will be in the crapper for a while based on the juco recruits and the others that are on this team.

creightonjayhawk 11 years, 3 months ago

ron prince's record at kstate=16-18; the "great" bill snyder's record after 3 years at kstate=13-20

blackhawkjayhawk 11 years, 3 months ago

Josh Freeman is gone....he'll declare for the draft.K-State is in trouble. The best coaches will go to Tenn and then to Washington. Then there will be openings at those schools, and the next best coaches will go there. Right after Toledo makes their hire, expect an announcement from K-State that they have hired a young, offensive minded coach with some success at the D-1 level. His name....Ron Prince.

rolo2383 11 years, 3 months ago

I agree with ku_tailg8. KSU has 90 juniors and seniors on this team and about three underclassman. It's going to be a while before the next coach can get a solid core of players.

cffighter86 11 years, 3 months ago

Its going to be ugly for k-state football for the next several years. Not only will they be losing prince, but the AD is gone after this year as well

kuwillkillit 11 years, 3 months ago

NO how bout coach dubbya!! for 2009 he'd get my vote.

RckChalkJeff 11 years, 3 months ago

Coach Prince....Don't forget your Power Towel!

Jaminrawk 11 years, 3 months ago

Seriously, this team needs an experience coaching staff. I suggest Hayden Fox from TV's "Coach". He had the Minnesota State Screamin' Eagles in the national championship in just a few years. With the clout that comes with his tenure as an NFL coach for the Orlando Breakers, he could bring in some Florida talent. LOL.

nebraska_jayhawk 11 years, 3 months ago

Manhattan has absolutely nothing to offer. It is in the middle of nowhere and now the football team is back to normal form as it has been 85 out of the last 100 or so years. Why would ANY coach want to come to Manhattan? Just not an attractive place at all.

Lance Hobson 11 years, 3 months ago

No kidding, if you coach has a goatee and you're a D1 school, you need a new coach. Prince was just not classy enough for that job, as hard as that is to say considering it's KState.

Jaminrawk 11 years, 3 months ago

I think his buyout included a year's supply of power towels, $500 so he could buy some non-purple gear and coupons for the Shick Quattro so he can shave his head and get rid of that ghastly goatee.

bmcmich1 11 years, 3 months ago

Jaminrawk,And don't forget the true brains behind the srceaming eagles: DOBBER!!

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